Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

ouijaDirector: Mike Flanagan

Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard (Screenplay)

Starring: Annalise Basso, Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Henry Thomas, Parker Mack, Halle Charlton

 

Plot: In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by a merciless spirit, the family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Huge Improvement

 

Story: Ouija: Origin of Evil starts as we see séance scam artists Alice (Reaser) and her daughters Lina (Basso) and Doris (Wilson) showing off all their skills at getting the most out of their clients. We see how Lina the elder sister is getting tired of the scam and wants to add in a new trick to their scam, introduce the Ouija board and of course we get the rules told to us in case we missed the first film.

Once the Ouija board is bought into the house Doris starts acting strange like she has become possessed by a spirit summoned by the Ouija board and the family start to have their own money issues solved before we get to see the real motives behind the spirit taking over Doris’ body.

Ouija: Origin of Evil is the prequel to the largely disappointing horror film from last year. So naturally I was going in with little to no expectation on this film. I liked how this horror kicked out the pointless slasher side to the story and made the family come off so desperate for the money they would believe anything that could offer them. The film only feels connected by the title and could easily by a stand-alone horror film. The film comes off very creepy without hitting to mindless horror moments which is a big plus.

The performances from the small cast all works with Lulu Wilson shining as the creepy child while the rest all go great jobs during the story unfolding. This really is a huge improvement on the first film take the story in the direction it should have always been going.

 

Overall: Major improvement on the first film, creepy and horror ridden throughout.

Ratingcard

 

 

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Captain Fantastic (2016)

capDirector: Matt Ross

Writer: Matt Ross (Screenplay)

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crook, Charlies Shotwell, Trin Miller, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Ann Dowd, Frank Langella, Missi Pyle

 

Plot: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Story

 

Story: Captain Fantastic starts as we meet Ben (Mortensen) who has been raising his six children Bo (MacKay), Kielyr (Isler), Vespyr (Basso), Rellian (Hamilton), Zaja (Crooks) and Nai (Shotwell) in the forest of Pacific Northwest away from society. Ben is teaching his children in his own way so they could be ready for the anything life be it, self-defence, educational material or just plain old music.

When Ben has to go back into the real world he takes the recently completed boy to man Bo but is only treated to tragic news about his wife. Ben reluctantly takes his children to his wife’s funeral against the orders of her family. Over this time, we get to see how Ben learns that everything he thought was correct might not actually be right for his children.

Captain Fantastic is a wonderful story that gives us the idea that we always know what is right for our own children might not actually be correct. We see how family wants to support any decision but there will always be that tension within. Viggo Mortensen gives a heavyweight performance that could easily being contention when Oscar season hits and all six of the children are brilliant in their roles. I will say this has moments of being slightly too slow but in the end each scene comes off fascinating to see where the characters will be going next.

 

Overall: Brilliant story, brilliantly acted and the real outside shot for the Oscars.

Rating93

 

 

Oculus (2013)

logoDirector: Mike Flanagan

Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard (Screenplay)

Starring: Karen Gillian, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan, James Lafferty

 

Plot: Tim Russell (Thwaites) is being released from a mental home at the age of 21 due to something that happened while he was a young child. His sister Kaylie (Gillian) is waiting for him and plans to talk him into fulfilling a promise he made with her when they were children. She has got her hands on a mirror that she believes to be reasonable for the incident which left their parents Marie (Sackhoff) and Alan (Cochrane) dead. She plans to use the mirror to draw out whatever it is causing a string of deaths and finish it all once and for all.

 

Verdict: What Happened?

 

Story: I really didn’t follow what was happening here at all, the jumps between the past and present are awful, plus just figuring out what was real or a trick is just as confusing. The ending you could see coming a mile off and next to no jumps leaves this film giving us just talking, talking, a bit of shouting and screaming and finally more talking about what was real or what was made up to cover up what happened. (2/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Karen Gillian: Kaylie the sister determined to uncover the truth about what happened to her parents and stop it once and for all. She pushes her brother into helping but could it be that she is really the crazy one of the siblings? I can’t blame her for a terrible script and she does well with what little she has to work with. (6/10)

 karen

Brenton Thwaites: Tim freshly out the mental home he gets caught up in his sister’s plan to uncover a truth he believe he has come to deal with. This is another case where he does well without much to work with. (6/10)

brenton

Katee Sackhoff: Marie the mother who is slowly breaking down because of the suspicious her husband is having an affair, but is she being controlled by something more sinister? She plays the range on emotions well throughout. (6/10)

 katee

Rory Cochrane: Alan the husband who has started to act strangely ever since the family moved into a new house. Good performance playing the difference between good and bad well. (6/10)

 rory

Director Review: Mike Flanagan – Doesn’t do a very good job here, makes a very messy story with no scares no suspense just endless talking. (2/10)

 

Horror: No horror involved that offers anything scary. (2/10)

Settings: What should be a good setting really doesn’t add anything to the film even though it is good for the genre. (5/10)
Special Effects
: Poor special effects well when some are needed they fail to use them. (3/10)

Suggestion: This isn’t even worth trying to watch it really doesn’t do anything for a horror fan. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Nothing

Worst Part: The jumping story.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Hopefully not

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $28,728,472

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: You see what it wants you to see.

 

Overall: Awful ‘Horror’ Film

Rating 20