Friday, May 13, 2016

Film Review: Ouija (2014)

Ouija (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...comes off as uninspired and lackluster due to its, well, lack of flare and originality."

After the death of their friend, a group of friends inadvertently awaken a malicious spirit while playing with a Ouija board...

Ouija follows a group of stupid teenagers. Debbie, a high school student, kills herself (no, she didn't shart). Laine (Olivia Cooke), Debbie's best friend, refuses to believe it. So, she convinces her friends and sister to use a Ouija board in order to contact Debbie. Although they initially believe they are talking to Debbie, they eventually realize they've disturbed a malevolent spirit. So, these friends start dying one-by-one. Of course, Laine races to stop it. There's not much to say about the plot, really. It all leads to a fairly mediocre ending. The climax was a bit corny, too.

Ouija is your early-2000s teen horror movie Рit has that same vibe. On top of the general atmosphere, it also shares many of the same cliches. This is a generic movie. There's no way around that fact. This film offers absolutely nothing to the genre. The characters are generic cutouts from other films, the plot is extraordinarily clich̩ and riddled with plot contrivances, and the horror is reliant on the same old jump scares. If you've watched even a handful of horror films in the past, I guarantee you've watched Ouija before. I enjoyed some of the visuals; then again, some of it also looked cheesy. There's just not much to say about this. It's forgettable.

The acting was... okay. I think most of the cast suffered more from the stilted dialogue and the direction than their actual acting abilities. Olivia Cooke was decent as the leading lady. Cooke's accent was a bit inconsistent, though. I noticed it almost instantly. Lin Shaye makes a guest appearance, too. The film looks decent. I actually don't remember much of the music. The film is written by Juliet Snowden and Stiles White; White also directs. Unfortunately, the film comes off as uninspired and lackluster due to its, well, lack of flare and originality.

Overall, Ouija is a disappointing film. The narrative is generic, the characters are cliché and foolish, and the horror is ineffective. The over-reliance on jump-scares without suspense does not help. I liked some of the visuals, but not much else. If you enjoy jump-scare horror films, you're better off with the Insidious series or Sinister. I can't recommend Ouija.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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