Ouija: Origin of Evil Parent Review

Artistically this movie is a notch better than its predecessor, but it still contains satanic themes and supernatural occurrences.

Overall C

To earn a living and provide for her two daughters (Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson) during the 1960s, a widow (Elizabeth Reaser) claims to be able to talk to the dead by holding seances. But all of her contact with the unseen world is fake. Then one day, she awakens a real ghost... and the evil being won't leave the little family alone.

Violence C-
Sexual Content B
Profanity B
Substance Use B+

Ouija: Origin of Evil is rated PG-13 for disturbing images, terror and thematic elements.

Movie Review

Most horror movies work to convince us the dead never really gone. Likewise, horror movie concepts tend to live on forever. Enter the sequel for Ouija, yet another stab at creating a plot based on a supposedly supernatural board game—one that requires spirits who have passed on to not only speak English, but also be able to spell reasonably well.

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This time the haunting happenings take place in 1965 Los Angeles where a widowed mother (Elizabeth Reaser) and her two daughters (Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson) work together in their old house to help hapless clients contact the dead. With kids Paulina and Alice hidden away so they may cause the table to shake and the candles to extinguish, Alice Zander makes a meager living. Yet with the bank knocking at her door the worried bread-winner looks for something to spice up her act. Spotting a Ouija board in a local store, she brings it home and mods it with magnets to create a convincing effect.

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. And we know that’s bound to happen when young Alice wanders out of her bedroom late one night and takes a turn driving the planchette over the board. Moments later she’s chatting with her deceased father. This amazing activity works to convince her skeptical mother and sister that there is more to this séance business than bogus dramatics. Yet as time passes, Alice’s new connection with Dad seems to be doing little to give the girl the joy one would expect.

Artistically Ouija: Origin of Evil is a notch better than its predecessor and the bothersome suicidal themes involving teenagers are gone too. Like in the original film, parents will appreciate the lack of sexual content (limited to an adolescent boy and girl sharing a kiss in her bedroom) and infrequent profanities. However, few horror movies can drum up a good scare without resorting to violent themes. This one portrays someone hanging from a noose, mouths stitched shut, a stabbing, and satanic looking characters that overcome the living. In addition, the script features a Holocaust theme that may be offensive to viewers who don’t appreciate demonic depictions or a tragic historic event being exploited as terrifying amusement.

Similar to our first take with this franchise, there are two ways parents can approach this depiction. If you are of the attitude that Ouija boards are akin to a game of Clue or Monopoly, then this movie will be a typical Halloween distraction, replete with “made you jump” moments and ghoulish imagery. On the other hand, if this occult pastime rankles your religious sensitivities, you may want to tell your kids it’s Game Over before this movie spells out its evil dealings.

Directed by Mike Flanagan. Starring Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalise Basso. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release October 21, 2016. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Ouija: Origin of Evil here.

Ouija: Origin of Evil Parents Guide

Alice justifies leading clients to believe they are speaking with deceased relatives because it makes them feel happy and at peace. What do you think of her decision? Would you prefer to have someone tell you what they think you want to hear or speak the truth? Would your answer ever depend on the situation?

Many may feel that mainstream film studios create few religious movies. However, horror movies often deal with life after death and (as this one does) may include religious characters. What is the difference between a “horror” movie and a “faith based” movie? What might they have in common? Do movies like this one, that centers on a Ouija board, contradict or offend your religious views? Do you feel there are legitimate concerns that can result from participating in séances and other occult practices?