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Ouija: Origin of Evil

3 out of 5 stars

A prequel to the popular horror movie about a demonic ouija board

Tom Huddleston

Time Out says

It’s easy to forget that, commercially speaking, the Ouija board is just another game, packaged and sold by toy manufacturer Parker Brothers alongside Monopoly and Cluedo. Which makes ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ little more than an extended, expensive, uncommonly well-made commercial. Still, it’s probably one of the first in history to suggest that the product it’s flogging might result in the violent deaths of your entire family.

A prequel to the moderately successful 2014 horror ‘Ouija’, ‘Origin of Evil’ is set in 1967, the year after Parker snapped up the Ouija franchise and began marketing it to tremulous teens across America. Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) is an LA medium whose priority is to bring comfort to the grieving, aided by her school-age daughters Paulina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson). But when she purchases a Ouija board, Alice accidentally summons evil spirits and... well, you can guess the rest.

‘Origin of Evil’ takes a while to get going, and the demonic possession plot pretty much runs on rails. And yet there’s plenty to admire here: strong performances (‘ET’ legend Henry Thomas is a welcome sight as a kindly priest), top-notch jump-scares and some unexpectedly lovely, almost ‘Far From Heaven’-ish autumnal photography. But it's unlikely to have you rushing down to the nearest board game stockist.

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 21 October 2016
  • Duration:99 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Mike Flanagan
  • Screenwriter:Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
  • Cast:
    • Annalise Basso
    • Elizabeth Reaser
    • Henry Thomas
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