Well directed and with a classic horror movie feeling, Origin of Evil is a good, if unoriginal, horror movie that has a few good scares and a great style.
I admit, I haven’t seen the first Ouija yet considering this is a sequel, I thought, eh, what the hell. Luckily I did. Ouija isn’t the greatest film in the world and with such fantastic original horrors like The Witch, Train to Busan or Don’t Breathe surprising me this year, it’s not come close to matching them.
However, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it either. For the first half, it actually avoids the dreaded jump scare and even towards the end they’re few and far between. The 60’s aesthetic, namely the music and style, is buoyed by some great visual techniques to give the images the feeling of an old film.
This is down to solid directing from Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus) who gets some great performances from his cast. Elizabeth Reaser and Annalise Basso give good, nuanced performances as a mother and daughter who discover that their business, in which they con people into believing they can communicate with the dead, maybe not as fake as they thought.
Special mention, however, goes to the young Alexis G. Zall as the younger daughter who becomes familiar with the houses ghosts and who, through a form of possession, is given the film’s creepiest scenes. As horror movie children go, she’s up there with the best and she proves that 2016 is a stellar year for child actors, even terrifying ones.
Elsewhere, the score from The Newton Brothers is the right side of melodrama and feels reminiscent of the Hans Zimmer score for The Ring.
All in all, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a solid and, in the moment, enjoyable haunted house/possession horror flick. It’s got the brains to pull off the scares without cheapness whilst earning its character moments and the gall to give things a nastier ending.
Good, solid fun.