Directed by: Stiles White
Written by: Juliet Snowden & Stiles White
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos, Douglas Smith & Shelly Hennig
Ouija boards, likely the only Hasbro game to be banned by many a mum across the nation. Who hasn’t heard a tale of spiritual and mortal peril involving a friend of a friend or 3rd cousin twice removed, who tampered with this tool for talking with the dead? It has been a plot point in many a movie, from great horror flicks like The Exorcist to cheesy films like Witchboard. The talking board has captured the imaginations of many a movie goer, despite it’s widespread availability at toy stores and Targets nation wide. The movie Ouija is another tale of teens who learn the dangers of messing with the dark forces the hard way, by being bumped off one by one by spirits from the other side.
Entering the theater for the screening of Ouija, we were met by gaggles of screaming 13 year old girls. This is apparently the age demographic this particular horror flick is aimed at, which makes a certain sense if one looks at the age one usually dabbles with Ouija boards. The magical age you must be to overlook gaping plot holes (big enough to sail the Queen Mary through) to find this movie scary. Or those who follow the Crossing Over Paranormal Society, who were there to warn us that our fear can summon the dead, might be able to psyche themselves up into a good scare. To those like myself, who love horror movies, but require a good plot, decent writing and some level of continuity, it’s just a miss.
The casting is near embarrassing. Starring a passable Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) as a high school girl, with high school friends that all look old enough to be teaching the classes instead of attending them (and some actually are). Kagasoff’s acting bordered on painful, hardly seeming to be able to recall what it was like to be a senior in high school, much less act like one. Bianca A. Santos seemed incapable of emoting any signs of actual fear or surprise, even when realizing her mouth was sewn shut. Douglas smith’s baby face is convincing enough for the role he played, but he seemed aware what a supernatural stinker the flick would turned out to be. That’s the phrase best used to describe Ouija, a supernatural stinker, so if you are looking for a bit of a thrill this Halloween season, I’d advise skipping this flick. There are many movies far more deserving of your screams. Or just hit up your nearest Hasbro retailer and buy yourself a board, maybe you can conjure up a few chills worth turning into the next Hollywood fright flick.