MOVIE REVIEW: Ouija: Origin of Evil

CAST: Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, Henry Thomas, Parker Mack and Doug Jones


RATING: 3 stars (out of 5)


WITH Halloween around the corner, this is a perfectly timed release. Admittedly, being a fan of the genre, I was pretty excited to check out Ouija: Origin of Evil, which is a prequel to Ouija (2014). 

The movie is directed by Mike Flanagan, who is no stranger to the horror genre. He has Hush, Oculus, Absentia and Before I Wake to his credit. Aside from his creative stamp as co-writer, he shows immense dexterity behind the camera and ensures the overall tone is imbued with plenty of atmospheric creepiness to heighten the scares. At the heart of the story is Alice Zander (Reaser), a single mother struggling to raise her two daughters, Paulina (Basso) and adorable Doris (Wilson), after her husband’s untimely death.

To help earn a living, Zander pretends to be a psychic and uses her two daughters to help create the right ambiance for her seances. She has the entire room rigged to ensure her susceptible clients buy into her “powers”. And then she decides to include a ouija board in her readings. Unbeknownst to Alice, her daughter Doris, while trying to connect to her dead dad, unwittingly invites a dark spirit named Marcus.

Not long after Doris starts acting peculiarly; she starts writing in cursive, despite not having been taught how to do this at school, and begins talking to someone. And she doesn’t seem to approve of Hannah’s boyfriend, Mikey. Her sister senses something is amiss with Doris and chats to Father Tom (Thomas) about her concerns, especially with Doris now writing in Polish.

Meanwhile, Alice is impressed by Doris’s psychic abilities. More so, when she finds a small fortune hidden in the walls to save them from losing their family home. Doris’s eerie transformation from sweet and innocent to a hostile, evil person is executed with finesse. My only gripe is the pace of the story. So much time is spent establishing the characters and their connection that the ending becomes rushed.

Of course, I can’t reveal more about the dark entities living in the house for fear of ruining the element of surprise for fans. But for those who know how the blueprint of horror works, there are casualties in this war against evil and the survivor isn’t the same again. Ouija: Origin of Evil is definitely worth seeing!

If you liked The Conjuring, Rosemary’s Baby or Annabelle, you will enjoy this.

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