According to Wikipedia.org, the “Ouija” board or more popularly known as the “Spirit Boards” are a wooden or plastic boards which have the English alphabets, the numbers 0 to 9 and the words yes, no and goodbye written on them with a pointing appendage which is used as a pointer. These boards are used by both commoners as well as occultists to make contact with spirits. While many look at it as a mare form of entertainment or parlor trickery, there are those who believe in its power and feel that they have led to numerous demoniac possessions. The believers are also of the opinion that these boards should be kept out of reach of the commoners.
The film Ouija draws on these myths and realities and creates a rather interesting story which coupled with its rather short runtime is able to keep you interested. We expect less form films of these sorts and so more often than not, they end up entertaining us. The story revolves around two college friends who have been playing the Ouija from childhood but nothing sinister has happened to them. Many years later, one of the girls ends up discovering another similar board which she fatefully uses alone bringing in something into her life that she cannot explain.
The girl ends up killing herself which makes her distraught friend ask questions as to what could have led to her sudden death. Five of her closest friends decide to play the game once again and summon her spirit which would then help them to unravel the truth. They are able to unlock a spirit which turns out to be someone else and who has a plan of her own. Soon the friends start ending up dead one by one with absolutely no clue on how to stop the carnage.
Ouija starts off slow and boring but gathers momentum towards the second half when the chips start falling at the right places. There are some pretty scary scenarios which will make you jump out of your seats. The story remains acceptable for a large part which also helps the film. The climax is well done and it is bound to scare you. One thing however goes without saying that the scares are very generic and even though they are scary, you have seen them all before. But that is also the fun of horror films. You tend to get scared even by what you have seen before unlike any other genre.
The performance by the cast is routine. There is particularly nothing to rave about. The actors need to look scared and that exactly what they do. Some fail at junctures thus liquefying the effects of otherwise what could have been interesting scenes. There are some who are more convincing at looking scared than the other and that is what is to be judged in this film. Olivia Cooke does a good as the main protagonist. I liked her performance in the film “The Quite Ones” where she really was challenged to show some acting guile but here she seems to be given a role which required a lot less acting histrionics which makes her life a lot easier. Ana Coto is the next most noticeable even though she has little to do.
Technically, Ouija is right up there with the rest of the horror films of its likelihood and leaves nothing to be desired. The film is scary in parts like I mentioned before and that is for the good visual effects, sound design and the buildup. It can be an enjoyable affair if you are willing to accept it for what it is and not expect a lot from it. This is the kind of film which will keep the horror fans engaged while another “Conjuring” or “Insidious” is made.