I love a good horror film so having just watched both The Conjuring films on Blu-ray it’s time to take a look at the prequel to the 2014 horror film Ouija. It’s time for Ouija Origin of Evil Blu-ray review.
- Ouija Origin of Evil Blu-ray Review (2016)
- Genre: Horror
- Written by Mike Flanagan & Jeff Howard
- Running Time: 99 Mins
- Blu-ray Released: 27th February 2017
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: 1
- Released By Universal
- Starring Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, Parker Mack, Henry Thomas
The story centres around a single parent, Alice Zander and her two daughters Paulina aka Lina and Doris. Set in 1967, the mother carries out séances in order to pay the bills. However the séances are really a scam with devices placed around the room to give the effect of the supernatural.
When Alice decides to add a Ouija board to her scam readings little does she know what she has allowed into her home and the consequences it will have on her youngest daughter Doris.
The family arrive back home one day to find a foreclosure notice pinned to the front door. Just when it looks like they may lose their home Doris who now has a ‘new’ friend finds some money in the wall of the basement.
Style / Direction
The film was directed by Mike Flanagan with the cinematography being handled by Michael Fimognari. The look of the sixties is right so that in its self is worthy of a mention. So the cinematography on the face of it is pretty good, add in a couple of film marks to give the old movie feel and you have a winning formula right? Not exactly the film damage marks are a little gimmicky and adds nothing to the overall film.
Pacing feels a little too slow and drawn out. To expand on this the first 30-40 minutes are all about scene setting and revealing the characters and that’s exactly what happens. The problem I had was I never felt particularly intrigued or captivated by the story. It merely seemed to plod on until eventually the horror arrived. Don’t get me wrong it’s not terrible, the first half of a film I’d go for more on the okay passable side. It just needed to be more interesting.
The jumps and scare simply fail to deliver, sure you can see them coming a mile away but when they come there feel somewhat flat and lacking in energy.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by The Newton Brothers. and is average at best and not very memorable. Music in horror films should be both if the film is to achieve the status of being called a great film. It really fails to lift the film and create enough tension in keys scenes.
Acting / Characters
At best I’d say there are passable but fail to delivery anymore that decent performances. The exception to this is surely Lulu Wilson who plays the younger daughter Doris. She really puts in an exceptional performance going from the sweet innocent daughter everyone would want into something truly horrific.
Elizabeth Reaser plays Alice Zander, I can’t quite put my finger on it but I never found her to be invested in her family’s fate. The same can be said of Annalise Basso as Paulina.
In essence without being emotional invested in the family’s plight the film really struggles to provide anything other than the typical horror thrills you see in most films in the genre.
Henry Thomas as Father Tom Hogan is certainly not the man from the church I would want helping me if I had an evil presence at my home.
Conclusion – Ouija Origin of Evil Film Review
The lack of interesting and engaging characters really hurts Ouija Origin of Evil, add to that the slow and uninteresting plot and we are left with a below average horror flick but not a memorable one. The scenes that should terrify simply fall flat it’s hard to say why, they should work but are simply badly executed (pun intended). It only lasts 99 minute but it felt twice as long.
Some films draw you in and others leave you feeling total uninvested, I think you can guess which category this falls into. I think the idea was to make the viewer feel sympathy for the family and want them to prevail but in the end I really couldn’t care less.
A great quote comes in the making of documentary from actress Elizabeth Reaser who plays the mother and really does some the film up.
“It really doesn’t feel like a horror film and that’s what makes it so terrifying” She is right it really is terrifying that they made a film that really should at least be a decent horror film instead of the below par one it ended up being.
Ouija Origin of Evil Blu-ray Review
As you would expect from a 2016 film on Blu-ray it looks simply amazing, but just what do you get in terms of extras?
- The Making of Ouija Origin of Evil
- Deleted Scenes
- The Girls Behind Doris
- Home is where the horror is Feature Commentary with Mike Flanagan (Director, Writer, Editor)
Standard set of behind the scenes extras.
On to my movie rating for Ouija Origin of Evil (2016)
- Movie Rating: WATCHABLE
- Blu-ray: GOOD
Ouija Origin of Evil (2016) is available now on Blu-ray priced £13 from Amazon (as of date of review)
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster with the trailer…
Clip not representative of the Blu-ray version
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Ouija Origin of Evil Blu-ray Review
Director(s): Mike Flanagan
Actor(s): Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, Parker Mack, Henry Thomas
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
Even when the evil spirits finally appear they do little to make Ouija Origin of Evil a truly terrifying experience.