Evan Minniti staff writer
“Ouija: Origin of Evil”, the sequel to the truly terrible 2014 movie, “Ouija”, is a breathe of fresh air! “Origin of Evil” is a delightfully old-fashioned horror flick with great acting, nostalgic visuals and some truly chilling scares.
In 1967 Los Angeles, a fake psychic (Elizabeth Reaser) struggles to take care of her two daughters after her husband is killed in a drunk driving accident. After buying a Ouija board to incorporate into her “seances” with clients, her youngest daughter makes a connection with a horrible demon, which threatens to tear her family apart.
“Origin of Evil” very smartly places dread, chills and disturbing imagery over cheap thrills and gore. The jump scares are executed perfectly. While many jump scares have an emphasis on terrifying you for just a moment, usually made possible more by just a loud noise, director Mike Flanagan chooses to let a frightening scene or image play out for a few seconds rather than cutting away to a reaction shot. Also, the fear the audience feels is not from the accompanying score, but from the image itself.
Reaser gives a very sympathetic performance as the mother, but the real scene stealers are the two child actresses, Lulu Wilson and Annalise Basso. Wilson gives an especially creepy performance from someone so young and serves as a very terrifying antagonist. Basso plays the rebellious older daughter. At the beginning of the film, she isn’t a very likable character, but by the end she becomes the real hero who the audience is rooting for.
While maybe not as good as “The Conjuring” series or indie horror flicks like “The Witch” or “It Follows”, “Origin of Evil” is overall not only a good movie but also a loving ode to horror cinema from the 1960’s and 1970’s. It is certainly miles and miles ahead of its predecessor. I give this four and a half out of five stars.