Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

ouija origin of evil poster 2016 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Better than the original

Still somewhat derivative of other similar films

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Ouija:  Origin of Evil

Studio:   Hasbro Studios

Genre(s):   Horror

Release Date(s):   October 21, 2016

MPAA Rating:   PG-13

ouija origin of evil demon doris lulu wilson parker mack

I hate it when my demonic little sister stole my boyfriend

Having just lost her husband, Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) is trying to raise her two children Paulina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson) while acting as a medium.  Paulina encourages her mother to add a Ouija board to her act, but Alice opens a door for which she isn’t prepared.  Doris is contacted by someone claiming to be her father, but the person reaching out to Doris doesn’t seem to have fatherly instincts.  As Doris grows more and more detached Alice and Paulina must find a way to rescue their sister from the unseen darkness.

Directed by Mike Flanagan, Ouija:  Origin of Evil is based on the Hasbro mystic board.  The film is a prequel to Ouija which was released in 2014, but the movie garnered much better reviews than its predecessor.

ouija origin of evil sewing mouth annalisa basso demons

It’s kind of like the opposite of “Calgon, Take Me Away”

Ouija was one of the most generic PG-13 horror movies.  It was predictable, dull, and loaded with non-scares.  Ouija:  Origin of Evil does prove to be better, but I also think it is better mostly in comparison to the first film.

The story for Ouija: Origin of Evil is loosely outlined in the first film when the characters research the house.  Here, that story plays out with some finessing to make it a better story.  The core story feels pretty similar to other possession tales, but the style and look of the movie help elevate the story.

The acting is also an improvement in the film.  The core cast of Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, and Lulu Wilson is good.  All three actors feel pretty committed to the roles and genuinely portray their characters much better than the first film.  Henry Thomas is the helpful minister who attempts to save Doris while Doug Jones portrays the spirit of Marcus.  The movie features a cameo by Lin Shaye as the adult Paulina which connects the film back to the first Ouija movie.

ouija origin of evil ceiling minister henry thomas lulu wilson

I think I know a little girl who hasn’t been going to Sunday school…

The movie has a retro setting of 1967 which always (if done right) amplifies and stylizes a film.  The horror just seems more real in an age before cellphones and high tech “ghost hunters”.  It also ties in better with the Ouija board and the New Age vibe that was occurring at the time…it was a bit more believable that Alice Zander could get away with her fake readings.

Ouija:  Origin of Evil is leaps and bounds better than Ouija, but in bigger terms of horror films, it is only a bit better than average.  The jumps and scares are kind of predictable, and it feels like the horror could have been even greater or more original if they had tried.  Possessed demon kids are always scary, but I feel I’ve seen that over and over again since The Exorcist…I wanted them to do a little something new with the demons.

Related Links:

Ouija (2014)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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