REVIEW: OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL

CAST

Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight)
Annalise Basso (Oculus)
Lin Shaye (Critters 2)
Lulu Wilson (Annabelle 2)
Henry Thomas (ET)
Parker Mack (Faking It)
Halle Charlton (W.I.L.D.)
Alexis G. Zall (Laid In America)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Kate Siegel (Hush)
Sam Anderson (Angel)
Chelsea Gonzalez (Criminal Minds)
John Prosky (True Blood)

Set in 1967 Los Angeles, a widow named Alice Zander works out of her suburban home as a spiritual medium, accompanied by her daughters, 15-year-old Paulina “Lina” and 9-year old Doris; although they stage their seances, Alice’s real intent is to help people move on. The family is still reeling over the recent death of Roger, Alice’s husband and the kids’ father. After Lina suggests that Alice incorporate a Ouija board into her readings, Alice does so, and unknowingly contacts a spirit named Marcus that begins to possess Doris. This is breaking one of the three rules: never play alone, never play in a graveyard, and always say goodbye.
Alice receives a foreclosure note, meaning they may lose their house. Doris contacts the board for help, believing she is communicating with her dead father, and the spirit leads her to a secret compartment behind the basement wall containing a pouch of cash. Doris, breaking another of the three rules, forgets to say goodbye to the spirits. When she gives the money to her mother, the family has a Ouija session, believing they can contact Roger. When the board answers a question only Roger would know the answer to, a thrilled Alice begins believing that they are in contact with her dead husband.
Soon, Doris becomes possessed by a shadowy spirit. Lina, who is becoming disturbed by the changes in her sister, finds papers written by Doris in fluent Polish, a language she does not know, and brings them to Father Tom to translate. Troubled, Father Tom visits them for a Ouija session under the pretense of contacting his dead wife Gloria. Although the session appears to be successful, Father Tom later explains to Alice and Lina that Doris did not contact Gloria. Instead, for every question he asked, she read his thoughts and repeated the answers he was thinking in his mind. He reveals that the pages are entries written by a Polish immigrant named Marcus, who was taken captive during World War II by a sadistic doctor who conducted experiments on him and other captives inside the house’s basement. These spirits knew answers that only Roger would know because they have been watching the family since the day they moved in.
Meanwhile, Doris kills Lina’s boyfriend Mikey and she hangs his body. Upon seeing this, Father Tom, Alice, and Lina burn the Ouija board downstairs. When Father Tom discovers skeletal remains in the basement wall, they realize that they have been using the Ouija board in a graveyard all this time. Father Tom finds the secret room where the experiments were conducted, and is possessed by the spirits. He attacks Alice and Lina, but momentarily seizes clarity, only to be killed by Doris. Alice is captured, while Roger’s spirit carries an unconscious Lina to her bed. Lina wakes up and recalls an earlier moment where her doll’s mouth was stitched by her father’s spirit “to shut out the voices”, realizing that she must sew Doris’ mouth shut to quiet the spirits’ voices and stop the evil. During the struggle, she successfully sews Doris’ mouth shut and Doris dies, reuniting with her father. After this, Lina is temporarily possessed and stabs Alice. While dying, Alice sees Roger and Doris together, and happily joins them, leaving behind a sobbing Lina.
Two months later, Lina remains committed in a mental hospital for the suspected murder of her mother. She is interviewed by a doctor and is unable to say what happened to Doris’ body, but states that she, Lina, will never be alone again. She tries summoning her sister inside her cell and the doctor watches, unbeknownst that the possessed Doris skitters across the ceiling towards him. In a post-credits scene set in the present, a now elderly Lina remains in the asylum and receives a visit from someone claiming to be her niece.Altogether I really enjoyed Ouija: Origin of Evil. In a world where good horror films are becoming rarer and rarer we have to stop and truly appreciate the great ones that do come along. This was certainly one of them. Keep churning out films please Mr Flanagan.

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31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: OUIJA

CAST

Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel)
Ana Coto (Disconnected)
Daren Kagasoff (Delirium)
Bianca A. Santos (The Duff)
Douglas Smith (Big love)
Shelley Hennig (The Secret Circle)
Lin Shaye (Insidious)
Matthew Settle (I Still Know What You Did Last Summer)

Ouija is a 2014 American supernatural horror-thriller film directed by Stiles White and co-written by White and Juliet Snowden. The film stars Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith and Bianca A. Santos.

The film opens with a young Laine Morris and Debbie Galardi playing with a Ouija board in Laine’s room, only to be interrupted by Laine’s sister Sarah. The scene then forwards to present day, where Debbie (Shelley Hennig) is playing with the board by herself and is so unnerved by what she experiences that she tries to burn the board and planchette before calling Laine (Olivia Cooke). Concerned, Laine comes over but is sent away by Debbie, who goes upstairs only to find the board on her bed. Her eyes turn white and she hangs herself. The following day, Laine is with her boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff) at a diner, where they meet up with their friend Isabelle (Bianca A. Santos).

Laine receives a text and goes home, learning of Debbie’s death. After the funeral, Laine finds Debbie’s Ouija board and decides to gather Sarah, Trevor, Isabelle, and Debbie’s boyfriend Pete (Douglas Smith) to hold a seance. They make contact with someone who is identified as D, who Laine immediately believes is Debbie. Despite this, the group is too frightened to continue playing. A couple nights later, they’re drawn back to the board after each person finds the message “hi friend” in various locations. Upon further interaction with the board, the group discovers that the spirit is not Debbie. Laine looks through the planchette and sees a young girl with her mouth stitched closed, who then warns the group to run from her mother. The group heads home, only for a malicious spirit to follow Isabelle and murder her.

Trevor and Laine research Debbie’s house and find that a young girl was placed in a mental institution after killing her mother, who she claims killed her sister, Doris. The two travel to the institution and meet Paulina Zander, who states that their mother killed Doris and sewed her mouth shut because she believed that spirits were trying to communicate through her. Trevor and Laine head home and unleash the spirits of Doris and Mrs. Zander. Doris overcomes her mother and the group believes that everything has been resolved. Unfortunately, this is not true as Pete is later killed by Doris.

Laine confronts Paulina about this, only to realize that Doris and Paulina were the evil ones and that Mrs. Zander was trying to stop them. Laine’s grandmother tells them that the only way to stop the ghost is to burn Doris’s body and the Ouija board. Trevor is also killed before Sarah manages to locate the corpse. Both Sarah and Laine are attacked by Doris and it is only through the intervention of Debbie’s spirit that the girls survive and manage to burn Doris’s corpse and the Ouija board, destroying Doris. The two sisters return home, only for Laine to find the planchette waiting for her in her room.

Ouija is a great horror, but went so underrated by many horror fans.