24 July 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
'Ouija' moderately drew me into seeing it, with a cool poster/cover, an intriguing if not particularly original premise and as someone with a general appreciation for horror. That it was low-budget, which from frequent personal experience is rarely a good sign due to that there are so many poor ones out there, made me though apprehensive as well as the low rating and poor reviews here.
Yet another film seen recently unfortunately, hence some reiteration because the exact same strengths and flaws those films have are present here, that to me was incredibly disappointing considering its potential which it doesn't do anywhere near enough with. 'Ouija' is terrible, with a plethora of problems (huge ones too) and doesn't do enough with its potential, which was hardly small. There is really nothing to recommend other than the scenery not being as cheap as the rest of the film.
Unfortunately, it's shot and edited so poorly, looking like a school project shot on a shaky camera or a phone by an unsteady hand, and the drab and overly-dark colours. It was very clear that the film was made in a rush with no care or enthusiasm. In particular, the camera work was a nauseous assault on the eyes with its excessive amateurish-ness and the lighting is far too dark and a lot of the time inappropriately so.
Going on further to the negatives, the story does feel paper thin, disjointed and over-stretched and some of it feels vague, under-explained in the last third where the film especially became duller, more predictable, more senseless and less scary. Too many characters are too sketchy and with nowhere near enough to make one want to endear to them. Their annoying and illogical decision making and behaviours frustrates and are overdone.
Making the film feel bland and forgettable with not enough heart put into it. The effects are ropy at best, the sound quality is obvious and utilised cheaply (being too loud in the build ups and people's reactions) and it's best not mentioning the uniformly lumbering, awkward and histrionic acting that shows a huge indifference to the situation and what is going on.
Dialogue can be stilted and rambling, with lots of clichés, lots of unintentional humour that makes some of the film play like a really bad spoof and no depth whatsoever, while the pace goes to a standstill very quickly and drags on forever with very little going on worth caring about and useless padding, never recovering. Found too many the supposedly shocking moments not surprising or scary and the supposedly creepy atmosphere dreary, due to the excessive obviousness, a lot of dumb and vague moments and explanations and the lack of tension and suspense. Would not have minded the lack of originality (the film is extremely derivative and in a dumbed and watered down way) if the story and atmosphere were at least alright in execution, in reality they were both incredibly poorly done.
A lot of 'Ouija' often nonsensical and confusing character motivations, while too many of the things to make you jump or shocked are far from creative or scary and are pretty tame. The film often fails to make sense, at worst it's incomprehensible.
There is not enough threat, and what there is of it tends to be used poorly, it is completely unimaginative and more odd than creepy, completely failing to show any sense of horror or creativity. Everything here is neither creative, suspenseful or nail-biting and much of it absurd. Some badly sagging momentum too. The direction is leaden, with an all over the place visual style, and like their heart was not in it or ill at ease, with the non-existent chemistry between the characters and actors coming over as constantly random. This is very dreary and amateurish stuff that fails to be scary, interesting or easy to follow.
Concluding, a complete and utter mess. 1/10 Bethany Cox