creepy kids

[Movie Review] Ouija Origin of Evil (2016) ★★★★★

Doris looking though the glass hole of the planchette in Ouija Origin of Evil 2016

Ouija Origin of Evil conjures up terrifying scares and demonic terror. 

Ouija Origin of Evil is a supernatural occult horror film and a prequel to the failed film Ouija (2014). This prequel however deals with the Zander family that was  part of the cause for the sinister happenings in the first film. This sequel fared far better and is downright scary and a very well shot and told horror film to boot. With cinematography that has come straight out of the sixties, as well as the music score and set designs, clothing, behavior, this film feels as if it was made in the sixties. It truly honors that nostalgic feel and vibe. It has great jump scares, a creepy atmosphere, a creepy demon and a loving family at the core of the film that all together make up a very scary, nostalgic but fresh horror that is excellently executed. 

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It’s 1967 and Alice Zander has to raise 15 year-old Lina and 9 year-old Doris by herself after her husband Roger had died. Trying to get by, Alice holds fake seances and readings with the aid of Lina and Doris. To make it more interesting she buys an ouija board. But when Doris plays with it all by herself, she accidentally summons a demon-like spirit who taunts them and wants to possess Doris. 

Why you should watch it

Ouija Origin of Evil has a very simple premise, but is executed very craftily. The characters are all very likable. Mother Alice isn’t so much a con artist but someone who tries to make ends meet and comfort people, and who also have lost someone dear to them.  Alice knows exactly how they feel and wants to make them feel better, especially when they are nice people. Lina is a real teenager who tries to lead her own life with friends and a boyfriend Mickey and little Doris is just adorable. Despite their tragedy they have grown towards each other, but there still are some conflicts between them to make it more interesting. 

It all changes for the worse when Doris accidentally summons a demon-like spirit. The way they each deal with the ouija board and the supposed possession of Doris is handled by each of them in a different way. Doris doesn’t know what is happening to her, while Alice thinks Doris has a real gift and is now able to communicate with the dead and also with Roger. Lina is the only one who can see what is really happening and calls in the help of Father Tom. Each one of them acts very logically and natural according to their characters and their relationships with each other and with Roger. This sinister threat is therefore all the more tragic for Alice. 

The horror scenes are very creepy and build up towards a jump scare that or never comes or comes when you don’t expect it anymore. Either way the real jump scares are excellently timed and will definitely scare you. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time, while the characters are the anchors to the story. Lulu Wilson is amazing as the adorable yet creepy Doris and she steals every scene she’s in. Her vibe is perfect for this film. 

But there’s also a mystery that lies beneath it all. Every haunted house has secrets and hidden skeletons in the closet that can tell gruesome horrific stories. This film is no different. But this tragic tale has become violent and evil over the years and turns the lives of the Zander’s into a nightmarish hell. And drags everyone with it. 

The shots are great, especially the creepy shots are very original. But the whole cinematography, the way some shots are taken, the zooming in just how it was done back in the sixties. The filters, the colors, the soft focus, the techniques that were used are used now so it really adds to that sixties vibe. Even the cigarette burns at the corner of the film, to change the reel, are present to make you think it is actually a sixties film you are watching. Add to that the set design, the art decoration, the clothing, hair and make-up, the cars, everything looks like it has come straight out of that era. 

Ouija Origin of Evil recreates a nostalgic feel when innocence was still present. Both within Doris and the naive thinking about the supernatural. Although their fate is terrible and the horror gruesome it does have a nostalgic feel about times when things seemed more simple even when they were not. To let it take place in the sixties the scares get more focus and feel more real and urgent, because it takes you back, even if it only were metaphorical, to the era when horror was still scary. 

My favorite part

Well, without spoiling it, there’s one big jump scare that comes out of nowhere. We switch from a pressing conversation yet normal situation to something that will completely scare the hell out of you. Each time I watch it, I know it is coming, and still I’m startled every time. It’s such a creepy shot that warns your brain. But besides this amazing jump scare the whole film is absolutely well-crafted. The storyline, the structure, the tension buildup, the likable and believable characters, the cinematography it all comes together in a very disturbing yet tragic film. 


Rating: ★★★★★

Scare factor: ★★★★★

Nostalgic factor: ★★★★★

Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★

Cast and crew

Ouija Origin of Evil is directed and written by Mike Flanagan and cowritten by Jeff Howard. It stars Elizabeth Reaser (Alice Zander), Annalise Basso (Lina Zander), Lulu Wilson (Doris Zander), Parker Mack (Mikey), Henry Thomas (Father Tom) and Doug Jones (Ghoul Marcus).

Duration: 99 minutes. Music: The Newton Brothers. Cinematography: Michael Fimognari. Edited by: Mike Flanagan. Produced by: Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, Jason Blum, Brian Goldner, Stephen Davis. Production company: Allspark Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, Hasbro Studios, Platinum Dunes. Distributed by: Universal Pictures.

Check the trailer below

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