One would think that a movie made by the people who brought you THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and INSIDIOUS, would be terrifying. That, sadly wasn't the case with OUIJA.
OUIJA is out in theaters today, but I saw it late last night and man was I geared up for a fright fest. Instead what I got was a predictable plot, with decent enough acting, and a few jump scares. Of course I have a very low startle threshold, so you can get me with a jump scare fairly easy – I was the only one in the theater even remotely moved by these few and far between moments.
A group of relative no-names bring together the cast of OUIJA. The biggest names being Shelley Henning, best known for her current role on TEEN WOLF, and Daren Kagasoff best known for his role on THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER. I was worried a bit about Daren, since I've not seen him in anything else but SECRET LIFE, but was pleasantly surprised.
In OUIJA, teen Debbie (Shelley Henning) seemingly commits suicide and in the wake of her death her family moves away, leaving the care of their house to her best friend, Laine (Olivia Cooke). Laine of course knows there's something more going on, and when searching her house, stumbles upon a Ouija Board and evidence that Debbie had been playing alone. The rules of the game state that you should never play alone. Something dark is released into the house when Laine insists on using the board to communicate with Debbie, to get answers. As you would imagine, kids start dropping like flies in the most predictable of ways.
Like most movies these days, all the best parts are in the preview – and this part…
…where Laine's misfit sister (pegged the misfit in the most cliché of ways: vague reference to her past, no actual backstory, sneaking out once with someone Laine doesn't approve of but no reason is given, and she's dressed differently that Laine's friends) says "It's just a game" in a weird possessed voice with those creepy eyes – isn't even in the movie. Her role as the misfit was clearly put in to connect with teens, but is otherwise useless to the plot 100%
People will likely flock in, again because of the creators of the movie, hoping to be scared stupid – but honestly the most frightening part of the evening for me was walking to my car after, since movie theaters don't find it necessary to keep the parking lot lights on until all the movies are over for some reason. Geared toward teens, I'm calling this a Training-Wheels horror movie. Want to dip your toe into the pool of horror flicks, start here. I would suggest waiting this one out until it's in Red Box, it wasn't worth the $10.50 I paid to see it opening night.