I’M GOING TO hold my hand up and say that this was the weakest of the 3 Flanagan movies of 2016, but that’s not to lessen its integrity by any stretch as it’s still a damn good movie
If anything it just strengthens Mike Flanagan’s pedigree as a modern horror auteur even further when you combine this with his other 2016 movie releases, Hush, and Before I Wake.
But I digress, back to Ouija: Origin of Evil and why it deserves a lot more recognition than it currently holds.
Firstly, the big elephant in the room which automatically serves as a hindrance in my book, is the bold choice to create a franchise out of what was essentially a flop in its predecessor, Ouija.
When I first heard that Flanagan was attempting to do this I was at first a little flummoxed by that decision, but as a few of my colleagues will testament, I’m a sucker for creativity born out of bold choices and for that measure I was willing to let Flanagan to take me along for the ride.
Secondly, was yet another interesting decision; to take Ouija back to its origins (as the title suggests) and act as a prequel and not a sequel.
In doing so, Flanagan is almost able to wipe the slate clean and throw in a few rules of his own, (some that the original was sadly lacking and give said original a bit more strength to its cause) and generate a new lease of life into what was a dormant vehicle.
A daunting challenge for most but Flanagan would rise to the occasion and allow the tension to be drawn out gradually.
The story itself would follow a family of seance scammers to unwittingly unleash evil, primarily on the youngest daughter and then struggle to fight against damnation in order to win back her soul.
What struck me in particular about this movie was Flanagan’s fascination with the human mind and how it can manipulate, be manipulated and misinterpret various scenarios for good or ill.
It’s an area he has focused on before in Oculus and this movie would allow him to divulge further into this subject as part of his playing field.
So, if like some people you were drawn away from watching this movie as you were let down by the original, I would ask you to reconsider.
This is a movie that highlights a director who is only just starting to pick up his stride and produce some wonderful moments in the horror genre.
And is the reason why he is my recommendation for Director of the Year.
Next up: Before I Wake