Where I Watched It: Netflix
Audio description provided By: The Media Access Group
Narrated By: Christopher Flowers
Lucky for you, you don’t really need to watch the first one to enjoy the second one. I mean, you can, but you do you. For people becoming increasingly interested in Mike Flanagan and what he brings to the table, whether in film like Netflix’s terrific Hush, or their limited series The Haunting Of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, and most recently The Midnight Blub, you’ll find a lot of his talents at work in what seems like an impossible task. To make a prequel to Ouija.
First of all, Ouija needed no more films to expand that universe. One and done. Nice try, but no. Luckily, Mike took this by the freaking horns and went for it. he saw the idea referenced in the first film, and made a honest character driven, sometimes totally bonkers story around a board game. But this one doesn’t presume all ouija boards are haunted, but rather explains why this one board was, in this one house. It’s like making a Hungry hungry Hippos movie, where only one specific version of it causes a hippo to appear and eat you.
A mother and her two daughters live in the same house from the original where they entertain the paying customers with their psychic fakery. The mother gets the idea that using the board game could be a nice touch, but that turns out to be horribly wrong. in fact, if this franchise goes anywhere for a third film it would likely be a prequel to this, as Flanagan went really dark with his Origin.
Christopher Flowers narration handles the violence, which earned an R rating finally, as well as the jump scares, most of them are not cheap. One. mike really just has one cheap scare. look, there’s really only just so much you can do with this concept, and Flanagan greatly improved the series. is it perfect? no. There are still lots of scenes around this stupid game, but that’s the point of the film. So what can you do?
Having someone like Flanagan (who also uses a lot of familiar faces he would work with in later projects in this) directing a Ouija movie is like having Scorsese direct a Dick Tracy remake, or Del Toro direct Clue. They sound like the film would be good on paper, but would they really? More likely, those two would just be really good at putting lipstick on a pig, and that’s what Flanagan mostly does here.
If you thought the first wasn’t violent enough, gory enough, or scary enough, Flanagan changes all of that. Not to an extreme, but this is not a wimpy follow up.
Final Grade: B-