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"Ouija: Origin of Evil"- Everything the lame-brained and poorly made original was not. Atmospheric, well-paced and lovingly crafted with taste and thoughtfulness.
Perhaps the most shocking and surprising treat of the 2016 Halloween season is director Mike Flanagan's prequel tale "Ouija: Origin of Evil"- a skillfully crafted, tasteful and highly atmospheric follow- up to the disastrously bad 2014 thriller "Ouija." It's frankly stunning just how good a film Flanagan was able to build from such a poor foundation, weaving a tale that honestly not only runs laps around it's far inferior predecessor... but honestly made me completely forget about what came before. In my mind, "Ouija" will be a forgotten victim of studio greed, while this prequel will stand tall as the "true" film based on the iconic and controversial board-game of terror.

In the 1960's, widow Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) works as a fortune teller out of her home, staging false séances with the help of her teenage daughter Paulina (Annalise Basso) and younger child Doris. (Lulu Wilson) After purchasing a Ouija board as a new gimmick for her work, Alice does not notice that Doris has become overtaken by a deranged and mysterious force associated with the board, instead believing that her young daughter's newfound abilities and knowledge of things she could not possibly know are signs that unlike her, Doris is a real medium. However, as Doris' abilities become gradually all the more powerful and sinister, Alice and Paulina must band together to try and break her free from the devious spirits of the past that have taken ahold of her physical form...

Flanagan directs from a script co-written by Jeff Howard, and much like his wonderful previous efforts "Oculus" and "Hush", here he continues to shine as one of the finest new voices in horror. There's a certain sense of taste and thoughtfulness he injects into his work, as he takes his time to try and establish strong character and interpersonal relationships, in addition to identifiable human drama which helps to accentuate the fear that builds. He also just knows how to deliver a darned good scare- a skill he uses expertly throughout the entire runtime here to build a great sense of foreboding dread.

The performances are all stellar as well, helping to add to the film's high quality and impact. Elizabeth Reaser is fantastic as the mother Alice, and you really get a feel for a person lost after the death of their beloved spouse who is trying to hold it together for the sake of her children. Wilson is a great new Doris and does remarkably well for an actress of such a young age. Supporting roles by the likes of Henry Thomas are all uniformly strong and help to round out the cast in likable performances. And Annalise Basso steals the show as Paulina (also known as "Lina"), who becomes our main focus and is a strong presence on-screen. At only 17 years old, Basso is definitely one to keep an eye on in the future. She possesses talent far beyond her years, and is the beating heart of the film as a sister and daughter struggling to help her sibling and mother from the forces at play- both supernatural and emotional.

The film does falter at times a bit, which is where it loses points. Despite the first film being decidedly very poor by comparison, this film does a bit of distracting ret-con work that may bother those who are familiar with the original. Some major details of the backstory and rules are changed, which made it feel a bit inorganic as a continuation. It's also a bit too heavy on the scares up- front, which lessened their impact. I would have preferred more slow a buildup. And it does lack some drama since this is a prequel and you'll be able to guess some of what happens based on this fact.

Still, that cannot stop this from being a darned good and very well- assembled supernatural horror. It's not one of the best horror films ever made by any means, but it's a solid and highly entertaining thriller boasting some heart, some good scares and a great cast. This is the movie you've been waiting for if you've wanted to see a movie based around the idea of the dreaded Ouija board. My advice? Skip out on the first film and just watch this as a stand-alone. It's far more rewarding an experience than the awful original could ever hope to be.

I give "Ouija: Origin of Evil" a strong 8 out of 10. If you're open minded, be sure to give it a shot, especially if the last one let you down. Take it from me... this is a very pleasant surprise.
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This prequel has no business being as good as it is.
Matt_Layden3 January 2017
This prequel has no business being as good as it is. The first Ouija film came out in 2014 and quickly faded away into obscurity. So imagine my surprise when they decide to make a 'prequel' of all things. I hunch is that The Conjuring films have been pretty successful and they are set in the 70's, when things were a little creepier, no cell phones and genuine scary aesthetic. Imagine my surprise again when up and coming horror filmmakers Mike Flanagan was the man behind the camera. The underrated mirror horror flick Oculus and deaf home invasion flick Hush were two of his recent outings. Things were looking not too bad for this flick and to top it off, it received some pretty decent reviews.

Alice and her two daughters run a scam business in which they "speak to the dead". The mother justifies this business by telling her youngest daughter, Doris, that it helps people move on and get closure. When her eldest, Lina, plays the new Ouija boardgames at a friends house, she tells her mother to incorporate it into her act. She does and things take a sinister turn when they scam becomes reality.

It's hard to make a game board scary. The first film tried, failed and this one tries and succeeds for the most part. Any non-horror fan might balk at the idea that this film is good, but I consider this movie to be one of the most underrated flicks of the year. Flanagan knows how to build solid tension and he doesn't rely on cheap scares or an obscene amount of gore. This film has none of that. Careful framework and lighting is all he needs to create an unsettling atmosphere. Whenever someone decides to look through the ouija glass piece, you feel yourself tense up expecting something to happen.

Kids in horror films are the go to for anything scary. Most movies tend to cast children horribly and they end of ruining the film. Doris, played by Lulu Wilson delivers an innocent and somewhat chilling performance as the youngest daughter. Her goodbye message to a young boy about what it feels like to be strangled to death is an excellent scene to send chills down your spine. No scary images, sounds or blood needed. Just a child delivering one monologue about suffocating you.

Obviously the film is far from perfect, but it doesn't cater to the happy ending crowd either. It takes some chances and for the most part, lands them. I was surprised by how much I liked this film, which may be why the rating is higher than what others would tend to give a film like this. Had the first film never existed, this would be a bigger hit.
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Better Than The First
benjaminryder-4594016 July 2019
It's rare to find a sequel that surpasses the first these days, but Ouija: Origin of Evil manages to just that. Not that it was a very tough feat considering the original was one of the most lame-brained movies I've seen in a while, but Origin of Evil improves upon its predecessor tenfold - just not enough to make it really worthwhile.

It's obvious that Mike Flannigan is on his way to becoming one of our true masters of horror, but this film seems more like a paycheck movie for him and it shows. He does the best he can with the tepid material, but ends up using the old "distorted faces/mouths with rolled back eyes" effect a few too many times and it quickly becomes tedious.

Like all of Flannigan's films, it's wonderfully well cast and beautifully put together. I just wish they'd spent a little bit more time with the script. You might be better off watching Flannigan's Hush, Absentia, Gerald's Game, Occulus, or The Haunting of Hill House.
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shockingly pretty good
SnoopyStyle21 November 2017
It's 1967 Los Angeles. Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) runs a crooked spiritual reading business out of her home. She uses her daughters Lina (Annalise Basso) and younger Doris (Lulu Wilson) in operating her scams. They incorporate an Ouija board into their production. While trying to contact the girls' dead father, Doris seems to make real contact. Father Tom (Henry Thomas) is the headmaster of the girls' school. Mikey (Parker Mack) has a crush on Lina.

Surprise! This is actually good. It is well-made. The characters are well-drawn and well-acted. I wouldn't say that this is breaking down any new walls but there is good in doing good work. I do have a couple of small nitpicks. For some reason, Alice and Father Tom go out for what looks like a fancy dinner. It almost looks like a date if it weren't for the characters. Second, I would keep the possibility that Doris is scamming everyone until further into the movie. It would be nice to have Father Tom uncover the whole situation as a reveal. The good are the actors, the mood, the simple premise, and good construction. It's a shocker that this is all pretty good.
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A pretty captivating little horror flick, and beautifully shot
randymcbeast8 January 2017
I wasn't really expecting much from this one. The IBDb rating was pretty low, the title is a bit cheesy, and the writers, directors and cast are not exactly A-listers. None of that mattered though as this one was actually pretty good.

First off, the scenes were beautiful. It was like watching a warm sunset. In addition, the direction and camera angles really enhanced the suspense and intensity. The special effects were also top notch and at one point I was like, "Whaaaat? That is cool".

I was pretty captivated throughout, although it did have it's clunky moments but not too many of them and they quickly worked their way out of them.

The cast did a superb job with the young Lulu Wilson pretty much stealing the show. I'll most likely be seeing her again in my nightmares. Annalise Basso, Elizabeth Reaser and Henry Thomas also did an excellent job so I don't want to sell them short either.

Overall this was a pleasant surprise with moments of nail-biting suspense. Definitely worth the watch on a dark and quiet night. Oh, and one other reviewer mentioned not watching the preview. I didn't so that might have helped.
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Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
rockman1825 January 2017
When I first heard about this sequel/prequel my initial thoughts were: "Who the hell asked for this?" The first Ouija was cookie cutter horror film. It use the device of a ouija board (and the mystique and eeriness of it) as a crutch for the thin, awfully written that followed. It was a completely forgettable experience, so one would wonder why the film series was brought up again. Its a good thing that first impressions are just what they are because this prequel is not bad at all.

The film was in better hands when it was announced that Mike Flanagan would be directing but I was still mixed. Oculus was actually pretty great. A creative idea that was actually pretty emotional and investing. Flanagan's followup was the Netflix film Hush. I know a lot of people loved Hush but maybe these people don't watch movies often or are lenient to what they see on Netflix. Hush was terrible. I don't want to go into it here but maybe some other time I can explain how improbably dumb it really is. Anyways, this film is a prequel of sorts to the first and is based on a family who help people move on from their passed loved ones by staging seances. A ouija board causes dark spirits in the house to possess a young girl leading to trouble and at times, some wicked fun.

The film is set in the 60s and you can immediately tell by the film style. The style is of a film you'd see from that era; they even used the old Universal Pictures logo at the start of the film. Its not just the post production editing of the film but the costume, music, and just all around aura is done very well. No one knows her well yet but Lulu Wilson made this film. She does a great job and there are a few moments (where the script was fantastic) and she was able to come off as unsettling, just from saying her lines. She is without a doubt the strongest point of the film.

The film isn't without flaws. The third act isn't exactly fantastic as some questionable things happen and you scratch your head wondering if there could have been a better resolution. There definitely could have been. Also, the CG does look ropy at times but I think that can be forgettable as the film offers decent entertainment value. Here's a film that sacrifices scares for build up, good performances, and focus on the story of why spirits have possessed Doris and the circumstances surrounding whats going on. I can respect that.

I'm usually extremely critical of horror films because these days so many films go for jump scares and have no substance. There are exceptions that are becoming smart, nostalgic, or reinventing the horror genre. I don't think there is anything innovative about Ouija: Origin of Evil but its a massive improvement over its predecessor and is a film has a good amount going for it to make for a good time.

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Deft Direction and Stellar Acting Carries the Movie
Jared_Andrews28 October 2019
If you first "Ouija" film, you might have been inclined to skip this addition (a prequel) to the series. No one would blame you. "Ouija" is a laughably awful film. "Ouija: Origin of Evil" however, is a surprisingly competent and thoroughly enjoyable horror movie.

Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that "O of E" turned out so well. With the steady guidance of director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus, Haunting of Hill House), one of the most consistent creators of scary stories in the business, we should expect high quality work. Once again, he delivers.

The story revolves around a recently widowed mother and her two daughters. At risk of losing their old, creepy and possibly haunted (definitely haunted) house, the mother resorts to work as a fake medium to make money, calling on her daughters to contribute to the ruse. Things get more exciting when the mother brings home a Ouija board, not knowing that sinister spirits would soon possess her younger daughter.

Then, as we witness the little girl's behavior grow increasingly strange, our goosebumps grow increasingly prevalent (because creepy little girls are a reliably freaky scary movie trope). The older sister soon suspects something, the little girl crawls on walls, and a priest shows up to help. That stuff is predictable and somewhat unoriginal. But this movie still works because of its splendid acting - the little girl, Doris (Lulu Wilson), is particularly impressive - and deft direction.

Mike Flanagan clearly knows how to run the show. He makes sure that "O of E" becomes a far cry from other horror movies of this ilk, which possess so little inventiveness in their direction.

With this film, we are treated to elegant camera movement, unnerving closeups, and evocative framing and angle choices that all appear purposeful and thought through. Instead of calling attention to an evil presence on screen with a hard cut, we simply see a shadowy figure crouching on the edge of the frame.

Flanagan also chooses to include limited jump scares and, mercifully, no fake jump scares. Fake jump scares are what I call those moments of building tension when the sound goes silent, then suddenly there's a blast of jarring noise that makes us jump out of our seats as the camera reveals a harmless friend character. It's a cheap manipulation, a dirty trick. We deserve better, and Flanagan gives us better.

Rather than turning to a loud and bombastic score to sell scares, Flanagan relies on the editing and our natural inclinations as viewers to feel scared. He trusts that when something scary that unexpectedly appears in front of us on screen, it will deliver chills.

"O of E" delivers a slow-building eerie viewing experience. There are no excessive bursts of violence. Nothing is over-the-top. It's a small-scale movie, but one that is nonetheless effective. I recommend it to any fans of possession movies, especially if you prefer ones devoid of gore.
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Ramascreen20 October 2016
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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So this is where it all began!
Reno-Rangan24 July 2017
It is a decent horror film, but surely better than the first. The previous part was an usual teen themed horror where everything started as a playful. But this one was a prequel and it focused on the origins. A single mother with two daughters is making money helping the people who want to contact their beloved dead ones. The things changes when her little daughter started to communicate the spirits of her own. The chaos unleashes, the house becomes haunted and the family begins to fall apart.

Keeping it simple is what worked out well for the film, despite thematically borrowed from others, scenes were kind of familiar and characters intentionally developed. Particularly the priest role was the most overused in any horror film. Followed by the twist. That turning point was good, but not a new. Nice performances and well shot film. Ouija is a fine concept for a horror theme and with this film's somewhat success, I hope the next one would only get better. So it is worth a watch, if you're not anticipating a something special.

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Better Than It Has Any Right To Be, But Still...
spencergrande612 December 2016
Mike Flanagan just gets so close yet again, yet falls disappointingly short. Oculus is still his best work, and the promise that both Hush and this prequel to a PG-13 board game prequel show, is that if given the right opportunity he might really be capable of a cold-blooded classic.

This is a film that shouldn't exist, should never have gotten theatrical distribution and definitely shouldn't have attracted the likes of Flanagan (okay, he probably did this to increase his clout in the industry, but still). He musters some great work here, following familiar supernatural clichés but bringing his own touch to the proceedings.

The setting is beautiful, the characters likable and not completely square. The atmosphere is given time to build, he luxuriates in teasing and messing with audience expectations (as a way of spiting this, and goosing the audience lulled into a slow burn placation, he includes an explosive scene wherein the actual demon is seen shoving his fist down the little girl's throat. It's both too much and a necessary jolt at the time, a conundrum if ever there was one and a small encapsulation of everything right and wrong within this film).

It's too bad some of the nice work done in the first 2/3rds of the film is undone by a clichéd, boring, exorcism-lite finale. None of it is very scary, and it all has the feel of fitting into the "Ouija" franchise package, whatever in God's name that could mean. Considering the stakes here, what Flanagan does is still impressive.
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A Return to Timeless Horror
bleebarn-7767520 October 2016
Ouija: Origin of Evil is a swingin' sixties prequel to the 2014 horror movie and sleeper hit Ouija. Its predecessor has a mere 6% on rotten tomatoes, but had tremendous financial success. The budget was an estimated $5 million, and by December, 2014, the film had grossed almost $51 million. Obviously, the next step is to plan a sequel.

I was fortunate enough to attend a pre-screening. Basing my expectations off the 2014 Ouija, I was ready to be bored and disappointed. Boy was I in for a surprise.

The film opens with a mother and her two daughters performing a scam séance for a grieving man and his skeptical daughter. The first part of the film delivers a steady stream of laughs and starts on a light-hearted note. This mood only continues when the oldest daughter Lina (Annalise Basso) sneaks out, looking suitably 60's, and plays with a ouija board along with her friends. Then things, as they often do in horror movies, turn for the worst. In an effort to spice up their séance scam, Lina's mother Alice (Elizabeth Reaser) buys a ouija board. Doing so then causes the youngest girl, Doris (Lulu Wilson) to become possessed, no surprises here.

What happens next, however, is one of the scariest horror movies made in a while– but when the director and writer is Mike Flanagan, you expect nothing less. Flanagan, director and writer for films such as Hush, Oculus, and Absentia, knows what he's doing. The whole theatre was on the edge of their seats. People shifting to hide their face or cover their ears was a constant sound, and the scares delivered genuine screams. Once the horror starts, the 99 minute film never lets you take a breather.

The main person to thank for this is Lulu Wilson, the youngest daughter. This girl is only 11 and she carried the film from start to finish. Her malevolent intensity and purposeful movements made even the toughest members of the audience uncomfortable. To be blunt, she's creepy AF and steals every scene. One in particular involving a basement, hole in the wall, and a menacing Doris standing behind a poor soul comes to mind. To say any more would spoil the movie, but this film has its share of jump scares, unexpected frights, and a delightful retro tone through out. Various moments feel like homages to horror classics of the 60's and 70's. The film will also appeal to fans of recent horror films Oculus and The Conjuring.

Another aspect often neglected in horror films is the human aspect. The small rag- tag family is reeling from the lost of a husband and father. The grief feels genuine, as does the hope and tentative joy they feel when the ouija board and Doris seem to be contacting her deceased father. The film is both horrifying and tragic. The ending evokes equal parts screams and empathy for this ailing family.

Overall, if you're looking for a fresh horror movie to deliver a punch–you're in luck. Outstanding performances by all the actors, a fantastically creepy little girl, and a retro vibe create a film that will stand the test of horror time.
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For the most part, this was a pretty decent entry with mystery , suspense and creepy events
ma-cortes23 August 2021
Decent supernatural chiller about the mysterious Ouija ,it's called an Ouija Board, and it's been used for thousands for years to communicate with the souls of the after-world. It is set in 1967 Los Angeles, a widowed mummy named Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) works out of her suburban home as a spiritual medium , accompanied by her two daughters (Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson) but a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business by inviting an evil presence into their home, not realizing how dangerous it is . The family is still reeling over the recent death of Roger, Alice's husband and the childrens' father. They unwittingly summon an evil entity with plans of its own who makes the house part of its sinister game. The daughters plagued by nightmares, and begin confronting their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board . Along the way , School Principal Father Tom (Henry Thomas) attempts to solve the weird events and help them , but then things go wrong . When you talk to the other side, you never know who will be listening. No telling what you'll see. It was never just a game. Some call it a spirit board. It has existed for centuries. It is used to communicate with the other side. House always wins. The game just got bigger.

This is a surprisingly competent horror movie, and it is certainly better than most other films of the same genre concerning the diabolic game , the mysterious Ouija . Enjoyable horror movie with thrills , chills and strange events , while the roles scream and panic her way through most of their scenes, . One of the film's strongest points is the fact that there's quite a lot of fun to be had with the supernatural aspects of the storyline. This starts off at the very beginning at a reunion occurs mysterious happenings , as the camera lurks suspensenful behind it's actors and beside them and above them and everywhere else. A straight-up horror movie, with its jump-scares and characters who can't see the obvious dangers that beset them . Although it packs some flaws , it still manages to be fairly entertaining. A fun, nostalgic 2000's Ouija classic , resulting to be a smashing good time. The plot is predictable and there are no big twists from what I have seen. Still the atmosphere is built up slowly and there are not many over the top scenes or special effects to distract from the plot . I am not so satisfied with the ending though. It seems too abrupt and was disappointing a little bit. The motion picture was well directed by Mike Flanagan . Mike frequent uses flashbacks to characters' traumatic events, usually involving the supernaturally-assisted death of at least one parent . Terror expert Flanagan turned to the horror genre for the first time with "Oculus", an applauded short film that is just the beginning of an ambitious horror anthology, which eventually became the inspiration for his 2013 feature film of the same name. In 2010, after raising funds on Kickstarter, he wrote and directed the applauded indie horror film "Absentia," which he credits with establishing his career. "Absentia," shot for 70k in Flanagan's apartment, led to "Oculus" (2014) and "Before I Wake" (2015). Flanagan's critically acclaimed "Hush" (2016) was released exclusively on Netflix, which led to the online streaming service producing Flanagan's adaptation of Stephen King's "Gerald's Game" (2017). Ouija : Origin of evil rating : 6/10 . Overall just decent supernatural effort.

This one belongs to ¨Ouija¨ sub-genre , other films in similar style are the following ones : ¨Ouija House¨ (2018) with Mischa Barton , Tara Reid , Dee Wallace , Chris Mulkey. ¨Ouija 3: The Charlie Charlie Challenge¨ 2016 with Amanda Knapi , Vineyard , Tom Zembrod , Todd Jenkins . ¨Ouija 2014¨ with Olivia Cooke , Ana Coto , Bianca Santos , Douglas Smith , ¨Witchboard¨ 1986 with Todd Allen, Tawny Kitaen , Stephen Nichols , Kathleen Wilhoite.
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creepy atmosphere and good story with an insidious ending
trashgang15 November 2016
Halloween night over her gave us 3 flicks to watch, I watched Train To Busan and The Windmill Massacre but Ouija I never went due the failure of he 2014 version.

On poster the font used to write Ouija was the same on both flicks. Never wanted to see this one due the 2014 version I noticed the reviews were better so I did go watch it afterwards.

And it's a hell better then the 2014 version. The way it was shot and the slow movement of the flick did add towards the creepy atmosphere. The ticking of the clock throughout the whole picture also add the creeps.

It all starts with an Ouija fraud and of course slowly it turns into a possession. It never had any boring moments and the effects used were great. Even as they were CGI, it all worked out fine.

Be sure to watch it until the end credits are over, you're in for a big surprise if you're a horror geek. Worth picking up.

Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 3/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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Pretty Creepy & Scary
larrys321 February 2017
I am by no means a hard core horror film buff, but I do view them from time to time. I found this one to be quite the creepy little horror flick, and it gets increasingly scary as it progresses.

As I've often noted, I have to overlook some of the really dumb decisions made by characters in horror movies, and this one is no exception. Also, the plot elements here are similar to many I've seen in this genre. However, I felt it was quite well presented with good acting from all the cast, well directed by Mike Flanagan, and solidly written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard.

Overall, this film rather creeped me out and I'm still thinking about that scary ending.
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Infinitely superior to the original
jtindahouse3 January 2017
I just went back and read my review for the original 'Ouija'. It was a fairly negative review overall and there was an interesting line in there about these movies being doomed before they even start making them because Ouija boards aren't scary. Step forward Mike Flanagan to prove me wrong. Flanagan is becoming a bit of a heavyweight in the horror industry with each of his films so far being very strong. Here, he does the near impossible and makes the a sequel (technically a prequel) infinitely stronger than the original was.

There was a lot of great stuff here. Something I loved was that the jump scares were more about the imagery than just a loud noise. Typically these days jump scares take almost no skill at all to pull off because the damn noise that accompanies them is so loud that it wouldn't matter what happened on the screen. In 'Ouija: Origin of Evil' the scares are more about the brilliant visuals that are created throughout the film. They're the type that will stick with you afterwards and require a lot more skill to pull off.

The writing is also a lot better this time around. The first one had some atrocious dialogue and incredibly stupid characters. This time there are genuinely fascinating plot points that give the film even more levels than just a horror film. The original also had an immensely weak opening scene. On this occasion the opening scene is one of the strongest in the whole film and even has its own mini-twist.

The character of 'Doris' was the highlight of the whole experience. I was incredibly impressed with young Lulu Wilson's performance. Playing a regular character in a horror movie is easy, but playing a villainous character is not. She was brilliant and played a large part in making this film what it was.

Altogether I really enjoyed 'Ouija: Origin of Evil'. In a world where good horror films are becoming rarer and rarer we have to stop and truly appreciate the great ones that do come along. This was certainly one of them. Keep churning out films please Mr Flanagan.
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The Perfect Horror Film for a Non-Horror Fan
caseynicholson25 October 2016
I'm a casual horror fan at best. I've seen a number of horror films spanning several time periods, from Hitchcock to 80's slasher films to a few from the 21st Century. Still, I'm not a huge horror buff, and I don't take in scary movies time and again the way that some people do.

That being said, I found "Ouija: Origin of Evil" to be the perfect horror movie for someone like myself who likes a good scary movie now and then, but isn't a huge horror buff. The movie is very well made, features good acting and has an intriguing plot. And, again taking into consideration my personal comfort zone with these type of movies, I found it to be the right blend of scary but not over the top intense. The movie is not very gory at all (it's rated PG-13--a rating I find appropriate for this film), and while it certainly does have its creepy side, it's not the kind of thing that's going to keep you up all night. Well, I suppose that's a subjective thing--but for me I found it to be a fun kind of scary, rather than an overly unsettling film.

In light of all that, I'm giving this movie 9/10 stars--a rating that I give to relatively few movies. I feel that this movie is deserving of that because it nails its aim, which is to be a well made horror flick that is "family friendly" so to speak, i.e. suitable for a teenage audience. If I had teenage kids, I'd definitely feel comfortable letting them see this movie--and I wouldn't mind sitting through it with them, as it was fun for me as an adult. Having seen it on October 25th, it's definitely helped get me in the mood for Halloween here in a few days!
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New-age ghost movies don't do it for me
xundeadgirlx1 November 2016
Am i the only one who finds newer "horror" releases to be completely predictable, boring, and the effects unimpressive? We're living in an era where Paranormal Activity(don't get me started) made enough money to make numerous sequels...I've tried seeing some recent films like Mama (okay), The Babadook (decent til the end), Lights Out (actually was decent), and now this, and CGI just makes things NOT scary. Was the film itself nicely done? Yes. I liked the cast, the acting wasn't bad;they actually looked like "real people." But the cliché where the little girl happens to know more than everyone else about the evil spirit, she becomes possessed and it becomes like every other attempt at an exorcism film. Not only are we supposed to fear a child, we are supposed to fear a child that has a liquid-like face that stretches and CGI whited out eyes, she runs along walls (last ten minutes) and says...stuff in other people's voices? I just don't get how this can pass as good. 3/10
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A Winner Across the Board...Scary and Fun Low-Budget Craftsmanship
LeonLouisRicci2 March 2017
Well Acted and Scary too, with a Dash of Retro-Fun. With Patience and Attention to Detail, Director/Writer/Editor Mike Flanagan continues to Hone His Horror Movies and seems to be a Caring Creator of this Low-Budget Genre.

It's Clear that the Money Spent was Allocated where it was Needed and Unlike the Majority of Horror Movies it Feels Less Like Product and more Like a Production with Everyone in on the same Vibe.

While the Movie Contains a Few Tropes, "Wide-Open-Mouths", and a few "Obligatory Jump Scares", it is the Pacing, Editing, and Retro-Presentation that makes this one Different among the Same.

Creepy, Suspenseful, and with Characters that are Fleshed Out to make Your Flesh Crawl and You may find Yourself actually Caring about what Happens to this Family of a Widow and Two Daughters Living Alone (or are they?) in 1967.

Note...This is a Prequel to an inferior Film, Ouija (2014), made by a different Team of Creators, that was a flop with Fans and Critics.
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OUIJA Franchise Is Manumitted by Mike Flanagan
FelipeCarrillo26 October 2016
Ouija Board has gained certain religious veto with the passing of the years, given that the game designed by Hasbro company by the end of the 19th century with a child guidance, became in a spiritual communicator between the world of the living and the dead. These superstitions around the "game" were calamitously squandered for Universal in 2014 with a film that directly pointed to NO. The equivalent to a creative disaster of horror genre was showed two years ago, however, with a minimum-budget of $5 million dollar, earned around $103,590,271 million, anything unusual with Blumhouse Productions as production company. Because of tremendous economic success which reached such film, a continuation was unavoidable , the surprising thing was that the start with a clean slate produced a frightening prequel, one of the best in the genre so far this year.

"Origin of Evil" takes place in 1967 Los Angeles and tells the backstory of Lina Zander, the character played by Lin Shaye in the first movie. The Zander family is going through an economic, sentimental and labor standstill following the father's death, Roger (Michael Weaver), who died in a car accident. Trying to evade economic suffocation, the family does fake seances in order to help people to contact deceased beloved ones. With a complex and disturbing indication mechanism, they simulate a true communication, achieving give an unfounded peace message to melancholic clients. Despite realistic effect, Alice (Elizabeth Reaser), now family's pillar, decides to add a new element to the spiritism circus, this is where the OUIJA board comes into play. Doris (Lulu Wilson), the youngest daughter, connects to what she thinks is the spirit of her dad, nonetheless, once it has shown clement and reliable, things become sinister because of the fatal oversight of the three main rules: 1. Never play alone, 2. Do not play in a graveyard and 3. Always say goodbye, remember: OUIJA knows all the answers.

All starts well from the opening of throwback Universal Pictures logo, which radiates nostalgia and memories in equal parts. Watching again the company logo for the 70's evokes pure sentimentality for those movies that really established the filmic foundations. Together with the emblem, oval and white marks in the upper-right corner of the screen, giving the appearance that the film is still projected in the old format, providing empathy with the context of the story.

Director and co-writer Mike Flanagan together with Jeff Howard conceived a greater story in all respects to the first film. As it is a prequel, it is not prescriptive that you know the forgettable initial story, since the task of this film is to lay the groundwork for Laine Morris' story . In addition to serving as main common with the terrible predecessor, it does not show unilateral nor empty characters, but delivers measured and sumptuous dialogs (monologue by Doris) and well-positioned plot twists. Flanagan and Howard are primarily concerned to initiate a solid connection between main roles with the audience, then hold on us to our seats with calamities suffering them throughout the full-length film. It provides formulaic and common few scares that debilitate what has been achieved, nevertheless, it is remunerated with practical and original jump-scares supported with exaggerated special effects, which overdo the movie of fictions, however, many of them work with the unexpected ending - unpredictable if you were not thinking in Lina's life from the first film.

In general, performances are permissible and even electrifying because of the consistent link generated in the first half with the affable characters. Doris, the younger star, performs the role debut of her career in great style, shines with her own light and joins the clan of promising girls in horror (Isabelle Fuhrman, Madison Wolfe, Heather Sossaman). Besides, Basso delivers what we must perceive of her character, a girl who is in physical and sexual awakening, Reaser, an enterprising mother and Thomas, a priest who must prevent a tragedy.

One of the most curious and iterative aspects are its references to classics as modern as ancient. Among these are William Friedkin's "The Exorcist," "The Conjuring" by James Wan, "Oculus" and "Hush", these last two were directed by Flanagan. It extracts helpful techniques and visual pieces, in which predominate faithful and precise touch at the end of the 60's, cars according to the epoch, clothes not so sinister but appropriate and an alarming soundtrack.

Flanagan does not renovate horror genre with "Origin of Evil", but gives a new direction to the franchise, a glittering direction pointing directly to YES. We must keep a close eye on the career of this director, who promises much in atmospheres, stories and settings. Perfect for Halloween, perfect for the loyal horror fans, "OUIJA" only is for a demanding public.
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Good For About An Hour
trnjamesbond7 January 2017
I watched the original film feeling like I wanted to tear my eyes out. Then this prequel comes along. I click the play button and before my eyes I see something that looks like television show quality, a throw back to the old cult classics that I use to watch as a kid in the eighties. It was an interesting direction, but really didn't know what to make of it.

I say to myself "okay it's set in the past and we are about to embark on a journey". All went well for about an hour, there were very little jump scares noises, if any, and only one stretchy CGI demon face(for the first hour or so). But the stretchy cheap CGI demon face was done in a way that is acceptable. There were very eerie moments when the camera would pan to the left or right catching a shadow figure in the background. But the good thing is there was no cliché jump scare sounds, it was left up to us as the viewer to deem the scene scary or not.

I was actually commending the director for this old school style of horror story, no silly jump scares. But in and around the one hour mark or just a little after, all silliness broke loose. This movie now turned into jump scare central, all the gags were saved to spoil the end. It's like they didn't know where to go with this ending, or they ran out of money, and decided to make the last half hour or so an editing mess, full of unwanted scenes, and dialogue that people have seen over and over again.

You can really tell when a production runs out of money these days, it had such a good back story, but instead of branching out on that story, they made it into a teenage horror drama-fest. They did this by throwing in scenes of other films we all know.

This film started out good, it had a feel of a really good short story, and unfortunately that's all it was, because the last half hour was all pies and anchovies.

Note to studios: Stretchy CGI demon faces are silly and just dumb, and not even teenage girls find them scary, they are a product of the YouTube generation, and it's been done to death, so please I beg you stop using CGI in horror, it doesn't belong in this genre!(or any other genre)
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Not "terrifying" and lacks any real plot.
knifemagnet29 October 2016
To be up front, I have to admit - I am not, and never was a horror fan. For me an alien abduction movie is far more creepy than any 'horror' film could ever wish to be. Yet, some of the classics are decently entertaining as well as the Emily Rose film from 2005.

"Ouija" starts out alright; it sets up the stage for events to begin nicely. They convincingly portray 1967 - at least for those of us not alive at the time. However, once things start to happen the film simply bombs. I really cannot comprehend the hype behind this film with praises such as 'creepy' and 'terrifying' heard on YouTube, radio, and elsewhere. The plot of this film is never truly realized - you are clued in to who the entities are, yet even that doesn't add up (one would think an evil spirit would have been an evil person in life). They never provide any real backstory aside from a short conversation and we are never given any closure. It is basically along the lines of "this thing is that" and then some half-***ed attempts at making the audience jump. Sure, the trend these days is for Hollywood to milk everything of its last drop of blood - and this film is left totally unanswered likely so another film can be made. Still, if this is a chapter in an ill-thought money-grab scheme they could have ended the chapter with one loose end - instead the entire thing is frayed. A friend and I actually sat through the credits and were rewarded with an utterly worthless scene of a "loose end" in present time... Which also answered zero questions. So my rating, for lack of any real tangible plot, brings this down to 5/10. When I watch a film I want a story - what I don't want is some loose-knit script with a movie constructed around it. The acting likewise tanks once the "scares" begin.

That brings me to 'the horror' part of this film. The horror here entails a young girl screaming multiple times, whispering into ears in an indiscernible language, standing on the ceiling or walking on walls, and moving quickly. Every single one of these acts is done repeatedly - and perhaps after the second scream it is all yawn-inducing. So, for me, this film's lack of anything scary brings my final score to 2/10. If I see a drama I want drama. If I see an action film I want action. And likewise, if I see a horror film I want to jump. This film fails.

I shouldn't even have to mention I will not watch the next iteration of "Ouija" even if it is free. And mark my words; there will be a $equel (or two or three of them).
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so so very very wrong
Alanjackd31 October 2016
Went in with an open mind with this one...i will say now that I am not a 14 year old who would be scared of something on the kiddies channel..I am a fully grown up with 50 years of movie watching under my belt. EVERYTHING about this movie is wrong and it would mean me going on for 20 paragraphs like some reviewers to explain them all...but here is a few..

PLOT! wrong and insipid

ACTING..wrong and wooden

DIRECTION..wrong and lazy

CINEMATOGRAPHY..wrong and boring

Cliché COUNT..wrong and too much..sewn up mouths..rolling eyes..ouija boards..nice vicars...cursed children..all seen a million times before in a million movies..the list goes on..

Also I had a slight uneasy feeling about the director and his choice of camera work concerning the 2 young girls..found it a tad disturbing at times..

This movie puts horror back about 50 years...nothing made any sense and some parts were silly beyond words..

Of course there was a few daft teenagers jumping in the theatre but thats never a good sign for true horror fans.

Put this up with last years excellent " Babadook" and the difference is big as it gets...strangely enough I would compel you to see it as it is an education in how not to mess about with a century old genre! I will not...WILL NOT ..be going to the next 2 sequels...not even if you paid me.

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One of Flanagan's stronger works
meredithkemble22 October 2016
Flanagan's films tend to be hit or miss, so I went into the theater not knowing exactly what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this movie was one of Flanagan's better pieces along with Oculus and Hush.

The film itself was a pretty masterful period piece, with excellent costumes and sets and lines that helped you place the time period without a big date sprawling across the screen at the opening. Seriously, the costumes were so good. Although some of the lines hit you over the head with the whole "we are in the '60s" deal, it wasn't cheesy or over-the-top.

The child acting was pretty good, particularly from Annalise Basso who I was excited to see again after her performance in Oculus. LuLu Wilson was also exceedingly creepy in plenty of parts. I was very pleased with the amount of creep factor, especially from a PG-13 movie which usually rely on cheap scares (example: this movie's predecessor).

Where this movie fell flat for me was the actual demon/ghoul/monster story. I wish they would have kept the ghoul as a fleeting figure instead of full-on showing them fairly early on in the movie. It's so much scarier to let your imagination go wild instead of seeing a digitized monster. Maybe it will be scary for the teens who go to see this film, but it took the scare factor down a notch for me. The origin story for the demon seemed a little forced and rushed towards the end, and I think choosing a less complicated origin might have made the movie run a little smoother. However, the ending was pretty good and it was an overall thrilling theater experience.
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A lot better than the original movie.
Hellmant2 November 2016
'OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A prequel to the 2014 hit supernatural horror flick 'OUIJA'; both films are based on the Hasbro 'talking board' game (and released by Hasbro Studios). This chapter tells the story of a widowed mother, and her two daughters, who scam people out of money by running a fake seance business (in 1967 Los Angeles). When the trio begins involving a Quija board in their 'show', one of the daughters becomes possessed and things begin to go horribly wrong. The movie was directed by Mike Flanagan, and it was written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard; the duo also performed the same duties on 2013's 'OCULUS' (another supernatural horror flick). The film stars Annalise Basso (who also costarred in 'OCULUS'), Elizabeth Reaser (of 'TWILIGHT' fame), Lulu Wilson and Henry Thomas (of 'E.T.' fame). It's received surprisingly positive reviews from critics, and fans alike (mostly), and it's also performed decently at the Box Office. While it is a better reviewed movie, than the original, it hasn't done nearly as well financially speaking. It is a much better film though.

The story is set in a 1967 suburban home, in Los Angeles; where a widow, Alice Zander (Reaser), cons grieving customers out of their money, by running a staged seance. She has help from her two daughters; Paulina (Basso), a teenager, and Doris (Wilson), who's 9- years-old. At a party with her friends, Paulina uses a Ouija board for the first time. She then convinces her mother to begin using it in their act. Real supernatural forces then begin haunting the house, and their 'show' becomes more than just a trick.

The film is definitely a lot better than the original movie, if I remember correctly (but I don't remember that film that well, other than I didn't like it). It's also a lot better than 'OCULUS'; I do remember that flick, and I wasn't too impressed by it. This film is creepy, well acted and somewhat nostalgic; it's very reminiscent of other horror films from decades ago. It's definitely a lot better than I expected it to be.

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Five-Word Review: Unexpectedly Great: Chilling, Well-made; Over-baked
BillSims2828 October 2016
The sequel no one cares about to the 2014 film no one cared about is surprisingly good. Elizabeth Reaser stars as a mother who pretends to contact the spirit world and ends up opening a dangerous door to this world with her daughters Lulu Wilson and Annalise Basso. The director is Mike Flanagan, who previously gave us another surprising critical hit with Oculus, and his skill is evident in this film.

Right from the start it is clear that Ouija: OoE is no ordinary clichéd piece. Being set in the 1960s, it is made to look so, with an old-fashioned Universal logo and title card - this is small but is just a cute touch that shows the director at least has some passion for this project. There are a few more of these touches: Tyler Durden style top-right-corner white blotches to show reel changes, plus a fantastic soundtrack and note-perfect dialogue/acting (visible in the comedic displays of attitudes towards teen fraternisation) which does a really good job of setting the period and making it feel like 60s America.

The acting is solid throughout, in fact, with Reaser bringing charm and depth to her role, and the young actors are great too. Furthermore, thankfully, they all manage to imbue their characters with a certain amount of wisdom and common sense that is often noticeably lacking in horror films.

It's also refreshing to have a proper score, which really sets the viewer on edge and succeeds in having far more of an effect than the usual horror background music. The script is not silly either, and there's some genuine dialogue aside from a few instances of over- baked exposition later in the film.

The horror works in Ouija. Instead of relying on jump scares, there's some real dread, and I found myself with goosebumps and a constantly tingling spine, whilst my hands hardly let go of the armrests. However, it is the buildup which is the best - in the final third things start to falter a little, perhaps as it becomes too focused on tying into the first film (which I have not seen) and seemingly with as many endings as Return of the King. Nevertheless, this is one of the best horror films I've seen in a while, and is definitely worth seeing if you fancy a solid Halloween flick. 74/100
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