Ouija (2014)

From the company that brought you Transformers, Battleship and Jenga 2: The Brickening (it’s only a matter of time) comes Ouija, a horror movie based on the famous bit of wood.

“Is that you, Bop It demon?”

Not to be confused with Ouija (2003), Ouija (2007) or Ouija (2015), Ouija (2014) is produced by Jason “Blumhouse” Blum and Michael “Transformers” Bay, the man who puts the Bro in Hasbro and is presumably on the company’s board (the corporate one as opposed to the Ouija one). We meet Debbie (Unfriended‘s Shelley Hennig) trying to dispose of her reappearing Ouija board, presumably because she got a boomerang to take its place. Sadly the film isn’t 90 minutes of a woman attempting to discard a board game; it’s 89 minutes of nothing.

Does this doll have its own film yet?

Debbie’s friends (Ready Player One‘s Olivia Cooke and The Bye Bye Man‘s Douglas Smith) find the Ouija board and learn three rules (don’t use it in a graveyard, don’t play alone and always say “goodbye”) that never really come into play, partly because the film is too cheap to have them violate the first one. The Ouija board ends up having no relevance to the generic haunted house plot, if you can even call it that. Literally nothing happens in this movie. Except at one point someone says “Is there a presence here among us?” and all the actors look at each other.

This is another joint insult from Platinum Dunes and Bumhouse, purveyors of three types of movies: not scary, not trying to be scary and not even pretending to be trying to be scary. Ouija falls into the latter camp, stiff as a board and wooden to boot. If Hasbro don’t want to scare people how can they justify a) the racism and sexism in the Transformers movies, or b) the existence of My Little Pony? And if they are so desperate to steer clear of suspense or story, at least make it fun; it’s a board game after all. Not a bored game.

Ouija (2014) is barely a film and a worse advert for the product. You’d be better off having them use it to stove each other’s heads in. It would be entertaining while showing off the manufacturing; killing two birds with one board.

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