A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.
Twelve years after the tragic death of their little girl, a doll-maker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they become the target of the doll-maker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
In 1967 Los Angeles, a young widow named Alice Zander works out of her suburban home as a spiritual medium, accompanied by her daughters, 15-year-old Paulina "Lina" and 9-year old Doris. The family is still reeling over the recent death of Roger, Alice's husband and the kids' father. At Lina's suggestion, Alice incorporates a Ouija board into her readings. While trying out the board, she unknowingly contacts a spirit named Marcus that begins to possess Doris. Alice receives a notice that the bank intends to foreclose on their home. Doris contacts the board for help, believing she is communicating with her dead father. The spirit leads her to a secret compartment behind the basement wall containing a pouch of cash. When she gives the money to her mother, the family has an Ouija session, believing they can contact Roger. When the board answers a question only Roger would know the answer to, a thrilled Alice begins believing that they are in contact with her dead husband..
OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL is super creepy. And it has good amount of well-placed jump-scares to rattle even the toughest audiences. As a horror fan, I definitely enjoy this installment way better than its predecessor.
This is actually a prequel to the 2014 film, so they're taking this story back to the beginning; how it all started, with the same house but 50 years earlier. Elizabeth Reaser is a single mom raising her two daughters played by Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson. They run a seance scam business to make a living but when they unwittingly invite an evil spirit into their home which then possesses the youngest daughter, this becomes the struggle to save her and drive the demon away.
There's so much to like about OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL. Well, for one, it's set in the '60s, so that in and of itself provides a very interesting style in terms of the actors' outfit and hair, it's like watching 'Mad Men' all over again, I'll never get over how much effort people put into the clothes they wear just to go to the supermarket back in that era. There's also heart in this story, the kids lost their dad, the wife lost her husband, the priest lost his wife, and and so that hole in their souls forms a foundation for why each of them has a longing or desire to speak with their dead loved ones. The reason why they can be taken advantage of by the spirit, totally makes sense, because they are at the most vulnerable point in their lives and looking for answers, unable to let go.
And because this is a prequel, at the end you'll see how the story and the characters connect to the previous installment, I won't spoil it here for you, but you'll be able to make that connection without a problem. I think what essentially makes OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL scary is Lulu Wilson's character, Doris Zander. Horror genre has a history of little creepy kids doing bloody gory things on screen, but there's something in Lulu's performance in that she's able to get your guard down, so when the frightening moments do come in, they become all the more effective. And unexpectedly, I might add. You'll jitter, your pulse will keep pounding, you'll close your eyes with your hands but with a few fingers open, and all the while you feel for the struggle of this family, you're invested in them. OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL is one of this year's best horror films in my book.
-- Rama's Screen --
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