It’s late October and we’re in the thick of horror movie season. With recent releases like Annabelle and Dracula Untold, it’s hard to figure out what’s worth your time and what isn’t. Horror films are definitely like a box of chocolates: you never know which will actually deliver or just leave you bored and annoyed. When I went to see OUIJA, I was eager to find out which I was gonna get.
The movie centers around five mismatched friends who try to contact their dearly departed friend Debbie through an old spooky Ouija board. Of course they have to do this in the house in which she died, at night, and with all of the lights out. They’re all very (and unconvincingly) shocked to find that the planchette is moving around the board all on its own. Noises are heard all around the house and we get the classic “It’s just an old house” line from naïve male friend #2 (or Pete, but I prefer the former). One thing leads to another and these five hapless friends are caught in a fun-filled whirlwind of being scared shitless for the rest of the film.
Ouija is jam-packed with thrilling action from the very start, with a malevolent board game that has the supernatural power to haunt and eventually murder anyone who touches it. Fortunately for the audience, everyone who touches the board is extremely attractive. Unfortunately for these attractive characters, their deaths are kind of Final Destination-esque and entertainingly gruesome.
While the acting performances from Olivia Cooke and Ana Coto leave a lot to be desired, director Stiles White compensates with compelling suspense and startling crescendos throughout the entirety of his debut film. I mean, who goes to see a horror movie for Oscar-worthy acting anyway? If anything, the somewhat deadpan execution of the seriously tacky dialogue (Cooke: “I just miss them so much”, Coto: “Me too”) adds some much-needed comic relief from the chaos of the malignant murderous spirits.
Notably, one decent plot twist that you’ll have to see for yourself had much of the audience going “Woahhh!” Don’t lie - you all love a movie with a good old-fashioned “WTF” moment. For me, it was this fun twist that set Ouija apart from similar films of its ilk. In addition to this, a plethora of nerve-grating buildups, well timed jolts, and horrifyingly deformed demonic ghost spirit thingies made this movie all the worthwhile.
When I set out to watch Ouija, I had no clue if this box of chocolates would satisfy my hunger for horror. Luckily, I quickly developed a taste for Stiles White’s ability to make me shriek and chuckle at the same time, and found it to be a tasty and entertaining October horror treat.
Ouija opens in theaters TODAY!