Laine (Olivia Cooke) needs a little more flossing practise in Ouija.

Laine (Olivia Cooke) needs a little more flossing practise in Ouija.

Reel Reviews: Spirits of past horrors conjured in Ouija

New horror Ouija is simple, fun and scary at a PG-13 level.

  • Oct. 31, 2014 7:00 a.m.

When a teenage girl kills herself after playing with a Ouija board, her friends investigate by continuing to play Ouija, until, one by one, they too start to die mysteriously.

In order for the horror to stop, they must solve the mystery of the unhappy spirits with whom they have come into contact.

We say, “Ouija is simple, fun and scary at a PG-13 level.”

TAYLOR: Which is to say, it didn’t scare me at all. Yet the film is effective enough. It has the right parts in the right places. It’s sort of a entry level, textbook horror film, suitable for the young and/or squeamish. It’s a cheaper film, costing only $5 million to make.

It was the first time behind the camera for director Stiles White, who has previously written The Possession, Knowing and Boogeyman, but is mainly known for his work with Stan Winston’s special effects studio. The same can be said for first time cinematographer David Emmerichs, who has been a camera operator on many recent films we’ve seen. I bring these two up because, although this film simply goes through the “PG-13 horror film checklist,” the effective and glossy style with which the film has been produced are due to their efforts.

HOWE:  I agree. I didn’t find it that scary, but sit a 12 or 13 year old in front of it, and if they haven’t seen a horror film before, it will do the trick. The thing I liked about it was the mystery side to the story, I have always enjoyed that side to a horror flick compared to the hacking, slashing killer on the loose, destroying everything and everyone in their path.

The textbook style is very obvious: a group of teenage friends getting bumped off one by one, a little romance (but not too much to keep it kid friendly) and the hero/heroine surviving the final battle so the film company can cash in and make a part two.

TAYLOR: Whenever you have a film that quadruples its budget in profit, you’re guaranteed a sequel. It’s a sound business decision and something that perpetuates the ever growing distance between film as a work of art and a product.

As for the mysterious aspect of the film, I felt that it was all going to be explained to me by some creepy person near the end and it was. On an originality scale, Ouija would score very low, but it is well produced and didn’t bore me, so it passes, barely.

HOWE: I was waiting for Scooby Doo and the gang to turn up and solve the mystery.

–Taylor gives Ouija 2.5 obligatory baths out of 5.

–Howe gives it 3 sewing needles out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

– “Brain” Taylor and Peter “Howl” are movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star Friday and Sunday.