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Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

Ouija | Olivia Cooke, Shelley Hennig, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Bianca Santos | Review

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3 Chicks Small Jacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
http://www.lasvegasroundtheclock.com
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for Lasvegasroundtheclock.com
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Ouija | Olivia Cooke, Shelley Hennig, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Bianca Santos | Review

If only there was a bit of surprise, a change-up of some kind.  Perhaps that would have made a difference.  Instead, Ouija covers no new ground in its exploration of the effect the supernatural board game and a load of bad decisions have on the part of a group of attractive teens.

When Debbie (Shelley Hennig) commits a puzzling suicide, her friends, led by Laine (Olivia Cooke) hold a séance to contact her with what else? the spirit board (Ouija) found in her house.  Parents are conveniently out of town. Doors close by themselves.  The board itself looks old fashioned and malevolent, its large planchette (meaning “little plank”, the thing you rest your fingers on that sweeps across the letters) made of splintered wood.

The group of friends (Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith and Bianca Santos) are reluctant to pursue the entity after finding out that 1. it’s NOT Debbie, and 2. it does NOT like them.  Too late; they’ve already pissed it off.

A series of events unfold that claim more lives, after explorations of deep dark places with faltering flashlights point to a sinister crime from the past, of which there is one lone survivor that must be tracked down and interviewed.  Sound familiar? Yes.  Scary?  By this time, no.

There are some effective moments, but they add up to only a tiny percentage of the 89-minute run time.  The rest of the film is spent in clichéd scenarios (someone investigates a strange noise, shutting off lights instead of flipping them on; a necessary but grisly task is done at night instead of daytime; an invisible force drags a victim across the floor).

You may however, never look at tooth floss the same way again.

Directed by writer/special effects coordinator Stiles White (The Possession, The Sixth Sense) in his feature film debut, Ouija’s production value and cast aren’t bad at all, but the material is uninspired and dull, requiring a significant amount of viewer patience to make it through the requisite series of events that any logical person would have approached differently i.e. don’t go into a spooky situation as a group, and then split up.

Relying on loud music blasts and startling false-starts (you know, when a strange presence suddenly appears around a dark corner and it turns out to be a clueless friend) most of the “scares” elicit chuckles instead of chills.

To sum up, Ouija – bored.

 

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