“Ouija” is somewhat of a paradox of a film. Imagine a movie made by the makers of a game warning you not to play the game. Now imagine the makers of a game warning you not to play it, but double-dog daring you to play it. I’ve pretty much just described Hasbro’s supernatural horror dud “Ouija.”
A girl is mysteriously killed after recording herself playing with an ancient Ouija board. A group of her friends investigate the spirit board. They soon find out some things aren't meant to be played with when they awaken the dark powers of the “other side.”
“Ouija” is one of those movies where the kids involved do incredibly stupid stuff, make all the wrong decisions, and then die because of their bad choices. Unlike most teen slasher films, there’s nothing fun or humorous here to be found. It’s just one predictably bad action after the next resulting in death for whoever committed the transgression against the dead.
Set up like a visual instruction manual, “Ouija” teaches you how to play the board game you know you shouldn’t. It’s like they’re taunting you to play with fire. Imagine someone telling you not to do something, but then giving you exact guidelines on how to do it. The actors say the words they’re supposed to and follow the rules to communicate with the dead… which is never a good idea, by the way. It all plays out like an over-extended TV commercial to sell the game.
The ultimate message of “Ouija” is you shouldn’t play with the occult. Unfortunately, the message gets a little jumbled up when the friends use it to do battle against the spirits. Okay… so don’t use it unless you need to use it to fight the bad guys? Am I getting this right?
“Ouija is rated PG-13, of course. Why wouldn’t it be since its target demographic is plainly teens looking for mild scares. It includes disturbing violent content, frightening horror images, and thematic material.
The only special features included for “Ouija” is a bland “Making of” featurette. It’s around three minutes long and consists of the cast and crew yammering about being scared on the set. They also talk about playing with the board for a movie that tells you not to play with the board while being a commercial for it. I digress… much like the movie.
Any Christian is going to have problems with watching “Ouija.” We’re all warned from childhood not to play with the occult or communicate with the dead… and with good reason. It’s pretty cut and dry in the Bible. When my wife found out I watched the movie in our home, she made me immediately take it out of the house and put it in the car. The film really does send a mixed message to younger viewers.
“Ouija” is obviously an attempt at both promoting a Hasbro board game and creating a teen version of “Insidious” or “The Conjuring.” However, there’s nothing to be found here that is even half as endearing or memorable as either of those two films. Even the little twist during the climax can’t save the movie in the end.
If you want to buy “Ouija,” you know where to find it. I’m not going to have providing a link to purchase it on my conscious.
For more articles by Eric Shirey that don't fit on Moviepilot, check out his official website.