Ouija: Origin of Evil online movie review - OUIJA Franchise Is Manumitted by Mike Flanagan
Ouija Board has gained certain religious veto with the passing of the years, given that the game designed by Hasbro company by the end of the 19th century with a child guidance, became in a spiritual communicator between the world of the living and the dead.
These superstitions around the "game" were calamitously squandered for Universal in 2014 with a film that directly pointed to NO. The equivalent to a creative disaster of horror genre was showed two years ago, however, with a minimum-budget of $5 million dollar, earned around $103,590,271 million, anything unusual with Blumhouse Productions as production company. Because of tremendous economic success which reached such film, a continuation was unavoidable , the surprising thing was that the start with a clean slate produced a frightening prequel, one of the best in the genre so far this year.
"Origin of Evil" takes place in 1967 Los Angeles and tells the backstory of Lina Zander, the character played by Lin Shaye in the first movie. The Zander family is going through an economic, sentimental and labor standstill following the father's death, Roger (Michael Weaver), who died in a car accident. Trying to evade economic suffocation, the family does fake seances in order to help people to contact deceased beloved ones. With a complex and disturbing indication mechanism, they simulate a true communication, achieving give an unfounded peace message to melancholic clients. Despite realistic effect, Alice (Elizabeth Reaser), now family's pillar, decides to add a new element to the spiritism circus, this is where the OUIJA board comes into play. Doris (Lulu Wilson), the youngest daughter, connects to what she thinks is the spirit of her dad, nonetheless, once it has shown clement and reliable, things become sinister because of the fatal oversight of the three main rules: 1. Never play alone, 2. Do not play in a graveyard and 3. Always say goodbye, remember: OUIJA knows all the answers.
All starts well from the opening of throwback Universal Pictures logo, which radiates nostalgia and memories in equal parts. Watching again the company logo for the 70's evokes pure sentimentality for those movies that really established the filmic foundations. Together with the emblem, oval and white marks in the upper-right corner of the screen, giving the appearance that the film is still projected in the old format, providing empathy with the context of the story.
Director and co-writer Mike Flanagan together with Jeff Howard conceived a greater story in all respects to the first film. As it is a prequel, it is not prescriptive that you know the forgettable initial story, since the task of this film is to lay the groundwork for Laine Morris' story . In addition to serving as main common with the terrible predecessor, it does not show unilateral nor empty characters, but delivers measured and sumptuous dialogs (monologue by Doris) and well-positioned plot twists. Flanagan and Howard are primarily concerned to initiate a solid connection between main roles with the audience, then hold on us to our seats with calamities suffering them throughout the full-length film. It provides formulaic and common few scares that debilitate what has been achieved, nevertheless, it is remunerated with practical and original jump-scares supported with exaggerated special effects, which overdo the movie of fictions, however, many of them work with the unexpected ending - unpredictable if you were not thinking in Lina's life from the first film.
In general, performances are permissible and even electrifying because of the consistent link generated in the first half with the affable characters. Doris, the younger star, performs the role debut of her career in great style, shines with her own light and joins the clan of promising girls in horror (Isabelle Fuhrman, Madison Wolfe, Heather Sossaman). Besides, Basso delivers what we must perceive of her character, a girl who is in physical and sexual awakening, Reaser, an enterprising mother and Thomas, a priest who must prevent a tragedy.
One of the most curious and iterative aspects are its references to classics as modern as ancient. Among these are William Friedkin's "The Exorcist," "The Conjuring" by James Wan, "Oculus" and "Hush", these last two were directed by Flanagan. It extracts helpful techniques and visual pieces, in which predominate faithful and precise touch at the end of the 60's, cars according to the epoch, clothes not so sinister but appropriate and an alarming soundtrack.
Flanagan does not renovate horror genre with "Origin of Evil", but gives a new direction to the franchise, a glittering direction pointing directly to YES. We must keep a close eye on the career of this director, who promises much in atmospheres, stories and settings. Perfect for Halloween, perfect for the loyal horror fans, "OUIJA" only is for a demanding public.