Blumhouse Productions gave us Ouija (review HERE); a decent supernatural yarn that most people shit on, but that we didn't hate. As bland and formulaic as it was, it got enough things right to keep us entertained.
Two years later, they've given us Ouija: Origin of Evil; a sequel that no one in their right mind wanted. Given the fact that the first movie wasn't stellar, and that the trailer for this prequel made us cringe a little bit, we figured that this new Ouija movie was destined to make our Worst of 2016 list...
But holy shit, it was actually a pretty damned good movie.
|OH, PEOPLE, WHEN WILL YOU EVER LEARN...|
|REMEMBER THE RULES FROM THE FIRST MOVIE? WELL, MOM BREAKS #3.|
It's a prequel, you know it doesn't end well.
|NOPE, NOT WELL AT ALL.|
Somehow though, the guy who gave us two other movies we really liked -Oculus (review HERE), and Hush (review HERE)- has managed to make craft a solid sequel (prequel, really) to a movie that should have never been given a sequel to begin with. His name is Mike Flanagan, and let me tell you that as much as we've dug his work up until this point, the fact that he could turn a disposable series like Ouija around like this and make it respectable makes us believe that he's the real deal.
The story here is compelling; it's got some genuine emotional beats; its characters are likable and relatable; its scary in the right ways; and even though it falls back on a few typical gags (like that damn stretching mouth thing that has been in 496 Horror movies since 2010), it felt fresh and original. Or at the very least, i wasn't business as usual for a PG-13 Horror flick of this type.
The cast was solid as hell here too. Elizabeth Reaser was great as the mom not only trying to raise her kids all by her lonesome in 1967, but to save them from evil spirits to boot. Annalise Basso (who also starred in Flanagan's Oculus) is a name to watch too, as she played the typical "teen daughter" role in a completely un-annoying way, which is saying something. The real standout here though was young Lulu Wilson, who played the role of the possessed Doris with skill well beyond her years. Honestly, the kid was so good and creepy in this one that we actually want to see Annabelle 2 now, just because she's going to be in it.
|YEAH, HOW MANY TIMES DO MOVIES REALLY NEED TO USE THIS SAME GAG?|
|NOPE. NOT HAPPENING.|
|OH, THERE SHE IS.|
|THAT LOOKS PAINFUL.|
|MOM WAS A QT THOUGH.|
|DUDE, SHE'S JUST A KID!|
This is theatrical, PG-13 Horror done right.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is in theaters now.