The biggest shock about ‘Ouija’, the latest board-game-to-movie adaptation, might be that Hasbro, which produces the game in the US, took so long to make it happen. The spirit-summoning toy has already been employed successfully in a number of great movies (‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Paranormal Activity’). What’s left for the dead to say? Not much, it turns out.
After high school senior Debbie (Shelley Hennig) mysteriously dies, her BFF Laine (Olivia Cooke) convenes a séance. The interchangeable spooks the sceptical pals summon up are as stock as they come. If there’s any salvation, it’s that precious little effort is spent on the how or why of those supernatural shenanigans, leaving time for the film's ensemble of young people to lurk clumsily in the dark, waiting for unexpected crashes to startle them and send your popcorn flying.
A more self-conscious approach would have been to toss in a bit more gore (coming on home video, no doubt). Ultimately though, this officially sanctioned version fails to conjure psychological thrills or many decent scares. It says a lot that the grossest moment involves a character flossing – no gag, just flossing. Likewise, the candy stuck in your teeth will be the only thing that lingers after the credits roll.