Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
Critic Consensus: Ouija: Origin of Evil swerves its franchise's planchette unexpectedly to YES with a surprisingly scary and dramatically satisfying follow-up to its lackluster predecessor.
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as Paulina "Lina" Zander
as Alice Zander
as Doris Zander
as Father Tom
as Ghoul Marcus/Devil's Doctor
as Jenny Browning
as Mr. Browning
as Roger Zander
as Ellie's Mom
as Male Ghoul
as Female Ghoul
as Doctor Fuller
as Lina Zander (2013)
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Critic Reviews for Ouija: Origin of Evil
Ouija giddily zips between haunted house thriller, exorcism drama and skillful period piece, all wrapped up in a neat and terrifying little bow.
This is what you came to see, and the numerous gruesome horrors are rendered in enjoyable fashion.
This is a prequel superior to its predecessor - we're not bored with board-game ghoulishness yet.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is an interesting exercise in watching filmmakers try to mint a franchise out of basically nothing.
Deliciously creepy, thanks largely to a terrific performance by the youngest of its stars.
Audience Reviews for Ouija: Origin of Evil
Full of chills, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a frightful and disturbing horror film. The story follows a single mother in the late '60s who runs a séance business with the help of her two daughters, and when she incorporates a Ouiji board into her act her youngest daughter begins communing with the spirit world. Starring Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalise Basso, and Henry Thomas the cast is a fairly good and gives strong performances; particularly Wilson, who really sells the spiritual possession. And writer/director Mike Flanagan does an excellent job at bringing intensity and suspense to the film. However, as a prequel its ending is already set and it's restricted in what it can do. Still, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a compelling supernatural thriller that's darker and scarier than the original.
Infinitely better than the first Ouija movie, this intelligent prequel understands quite well how silence can be much more terrifying than loud noises, giving us also time to care about the characters and cleverly subverting the most stupid clichés of the genre.
This is definitely the year for horror films. When the announcement was made that a second Ouija film was in the works, I naturally just rolled my eyes, thinking what else is knew? Well, apparently a lot. Ouija: Origin of Evil improves over its predecessor in every conceivable way. Truthfully, I have grown tired of the way horror films are made nowadays, and while there are a few great ones out there, the same cheap thrills seem to be recycled over and over again. Director Mike Flanagan (of Oculus and Hush fame) presents this film in a way that makes it feel completely distant from its predecessor, while also borrowing elements and expanding on them. I can't believe I am talking this way about a sequel to a pretty terrible horror film, but anything is possible I guess. Here is how Ouija: Origin of Evil did for Ouija, what Fast Five did for the Fast & Furious franchise. There are very few franchise that are able to build off of a story that never worked in the first place. Ouija: Origin of Evil is one of those rare films that is not only better that its predecessor, but rejuvenates the franchise into something surprisingly great, all while still telling the same basic premise. Just like the first film, this one follows a family as they explore the Ouija board game. Instead of just communicating with the dead and having no real emotional heft like the first film, this is more of a look into lost family members. Running a fortune teller business from their home, the Zander family (who had lost their father figure in the past) soon discover the Ouija board, which allows them to communicate with him. Adding just enough emotional gravitas to the premise, while significantly improving its chilling imagery, everything about this film is improved. We can all admit, at least those who have seen the original Ouija, that this franchise needed to play every card in order to win back its audience. The first act of this film worried me, as many of the tropes used throughout the first film were being repeated. It almost felt like a remake, but with much better cinematography, a classic feel, and significantly improved performances and emotional weight. For those reasons, I could already tell the second and third acts would only get better from then on. Happily, I could not have been more right. Ouija: Origin of Evil, although its story is familiar, does its thrills in the third act better than any horror film in have seen in recent years. The funny thing about that statement is the fact that you have pretty much seen every scare before, but this film is able to pull it off with ease. Chills were sent down my spine on multiple occasions. That being said, even though this film puts a spin on a classic tale, that classic tale does feel overdone a few times throughout this film. From kids/creatures crawling up walls, to generic jump scares, to religious beliefs increasing the fear in everyone in the film, Ouija: Origin of Evil does not seem to be going for anything new. Having said that, each time one of these things occur, it is done in a way that still surprises you and the family aspect enhances every single moment of this film. I was tearing up as my spine was tingling, hoping everything was going to be okay. The biggest issue with this film is that you spend the entire duration hoping for something original to happen, due to the fact that the story seems too familiar. I went from loving to disliking this film on multiple occasions, but I guarantee if you know that going in, you may just end up calling this a great horror film. When it comes to selling a horror flick to a mainstream audience, they will chuckle at any opportunity given to them. During my showing of Ouija: Origin of Evil, a few people were audibly heard laughing out loud at some of the surprises or lines of dialogue given by the little girl, played by Lulu Wilson. As the film progressed, those chuckles quickly turned into gasps and you could have heard a pin drop in the theatre. It does take about 20-30 minutes to really get into this film, but by the second and third acts you are hooked in for a very, very good horror film. With improved direction, cinematography, its classic horror feel, and performances that elevate the over-arching family dynamic, Ouija: Origin of Evil is one of the best horror films of 2016, and that is actually saying something, seeing as there have been quite a few good ones. Very solid horror film that I recommend to any fan of the genre.
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