Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Ouija: Origin of Evil


Summary: In Los Angeles in 1967, a widowed “spirit medium” named Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) lives with her two daughters Paulina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson) and pretends to talk to people’s dearly departed to help bring them closure and solace. But things change when, on Paulina’s suggestion, Alice buys a Ouija board for more variety and discovers that Doris can actually use it to channel the dead. The business starts thriving and even the local priest, Father Tom (Henry Thomas), begins to take notice of the whole affair, particularly the mother. Everything seems to be going well, but it soon becomes clear that Doris might be channeling something very evil that is slowly taking hold of her, putting everyone in danger.

Review: Ouija: Origin of Evil is the prequel to a movie from a few years ago that got savaged by the critics. So it’s surprising that this movie is so amazing. It’s truly a standout horror experience of the year. It’s hard to know where to start, from the very human and relatable characters to the detailed shots with important things happening in the background to the creepy visuals to how it ignores the usual horror cliches for a truly unique experience.

The actor who plays Doris is astounding, able to seamlessly go from a sweet child to a creepy hell girl. In fact, all of the characters are acted superbly and are decent people to boot, side characters included. They aren’t nasty to each other and when they do fight, they talk it out to show that this is coming from a very personal place. A lot of horror nowadays try to make their protagonists unlikable so that people can cheer on the “awesome” deaths they receive. The important thing these movies forget is that if the characters aren’t likable, it’s not going to have an impact when things go wrong for them. So horribly, horribly wrong…

There aren’t much in the way of practical effects, but the CGI scares fit because it make the monster (and no duh, there’s a creature/demon/whatever in this movie) look like an otherworldly presence that just doesn’t belong here. The movie makes heavy use of uncanny visuals like the possessed people’s faces stretching and contorting to the monster’s eyes looking like… no… no, those are not eyes…

Talk about making lemons out of lemonade; the prequel to a Hasbro licensed movie that no one asked for had no right to be as good as it is. Where Battleship was stiff, lifeless, and laughable, Ouija: Origin of Evil was organic, full of frights, and just good. And hey, a horror movie that came out near Halloween! What a concept! (Seriously, all the horror movies I reviewed opened before October. What’s up with that?) Suffice to say, this Halloween treat was better than I hoped and it almost makes me want to see the original.


Fun Tidbit: In the beginning of the movie, Alice is talking with a client and looking at subtle facial clues before telling him things about his dead wife. This is a real life technique called cold reading that many mediums use. How it works is that the user starts with a vague detail and lets the client fill in the rest, relying on body language and other cues to fill in more details. If they get something wrong, they can chalk it up to a bad spiritual connection or something similar to what they were saying.

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