Ouija review: a horror movie for people who hate horror movies

The film-makers stick to the standard horror film template with not very startling results

Teens spell trouble: Olivia Cooke (centre) in Ouija

Film Title: Ouija

Director: Stiles White

Starring: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A Santos

Genre: Horror

Running Time: 89 min

Fri, Oct 31, 2014, 00:00


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Pretty girl Debbie (former Miss Teen USA Shelley Hennig) rejects a night out with her best friend in order to mess around with an Ouija board. When she hears some noises, she walks around her large empty house – turning off the lights as she goes – until she becomes possessed and dies.

Her pretty best friend Laine (Olivia Cooke) and her pretty love interest start investigating. They find the board. They use the board. The board fails to predict the terrible reviews this movie will receive. The spirits won’t leave the pretty cast alone. Bodies quickly pile up.

In our pitiful ignorance we assumed anyone could make an Ouija board by writing out letters, numbers and a few words and then pushing a shot glass planchette around. But, no. Apparently Ouija is a supernatural boardgame by Hasbro, which, following on from Hasbro’s Transformers, is now a major motion picture with Michael Bay lurking somewhere in the credits.

A horror movie for people who hate horror movies, Ouija was the number one film at the US box office last week. It exists as the movieverse’s answer to pumpkin fairy lights and skeleton face paints. Tis the season to watch nubile teens get chased and bumped off by a Rentaghost reject. In keeping with a long line of studio creep-outs, the film has scared up plenty of Halloween trade without actually doing any scaring.

There are various tame jump-outs and perfunctory shadowy figures, but nothing to cause one to dive behind a seat. Isn’t horror supposed to be transgressive? Recommended for sensitive viewers and Hasbro shareholders.