Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Ouija: Origin of Evil - The scoop and digest

With Netflix sensation Hush and Before I Wake already under his belt, 2016 has been a busy old year for Mike 'Oculus' Flanagan.

Let's see if prequel can exorcise the demons of Stiles White's appalling 2014 original.

Annalise Basso - Lina
Elizabeth Reaser - Alice
Henry Thomas - Father Tom Hogan
Lulu Wilson - Doris

Los Angeles, 1967.

The Zander family make ends meet by faking psychic readings.

Intentions are honorable though.

Routine is spiced up by incorporating a Ouija board, but Alice contacts a spirit called Marcus, who speaks though Doris.

"Hi Friend."

Alice forgets to say goodbye (uh oh), thus breaking one of three golden rules.

Doris quickly breaks another (by playing alone) and observes apparition through planchette.

Convinced she's in contact with deceased father Roger, Doris is led to a bag crammed with cash hidden inside basement wall.

Jackpot.

During a legitimate reading, Doris complains of neck pain.

Later that night, a smouldering black creature forces arm down throat and breaks her back.

Predictably, odd behaviour ensues.

If you wanna know what it feels like to be strangled to death, Doris can provide detailed insight.

Lina takes pages of Polish language for school's principal Father Tom Hogan to arrange translation.

Tom takes the opportunity to test Doris, spinning a yarn Ouija session is in aid of contacting his late wife Gloria.

Leaving Doris downstairs to hold the fort, Tom takes Lina and Alice aside for the big reveal.

If memory serves correctly, he explains pages were penned by deranged murderer Devil's Doctor, so-called because of his obsession with the occult.

He stuffed victims away inside wall and I'm sure tongues were cut out in the process.

Meanwhile, Doris lures Mikey downstairs, whispers sweet nothings and murders him.

Finding skeletal remains, they realise final rule (never play in a graveyard) was broken yonks ago.

Dur dur dur.

Tom is possessed by Doris and killed soon after

Keeping with earlier spiel, 'Marcus' tells Alice it requires 'voice' and following vision with Roger, Lina realises that like defaced doll, Doris' mouth must be stitched up.

Pinning Doris down, Lina proceeds to sew evil up, but baddies escape before job can be completed.

Before coming to her senses, a briefly possessed Lina stabs and kills Alice.

After grilling her for two months at Hoover State Care Psychiatric Hospital, doctor still can't get any sense out of Lina about her sister's whereabouts.

She creates makeshift Ouija board and summons Doris.

While checking on Lina, Doris charges towards same medic across ceiling.

If you're patient, a post-credits present day scene shows Lina (Lin Shaye) visited by Laine claiming to be her niece.

Analysis

First off, original's ass is well and truly kicked.

Okay, that's not really saying much.

Sure it's slickly made, well acted and directed, but why is everybody having kittens?

Blank eyes and mouth wide open fail because Doris doesn't do anything we haven't seen before.

Tension simmers, but never comes to the boil.

Possessing corpse for the majority of running time is inspired and references made leading up to years hence are tied up nicely with supernatural bow.

From old-fashioned Universal logo to title card, Flanagan revels in nostalgia.

Black circles occasionally appear at top right hand corner of canvas as back in the day, these 'blips' indicated when projectionists should change reels.

Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden said of technique in Fight Club:

"In the industry, we call them cigarette burns."

Mistakes

(When cross-referenced to original).

As already mentioned, prequel takes place in 1967.

Pete concludes photos found of family at Debbie's house are from the late 40s, early 50s.

That's bad, but this is even worse.

Same dude finds articles online about Doris and Lina dated 1951.

Yeah, I went through the hassle of checking.

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