Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
Equal parts horror masterclass and internal home-invasion thriller, “Ouija” is as chilling and nerve-racking as they come. It’s a sort of cinematic heart attack — irreparably damaging to the body and mind, with a slow recovery time.
Infused with psychological complexity and nuanced characterizations, Ouija: Origin of Evil falters only in the final section.
“Ouija” is genuinely frightening and smart, the rare horror prequel able to stand on its own merits and deliver a full-bodied story that succeeds without any previous knowledge or trappings. However, in outfitting this particular haunted house with monsters to spare, Flanagan loses the thread of what’s really scary: Everything we can’t see.
After an hour or so spent establishing characters worth caring about, the narrative starts to devolve, and the more the film circles back to the mythology of “Ouija,” the sillier it gets. Much like the characters at its center, this prequel can’t outrun the ghosts of its past.
Slant Magazine
The film complements its goose-pimply frights with an unabashedly naked emotional gravitas.
Origin of Evil takes a while to get going, and the demonic possession plot pretty much runs on rails. And yet there’s plenty to admire here: strong performances (‘ET’ legend Henry Thomas is a welcome sight as a kindly priest), top-notch jump-scares and some unexpectedly lovely, almost ‘Far From Heaven’-ish autumnal photography.
It’s still no scarier than any branded content, and perhaps only the most lukewarm slumber party would truly need it. Yet if you were to ask whether Origin of Evil offers a better quality of timewasting than its predecessor, my finger would hover inexorably over YES.
Ouija: Origin Of Evil would have been better than Ouija with even a quarter of the screams evoked, which makes the tremendous jump in quality quite refreshing despite derivative storytelling.
Unlike the stock teenagers of Ouija, the Zander family are likeable and convincing. Scares are still rudimentary, but rooted in a sharper script.
Ouija: Origin of Evil offers some easy scares and cheesy fun, but if nothing else, it gets points for not losing sight of its characters amidst those scares.

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