Starring: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Darn Kagasoff
Directed by: Stiles White (debut)
Written by: Juliet Snowden (“The Possession”) and Stiles White (“Boogeyman”)
It might be based on a board game found in any local toy store, but moviegoers will be hard-pressed to find anything remotely entertaining about the horror movie “Ouija,” a dull and completely apathetic cash-grab for game maker Hasbro and Universal Pictures. Just in time for Halloween, terrible horror movies like “Ouija” might be enough for an indiscriminate 13 year old to enjoy, but teenagers are bound to get more scares walking through a high school haunted house run by the band booster.
After the mysterious death of their friend, a group of five high school students attempt to contact her via the Ouija board she apparently played before committing suicide. Best friend Laine Morris (Olivia Cooke), leads the group through the ritual, which ultimately awakens an evil spirit who begins to kill each teen one by one. It’s a hokey story with forgettable characters and situations seen countless time before in other shockingly bland contributions to the horror genre. In the case of “Ouija,” it is so generic, the actual Ouija board could’ve been replaced with just about anything (a demonic cell phone, a possessed antique heirloom, a pair of dirty underwear, perhaps) and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference in the narrative. Add an wise, old Latina maid who know exactly what is happening to the teens because, well, she’s a wise old Latina maid, and just about every other horror movie cliché you can possibly think of (“Come on you guys, who’s doing that?” a character asks when the Ouija board planchette starts moving), and “Ouija” is about as brainless as you can get.
Written by the duo that brought audiences a handful of other unwatchable horror movies like “The Possession” and “Boogeyman,” it really shouldn’t be a surprise how awful “Ouija” turned out to be. It’s more disappointing that this movie is actually going to make people money. In doing so, remember to look out for “Chutes and Ladders: Path to Hell” next October.