Following the sudden death of her best friend, Debbie (Shelley Hennig), Laine (Olivia Cooke) finds an antique Ouija board in Debbie’s room and tries to use it to say goodbye. Instead, she makes contact with a spirit that calls itself DZ. As strange events begin to occur, Laine enlists others to help her determine DZ’s identity and what it wants. As the friends delve deeper, they find that Debbie’s mysterious death was not unique, and that they will suffer the same fate unless they learn how to close the portal they’ve opened.
It’s been years since I’ve seen it but I remember Ouija to be one of the worst horror movies I’ve seen. Looking back at it, while it’s not absolutely painful to watch or anything, it’s really doesn’t have anything to offer, nothing scary or creepy, nothing intriguing, not even entertaining, intentional or not. It’s one of the most dull studio horror movies I’ve ever seen.
For a film about a Ouija board, the plot is so incredibly unimaginative and predictable, so much so that the prequel of the movie was actually much more interesting and better than the main plot that was written beforehand. Ouija is less than 90 minutes long and yet it actually feels pretty boring and drawn out. There is not much tension throughout the whole movie. Something weird that I’ve noticed it do than other horror movies is that in between these tense moments, the movie focuses on our main characters when they are in high school and during this, all the suspense is completely non-existent. Even in other mainstream generic horror movies, if they did this they would at least make an attempt at suspense, maybe even throw in a cheap scare. However, the characters go on with their lives acting like they aren’t in danger… because they really weren’t in danger. There isn’t particularly anything awful about the plot from what I recall but so much of it is forgettable and shockingly dull.
I’m not familiar with most of the cast, however I do know Olivia Cooke, who has proven herself to be a very great actress in films like Thoroughbreds, Ready Player One and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and to her credit she is good here. Definitely the best part of the movie. The rest of the cast aren’t really good but from my position, I can’t really put it as them being bad actors, none of the characters are particularly well written or given much to do really. They are just standard horror movie characters.
Director Stiles White has worked as a screenwriter and special effects person on other films, but Ouija is his directorial debut, and his work here was sub par. As expected, the scares are primarily are jumpscares with no good tension, even the jumpscares are somehow boring. While CGI isn’t used a ton, when it’s present, it looks quite bad. I can say that the cinematography was okay looking, but that’s usually to be expected when it comes to studio horror movies.
Dull, generic and unimaginative, Ouija is one of the worst studio horror movies I’ve seen yet. Aside from the fact that the movie can look good sometimes, Olivia Cooke’s performance is the only thing holding back this movie from being worse than it already is. The best think I can say about Ouija outside of those positives is that it would lead to the prequel, Ouija: Origin of Evil directed by Mike Flanagan, which actually was a pretty good horror movie. I guess if you want to see the movie that Origin of Evil would be based on, you might want to watch Ouija in preparation. Outside of that, there’s really nothing you could get from this movie.