If you thought movies based on board games was a desperately bad idea, Hasbro’s “Ouija” will only make you long for the genius of “Battleship.”
Five cookie-cutter teenagers upset and confused over the mysterious death of a friend, decide to use a Ouija board to end the confusion. Unfortunately, and as expected, the séance summons something else that now wants them all dead. One-by-one. Alone. In places like bathrooms.
“Ouija” has a few jump-scares but absolutely no sense of momentum, dread, or characters you care about. Although only 89 minutes long, that’s how much time seems to pass between scares or anything that moves the plot. The slog to the first séance is a punishing bore through the five stages of teenage self-importance and angst.
By the time The Big Twist arrived– a twist Mr. Magoo could spot from space — it was past midnight and I walked out. To be fair, maybe the last 20 minutes are AWESOME. All I know is that my alarm was set for 6 a.m., and unless it’s a guy in a hockey mask wielding a machete against twenty-something soap opera-level actresses in various stages of undress, I’m going home.
The final straw was Vivis Colombetti as The Magic Catholic Hispanic. Until it was too late, no one listened to her about the evil spirits in “Paranormal Activity 2,” and it’s the same in “Ouija.” Tired. Tropey. Patronizing. Can we give this character her own movie so we get to see her point and laugh at all the idiotic rich white people who yeah-yeah’d her just before being butchered by CGI?
With a $5 million budget, “Ouija” is the latest in the ongoing and very profitable low-budget horror genre, a genre I happen to love. Director Stiles White does what he can with a terrible script he co-wrote. Even though it has as much scope as a television sitcom, “Ouija” does look like a movie … it just looks like a bad movie.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC