At First Glance: “Ouija”

As long as there’s a market for horror films, studios will continue making them. Most of the time, those films are going to be bad to mildly bad.

Some, are actually entertaining, and a little creepy, but nothing more. Rarely, especially in this day, when audiences can’t be scared, a really good horror film comes along and actually works.

In the case of this new trailer for Universal Pictures upcoming film “Ouija”, which debuted this past week, it doesn’t seem to be falling into the category of good and successful horror film.

The film stars Olivia Cooke (“Bates Motel”, “The Quiet Ones”), Ana Coto (“DisCONNECTED”, “”), Douglas Smith (“Stage Fright”, “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”), Daren Kagasoff (“Blue”, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”), and Matthew Settle (“A Sister’s Nightmare”, “Gossip Girl”).

The film is directed by Stiles White and written by Juliet Snowden (“The Possession”, “Knowing”) and White (“The Possession”, “Knowing”).

This horror film is slated for release on Oct. 24.

It should be understood, that this film does have the potential to be creepy, but that’s it. Could you enjoy it somewhat? Yeah. But to the point that you’d come away loving it or wanting to watch it again, let a lone tell others about it? Probably not.

The films trailer didn’t even creep me out or bother me in the slightest. That usually helps me from the beginning, but is lacking here.

I’m sad, because for several years now, I’ve heard that this film was in development. I even got excited for the tiniest bit of information on this film. The fact that it’s based on a board game that everyone has heard of, in some way, suggests it has the potential for a lot of creepiness.

All I saw were the typical tropes used in every horror movie; even the successful horror films. Jump scares, evil doubles forcing you to do things to harm yourself, a la “Mirrors”, and being dragged away by ghosts or spirits, or something. Dull. These will be the very same “scares” that you question the moment they’re over.There was also a lot of darkness. A must in a horror film it seems.

While I guess you could say that this features a cast of “hot young talent”, that really doesn’t carry much weight. Sure Cooke has a pretty good gig right now with “Bates Motel”, and that’s my reason for wanting to watch, but that doesn’t do much to reassure me. Most of the others, no one’s really heard of, or seen them for long moments in a film or TV episode. All audiences will be doing is betting that they know how to act well, even with this material. I’m surprised this is a film that is going to theaters and not straight to DVD. Or is it? The trailer doesn’t really indicate which.

No matter the distribution route, I’ll wait a bit. I’m sure at some point it will wind up on Netflix and I’ll already be paying for that content, so a viewing will be a must.


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