Director: Mike Flanangan (2016) BBFC cert: 15
This belated and unwanted supernatural prequel to 2013’s Ouija is scary only in its lack of originality and ability to frighten up any fun.
When a widowed fortune teller introduces a Ouija board into her repertoire, her younger daughter makes contact with a spirit from the other side. At first providing gifts and helping with homework, when it exposes its malevolent nature there are dire consequences for the family.
Hard working Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson form the basis of an agreeable cast as mother and daughters. But as there’s no flesh on the scripts ghoulish bones for them to tear into, and we don’t care when very bad things start to happen.
There’s no attempt at twisting the setup into something interesting or topical such as drawing a parallel between the ouija board and internet grooming. Instead the script scratches at the walls of blank eyed possession, hidden rooms and half-hearted torture porn.
Among the absence of thrills are laughable nods to The Exorcist (1974) and Poltergeist (1982). The lighting and period detail gives the paranormal activity an undeserved gloss, while an underdeveloped sense of camp is bludgeoned into submission by cheap shocks.
The banging and shrieking on the soundtrack is loud enough to wake the dead. And possibly even the audience.