Ouija boards are one of the best known tools for communication with “the other side” and have been featured in hundreds of films over the years. So naturally this movie has a lot it needs to accomplish…
Having played with a ouija board since she was a kid, Debbie Galardi (Shelley Hennig) is still using one in present day as a late teenager. When she tries to destroy the board by burning it, she is shocked to find it back in her room in perfect condition. Having been acting strange the past few days, ever since her interaction with the board, Debbie isn’t letting her friends come over, and is showing signs of suspicious behavior. Her best friend, Laine Morris (Olivia Cooke) gets a text from her father to come home one day, only to find that Debbie has apparently killed herself. Having used the Ouija board with Debbie as kids, Laine wants to use the board to say good bye to Debbie. She talks some friends in to going over to Debbie’s house and using the board to communicate. At first they believe that they are talking to Debbie but soon learn that it’s not Debbie who’s communicating with them at all…
If you’ve even just googled this movie you would instantly see that it’s received some terrible feedback. Despite this, the film actually brought in over $100 million box office, and from what I hear there will be a second one in 2016. This is one of the few instances where I actually support a second film. In most cases a sequel is never as good as the original. In this case though, I see a lot of potential for a sequel. This is not to say that it WILL be good, but it COULD be great. And this also isn’t to say that this first film was a masterpiece…because it wasn’t. All I am saying is that this first film was a bit dry and didn’t have enough razzle dazzle to it like it should have. Therefore, I think that in trying too hard to beat this film (like all sequels try to do) they may actually (and accidentally) pull it off in a pleasing way. But we will see.
When we get down to it I’m torn as to how I feel about this film. I watched this a while back after a class mate recommended it. She went on and on about how creepy it was and how much she enjoyed it. I googled it right there in class and watched the trailer. I think I was excited to see it just because Olivia Cooke was starring in it (I admire her role in Bates Motel…a favorite tv show of mine). Either way, I quickly decided that I wanted to see it, and a couple of nights later I did just that. My initial reaction was “not bad, but not clever either”.
The problem with this movie rests in the lack of imagination that went into the development of the plot. If this amount of passion and creativity went into designing cars, we would all be driving around in grey painted refrigerator boxes. The lack of effort is once again saddening, because here is yet another film with a good idea, but bad implementation…at least for the most part that is…
Where the first half of the movie does just enough (if that) to keep you from picking a different movie, the last third or so of the movie spices things up. But don’t get too excited…think about the Dodge Neon…a very boring and dull car that is driven by teens for the most part because they are cheap. What do a lot of teens do with these cars? They “spice” them up with some new exhausts and some “chrome” pieces on the body work. They are essentially spicing up a turd (apologies if you drive a Neon). So how did the movie accomplish it’s spice? With a twist! Just when we thought we had it figured out, the movie throws us for a loop. I’ll be honest and say that when I was watching this I did not see the twist coming. But at the same time I had already lowered my expectations and wasn’t anticipating such a move from the film by the time this was revealed. All I can say is that even though the twist didn’t completely revive the movie, I did actually like it. It was my favorite part about the movie if I’m honest. After slouching in the couch with heavy eyes, I regained some of my attention span when the twist finally hit.
This was not a terrible movie in reality. In a different world this movie would have been straight up scary and thrilling. The terribleness associated with this movie is the cut off point where the potential was just thrown away. They essentially took a seed for beautiful maple tree, let it grow to be about 5 feet high, and then cut it down to make paper.
My conclusion is that I will probably end up watching this again in the future. I didn’t hate it, I was merely disappointed with it. I now own the film so I know I’ll watch it again. However I can already tell that this is one of those movies that gets less interesting the more you watch it. I could watch “Kick-Ass” every day, or “The Office” every day, but I would be begging for this one to end if I had to watch it every day. Some people say movies have a “magic” to them like nothing else, and I agree with that. But when you break it down, that “magic” is simply the creativity and effort put forth. There just isn’t any magic here with this one.
Total Abstract Rating: 65% I’m not going to say to avoid this movie, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend to anyone I know either. This ones up to you.
Thanks for reading.