Of all the board games that could be made into a movie, Ouija probably makes the most sense. Especially if you’re going to keep the film in the horror genre, this thing could practically write itself.
And unfortunately, that’s what the Ouija movie feels like -- a film that not too much thought was put into and therefore the result is an experience that is hardly scary and not even a little bit thrilling.
Debbie and Laine are BFFs and have been since they were kids. The film opens with the two of them playing Ouija and sure, they get a little spooked. But no harm or horror comes from it.
Years go by and now the pair are in high school and their days of Ouija playing is clearly over.But, as teased in the Ouija trailer, Debbie (Shelley Hennig) “found” a Ouija board in her attic and did a no-no, she played it alone. By doing so, she unlocked something that won’t go back to where it came from. In fact, it pushes her to hang herself in the foyer of her home. That leaves her BFF Laine (Olivia Cooke) devastated and looking for answers.
Laine is falling apart and in an effort to help, her friends indulge her as they go to Debbie’s house and play Ouija, all trying to contact their departed friend. It becomes clear they are not alone, and our scares start happening at an ever-increasing rate.
Or, at least they try.
Ouija isn’t a terrible horror movie, not by a long shot. It’s just that it is not that scary. There are only a few jump-out-of-your-seat moments and even fewer jaw-dropping moments that usually have horror movie audiences saying, “I can’t look!” None of that happens with Ouija and it is quite frustrating.
Like we said, a board game that is built upon the premise of contacting the dead has fantastic horror movie written all over it. Ouija should have left us gasping for air from all the scares that come ever fast and ever furious.
Stiles White directed the film, from a screenplay he co-wrote with Juliet Snowden. And in the way that the film plays out, it appears that it is merely the first chapter. Perhaps, this was the foundation story and more true scares are set to come. But, you don’t get to make a sequel if the first film -- especially in horror -- fails to score. And by score, we mean scare the pants off your audience.
Cooke does what she can with the story and crafts a truly compelling character that we pull for to rid her world of these demons, or whatever it is that is haunting her and her friends. For a better horror flick with Cooke truly cooking, watch The Quiet Ones online and leave the Ouija board world to your living room floor.