The biggest shock about Ouija, the latest board-game-to-movie adaptation, might be that Hasbro took so long to make it happen. The spirit-summoning parlor toy has already been employed successfully in a number of quite good movies (The Exorcist and Paranormal Activity come to mind). What’s left for the dead to say? Not much, it turns out.
After model high-school senior Debbie (Shelley Hennig) mysteriously dies, bestie Laine (Olivia Cooke) convenes a séance in hopes of reconnecting with her pal. The skeptical crew might as well have been playing Mad Libs, because the interchangeable spooks they conjure 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 double down on those payoffs and 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 earnest 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.
|Release date:||Friday October 24 2014|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Stiles White, Juliet Snowden|