2014 brought us quite a few amazing horror films, and one of those was a film called Ouija. The film was written by Juliet Snowden and Stiles White, White also directed the film. It stars a young, immensely talented cast, many of which are from some of today's most popular shows, Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel), Ana Coto (DisCONNECTED), Daren Kagasoff (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Bianca A. Santos (The Fosters) and Shelley Henning (Teen Wolf).
Horror films are heavily associated with R ratings, but Ouija was only given a PG-13 rating, and this made me a bit nervous about the film. The PG-13 rating was only because of the lack of sex, nudity, language and gory kills. Another reason the may have done this was because of the cast, since most of them are from shows from young adults, they made the film more accessible to the fans of those shows. This rating in no way impacted the quality of the film. The only scene that really surprised me that they showed on screen with such a mild rating was
Deb's suicide scene. The whole act was shown from her grabbing the lights to her hanging herself and swinging from the ceiling.
Combining a well written script with such a talented cast made Ouija even more of a must see. Much like all other films that are centered around the supernatural and hauntings, there were loads of "jump scares". The types of "scary" scenes in this film are best compared to those in the Paranormal Activity films. I have seen films of pretty much every sub-genre of horror, and I did not find Ouija to be very frightening. It may be to a younger audience, but if you are older than 14, this film probably won't bother you much. Unfortunately, like a lot of other films of this type, all of the best/scariest parts of the film were shown in the trailer. Don't get me wrong, Ouija is a great film, and I will probably watch it again, but the best parts were given away by the trailer. Speaking of the trailer, is it just me or were there scenes shown in the trailer that were removed from the film? I will include the trailer below for those who have seen the film to compare and for those who have yet to see it.
I did enjoy the film, but I feel that had they have targeted a more mature audience, they could have included a lot more to the film that would have added to the story and the overall success of it. Snowden and White did not miss many marks, but there was definitely room for improvement.
Where the film really got interesting was just past the midway point. There was a very dark plot twist that I did not see coming. Many films like this have a plot twist in it somewhere, but I can usually figure out what is going to happen rather quickly, but Ouija's plot twist was 100% completely unseen. This new bit of information that has been interjected into the film is a huge redeeming quality.
Another positive addition to the film was that there were aspects of actual Ouija board lore added. There is even a list of "Ouija board rules" discussed in the film. One bit of lore that they threw in that not many others have touched on was looking though the glass of the cursor. Legend says that if you look through the cursor, you can see the "person" you are communicating with.
Before viewing Ouija for myself, I had heard many mixed reviews of the film. The majority of those reviews were positive, so I had a bit of hope for this film going in. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the film actually was, and I am glad I gave it a chance. I am giving Ouija a 7 just because there were some areas of the film that could have been executed better had they have targeted an older audience and that I am pretty sure some of the best scenes of the trailer were cut from the film, but the film was great overall. I am going to have to recommend this film to horror fans that are looking for something a bit different than some of the other new films available out there. The end of the film was left open, will there be a sequel? I wouldn't be apposed to seeing one.