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Movie Review: 'Ouija'

Ouija
A; Horror/thriller
Director: Stiles White
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Bianca A Santos
Stars: 

Thanks to the success of films like Insidious and The Conjuring, the horror genre has got a new lease of life over the past few years. While this has a good side effect — we have had good horror movies like Sinister — there has been a massive downside as well, a glut of really crappy horror movies. The latest case in point is Ouija.

Believe it or not, Ouija is based on the board game of the same name by Hasbro. The fact that someone managed to make a movie based on a board game is audacious in itself. It happened before in Battlefield, so it’s not exactly new. And just like that movie, Ouija is a stunningly crummy piece of mediocrity.

The plot is as simple as it gets. A group of friends Laine (Olivia Cooke), Pete (Douglas Smith), Trevor (Daren Kagasoff), Sarah (Ana Coto), and Isabelle (Bianca A. Santos) get together to use the Ouija board for calling the spirit of their dead friend, Debbie, who killed herself a very few months ago. As expected, a lot of spooky stuff takes place and they manage to get in touch with a malevolent entity, instead of their friend. Everything about this entity is cringe inducingly clichéd — the back story involves mental asylums, child murders and gory dead bodies. You can smell the ending coming from a mile away.

Are the scares at least effective? Not the least bit. The bump in the dark and jump scares get really old, really fast. There is no ingenuity to the scares and their setups, nor is there any payoff for the string of long winded ‘tense’ scenes that make you anticipate some scary jolt. It doesn’t help that the acting is as sub par; in fact, calling it that would be giving the actors a lot of credit. The characters too are cardboard, and the only mildly likable person in the movie is Olivia Cooke, probably because of her presence in Bates Motel. The scariest thing in this movie is the promise of a sequel, and the prospect of more such films to hit the screens.

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