Some bright spark at Parker Brothers toys came up with the idea of a OUIJA board as game for all the family presumably because there’s nothing better than gathering the family around the fire and summoning up Beelzebub himself from the very depths of hell and the kids just love it – Well anything’s better than X Factor I suppose. So it’s anyone’s guess as to why the game was pulled from the shelves and who knows what happened to their follow up game, Celebrity Satanic Black Mass – perhaps they had trouble getting a sacrificial goat into each box…. but I digress.
Blumhouse Productions , masters of the low budget, big box office earning horror film along with Master of Disaster Michael Bay have teamed up to produce the imaginatively titled OUIJA based around …well you can guess. With a pair of young sisters fooling around with the game we catch them later on as students with one of them playing with it on her own with it inevitably going awry and her hanging herself with a string of fairy lights. With her other sisters and family getting over their grief in less time that it takes to say, ‘Why am I watching this cobblers?’ they try to find out why the normally happy girl did away with herself.
With their widowed father now away on business the eldest daughter finds the eponymous Ouija board and along with her other sister and 3 friends they come up with the bright idea of playing with the board to summon their sister and speak with her about what happened that night. What could possibly go wrong?
With the usual array of interchangeable leads uttering some unintentionally comic lines (‘I’d try to talk with her but she’d blow me off!’ says a boyfriend) and featuring such stereotypical characters as the almost obligatory God fearing Hispanic house maid this is very much formulaic horror with some admittedly decent scares over emphasised with booming sound effects and fails to resist the standard horror trope of creaking doors slowly opening. Despite offering nothing new and being utterly predictable it’s still managed to make four times its $5million budget on its opening weekend so a OUIJA 2 can’t be far off.
Anyone prefer a game of scrabble?
Words: Simon Hooper