Doris (Lulu Wilson) allows spirits to speak through her in Ouija: Origin of Evil.

Doris (Lulu Wilson) allows spirits to speak through her in Ouija: Origin of Evil.

Reel Reviews: Punching a few ghosts

Taylor and Howe review Ouija: Origin of Evil and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

  • Oct. 28, 2016 8:00 p.m.

This week Mr. Howe and Mr. Taylor chose to view different films: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Ouija: Origin of Evil.

Ouija: Origin of Evil is a horror film about a family of would-be mediums haunted by the ghostly inhabitants of their house.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the tale of ex-army investigator (Tom Cruise) trying to clear his name by uncovering a government conspiracy.

TAYLOR: Ouija wasn’t bad. Any horror film deserves a little slack because it automatically has cards stacked against it (read: money). However, the aces up its sleeve are expressed in creativity and daring.

Unfortunately for Ouija, being “not bad” is not the same as being great. It is not a particularly creative or daring film, relying on what have become atypical scare tactics. But it is at least as scary as any James Wan film of late. It takes itself seriously and is set in the ‘60s (read: slow).

HOWE: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, on the other hand, is set in modern day and doesn’t, or should that be tries to take itself seriously but fails, miserably.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Reacher franchise. I have read all the books by Lee Child and thoroughly enjoyed the first film, yet Never Go Back just feels blah. There is nothing really different from the first one.

The chase scenes we have seen many times before and the bad guy always seems to get away until the very end, where a mighty brawl takes place making the Rocky battle with Apollo look like a kindergarten squabble. Silly would be an understatement.

TAYLOR: Ouija: Origin of Evil wanted its audience to feel like it was the ‘60s. It started with the old Universal Pictures logo and every scene had “cigarette burns” on “the film.” The novelty became boring quickly.

What audiences are left with is a slow moving film about a little girl who is a conduit for nasty nether beings. It has enough scares to please, enough unnaturalness to disturb and enough style to absorb, but it also has nothing to offer real horror show aficionados. It would make a good first horror film, I guess.

If you’re 13 or 31 and for some reason finally ready to take a walk on the dark side, go see Ouija: Origin of Evil, you could have much worse an introduction.

HOWE: At the moment, The Accountant with Ben Affleck is playing. It and Never Go Back are similar in the fact that they are an action/thriller. I would rather spend my hard earned cash to see The Accountant. The acting is better, the action is better and the concept of a fist-fighting accountant is something a little different.

Taylor gives Ouija: Origin of Evil 3 evil eyes out of 5.

– Howe gives Jack Reacher: Never Go Back 1.5 weapons deals out of 5.

– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, is published in The Morning Star every Friday.