Weekender Bahrain, Thursday, January 17 2019

Ouija boards – a prop ‘underplayed’

admin 03-Nov-2016

Ouija boards – a prop ‘underplayed’

Horror movies are one genre which manages to attract a big audience to the screens. Because being scared out of our wits, glued to the edge of our seats as we peek at the screen to get a demonic sight, awaiting the spine-tingling sensation to take over, is something we look forward to every now and then (even those who deny scary movies is their cup of tea).
Ouija boards are something we all grew up being fascinated with; whether just a game or an actual portal to open the doors for the unworldly, the board has managed to attract the attention of thousands since its existence and it was bound to be used as the prop for a scary movie. When Ouija: Origin of Evil availed its first teaser, I let out a sign of relief; it didn’t seem to come anywhere close to its predecessor, the 2014 released ‘Ouija’. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with a bunch of hyped teenagers getting into trouble and then losing their lives in the process. This movie seems to be set in the 60’s and focuses on a small family of three people. I had high expectations and was hoping to get immersed into a conjuring-like experience, which unfortunately wasn’t meant to be, instead what I got was yet again, a clichéd narrative with ‘been there, done that’ enactments that tried hard to give a chill and didn’t try so hard to gel with the storyline.
The movie begins with viewers getting a look into a widowed mother living with her girls,   Lina (Annalise Basso) and the younger Doris (Lulu Wilson), in Los Angeles. The mother makes her living as a fake medium, though she insists she’s only trying to help people. And before we know it, a real ghost does enter the household through a Ouija board (no surprises there).  Taking possession of little Doris, we then we get a strong déjà vu experience as Doris brings back the bits and pieces of what provided extreme fame to Exorcist and Poltergeist- classics that highly depended upon giving eerie settings to the child stars of the production.
Ouija: Origin of Evil could have managed to make the best use of child actor ‘Lulu Wilson’. The girl was a hefty ball of talent who would have set the screen on fire; unfortunately neither she had the dialogues nor the scenes to have justified her plethora of impressive expressions and stronghold on dialogue delivery.  The film actually becomes more concerned with delivering a wide variety of familiar scares than generating suspense; originality lacked  and one wonders what convinced  director ‘Mike Flanagan’  to ride down the easy and familiar road. However some clever thought was put into tying this film to its predecessor and while the uneven script, which Flanagan co-wrote with partner Jeff Howard, brings in some cheap jump scares and claustrophobic angles of shot, it does manage to feature some crisp dialogues and good acting from the actors. Could have been a lot more but fails, however when stacked to the previous Ouija, Origin of Evil is still a significant step forward.

Scary Moments