By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, USA)
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Ouija: Origin of Evil: One of the Best Horror Sequels Ever?

Synopsis:

Ouija: Origin of Evil is directed by Mike Flanagan and stars Lulu Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser, and Annalise Basso. The film tells the story of a family that have recently lost their father, in a terrible accident, that runs a supernatural scam to help people find closure during grief by telling them what they want to hear. Then after one of the daughters is found playing a board game called Ouija at a friend’s house, where you’re allowed to talk to spirits, she then recommends it to her mother to improve the scam and the act. This influences the mother to do so, then one night the youngest daughter begins playing with the Ouija board, in which she accidentally begins talking to an evil spirit that she confuses with her father. This starts a terrifying, 99 minute, thrilling film that carries itself through well-directed sound design and exalting performances from the main cast. Ouija Origin: of Evil is a complete turnaround from the terrible original film known as Ouija. Through this turnaround, Mike Flanagan tells a skin crawling narrative while capturing every essence of the films setting and time.

My Thoughts:

I hated the 2014 film known as Ouija, and this hatred made me dread the experience I would receive when I watched this film. Little did I know that Mike Flanagan would create one the best horror films of the year so far. I loved this movie, and it might be one the best horror sequels ever just because the first one was so bad. I am a huge fan of the horror genre, and I love it when directors decide to use unconventional methods to create a horror film. This creates something entirely different from what the audience is familiar with. An example of these methods is that there was actually humor created in this film. Mike Flanagan uses this comic relief to offer characterization and incredible set up to the tension later to come. These unconventional methods create a terrific horror film by using strong characterization, great shot sequences, and spine-tingling sound design.

The Film Making:

This movie did a very excellent job of creating characterization to help the audience truly relate to the characters themselves. This creates an extraordinary amount of tension because it allows the audience to fear what could happen to these characters. Mike Flanagan also uses an incredible amount of silence to carry the tension and offers the audience a natural reaction to what’s appearing on the screen. The finely tuned precision of how shots are cut together is done extraordinarily well and uses great articulation of the camera to give chilling horror sequences. But, what truly made this film standout was Mike Flanagan’s excellent job of capturing the setting of this film. He uses old universal titles from the 70’s and old-fashioned cinematography that creates flares in the film or what some call “cigarette burns”.

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Directors used to use these flares to tell the protectionists when to switch reels, which creates a jump on the frame every time a scene changes. The film even booms the opening title on to the screen with roman numerals at the bottom. All of these filmmaking techniques create a wonderful sense of environment for the audience. Allowing the audience to feel as if it’s watching an old movie or if they’ve traveled back in time to see a new movie in an old theater. This setting is further realized through great wardrobe design and dialogue that shows the time of the setting. Using words like “groovy” and “skinny”. The filmmaking is further improved upon with excellent sound design to help the audience feel the fear created by the director. It is through this wondrous capturing of the setting, excellent direction, and well-crafted a sound design that the audience grasps the tension and suspense of the film.

The Performances & Flaws:

The performances are top-notch with the main character of Lulu Wilson, who played the girl who is possessed, giving an excellent performance. She provides this creepy, skin-crawling, and eerie character that provides unsettling emotions along with strong dialogue to create an unsettling character. Annalise Basso is also excellent in the film, in which she provides a relatable, smart, and loveable character in the film. The mom played by Elizabeth Reaser is also really great, and she offers a sorrow filled character who is trying to recover from grief and learning how to live with it. Henry Thomas also has a meaty role as a priest in the film that helps the family. The flaws I found in this film really centralize around a scene in the film that ends up using CGI. The use of CGI took me out of the film a bit, because of the old setting created throughout the film. The only other flaw I found in the film was the character of Father Tom, I felt that he was used as plot device in certain aspects of the film.

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Final Thoughts & Grade:

Overall I loved this film and was deeply terrified by the films aspects. This film features awesome direction, filmmaking, performances, and a chilling narrative. I was creeped out by this movie, and I’m going to give Ouija: Origin of Evil an A-. This is the best horror film of the year so far and was incredibly creeped out by it. What do you guys think? Is Ouija the best horror sequel? Let me know down in the comments below, and as always have a blessed day.

Rating: 5/5

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