Director: Stiles White
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff
Release Date: Own it on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD On February 3rd
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.
Based on the Hasbro board game, the film version of ‘Ouija’ follows a girl named Laine (Olivia Cooke) and her group of friends as they discover firsthand the truth about the Ouija board and what it’s truly capable of. After her best friend since childhood Debbie (Shelley Hennig) is killed in what appears to be a tragic suicide, Laine convinces her friends to gather at Debbie’s home and to try out the Ouija board themselves, unable to shake the notion that it might be involved in her friend’s mysterious death. Soon, the group of friends has themselves woken an evil presence via the board that now seems intent on harming or killing each of them and they will have to dig into the past of the house and the board in order to hopefully find a way to stop this evil before it’s too late.
Stiles White makes his directorial debut with ‘Ouija’ which he also co-wrote with Juliet Snowden (the two previously co-wrote ‘The Possession’ together). While I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t overly impressed with ‘Ouija’ White nonetheless feels like a capable director, capturing the shots and scenery quite well and maintaining a high quality film vibe to the style throughout, although the messy script unfortunately counteracts this at times. The cast includes a few somewhat familiar faces such as Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel), Lin Shaye (Insidious 1 & 2), Shelley Hennig (The Secret Circle) among others, all of whom provide decent and capable performances with what they are given in each of their respective roles, although Lin Shaye is sadly underutilized, far below her potential as an actress.
‘Ouija’ looks good and features some solid effects, but suffers from an apparent lack of where it wants to go and unfortunately while some of the scarier moments look pretty fantastic and will be briefly startling or jump worthy (at least to some viewers), other moments intended to be scary (many of which involving things such as reappearing Ouija boards) come off as kind of silly and can be hard to take seriously. While it may not be the sole cause of the film’s issues, a large part of them stems from the script which is a bit of a mess, at times seeming nonsensical in its choices and direction, a fact which could very likely be due (at least in part) to the rumors of heavy altering and changes that occurred during production. While ‘Ouija’ will likely be a disappointment to many of the more dedicated horror fans out there, for those looking for a simple creepy popcorn movie that won’t require your full attention and that doesn’t get quite as intense or gory as most (plus is a fair amount more appropriate for the younger crowd) then ‘Ouija’ would be a great pick for a Saturday night selection.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Ouija’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty fantastic as a whole, the colors, shapes and backgrounds in the film are gorgeously represented and the darker and fast moving scenes are always clear and easy to see what’s occurring, never becoming undecipherable at any point throughout. This is a more than sufficient high definition video presentation and no noticeable faults could be found within my end.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. As with the video presentation, this lossless multichannel soundtrack is impressive and sounds fantastic. The creepy moments seep throughout the speakers and the score sounds wonderful, smooth and discrete as it overtakes the room, while still never causing any of the dialogue in the center channel to become inaudible at any point. This 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack definitely gets top marks.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Ouija’ doesn’t include too much in the way of bonus content, but it does include three short Behind the Scene’s Featurette’s that take a look at the creation and making of the film and also include interviews with members of the Cast and Crew. The three included Featurette’s are: ‘The Spirit Board: An Evolution’; ‘Icon of the Unknown’ and ‘Adapting the Fear’, all of which explore different aspects of the film and run approximately 3-5 minutes apiece. Do note that two of the three Featurette’s are Blu-Ray exclusives and therefore will not be available the DVD; ‘Adapting the Fear’ being the only Featurette that is not exclusive to the Blu-Ray release.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.