Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ouija: Origin of Evil in 150 Words or Less

This movie isn't bad! How the hell is this movie not bad? This movie should totally, totally be bad - every piece of the puzzle seems bad. And yet.. it ain't. I'm as flummoxed as a possessed little girl's late-mid-century hair-flip, I tell ya what. Let's break it down - Ouija looks like one thing on the surface, but there's actually a dark spirit cackling underneath. It helps that the film takes time to build the relationships between its three leads (not to mention the three actresses are solid and have a natural rapport) but mostly it's about approach - the movie approaches all the things we're expecting with just a little bit more grit and weirdness than we anticipate coming from a studio-sheened horror flick. And when the thing starts aping Evil Dead in its last act you're not blindsided - you're delighted. It earns its thieving.

As a side-note Ouija's director Mike Flanagan is currently adapting one of my favorite Stephen King books, Gerald's Game, with one of my favorite underappreciated actresses, Carla Gugino, and I am now impossibly excited to see what he does with it. Also in the film is Henry Thomas (yes E.T.'s Henry Thomas), who played the priest in Ouija, and can we just admit that Henry Thomas is becoming something of a Scream King in his old age? Okay "King" might be overstating it but between Ouija and the surprise shocker Dead Birds, a Civil War horror from 2004 that I have routinely insisted y'all seek out, he's totally on his way.

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