Ouija: Origin of Evil provides mystery suspense less horror

Ouija: Origin of Evil film details

Director: Mike Flanagan DecayMag.com Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard Ouija: Origin of Evil
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Release Date:  21 October 2016 (USA)
Release Format: Cinemas
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Running Time: 

In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by a merciless spirit, the family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.



Ouija released in 2014, the supernatural horror film earning $19,875,995 on its opening weekend. The film would go on to make $103,590,271 worldwide. Ouija had a modest budget of $5 million. The statistics display a huge increase of profit margin. Yet, this isn’t the case. Ouija did not meet expectations from the film’s executives. As a result, a sequel was soon put into place. The idea, if successful is to reestablish a potential film franchise.

DecayMag.com Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard Ouija: Origin of Evil

Ouija; Origin of Evil will release in theaters on 21st of October 2016.

The film is a completely different entity from the original. Absent are the teen driven formula and constant jump scares present in the first film. Exhibit in the second installment is a structure designed to be a prequel to the source material.

Ouija; Origin of Evil is a completely different entity from the original. Absent are the teen driven formula and constant jump scares present in the first film. Exhibit in the second installment is a structure designed to be a prequel to the source material.

Director Mike Flanagan restructured the concept and presents a new aesthetic for Ouija. Flanagan may have single-handedly resuscitated what could’ve been a disastrous start to a horror movie franchise. Ouija was a disaster and this is not reserved opinions of the masses. Below are some quotes from Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions, Producer of Ouija.

“We made mistakes, and by making this film, we’re sort of acknowledging our mistakes with the first film.  We’re trying to make a better film.”

“We did not meet expectations with the first film….”

“The first film did well enough at the box office that we were able to get the studio, Universal, to go ahead with a sequel.  However, we didn’t want to do another teen-driven film. We wanted to do an origin film, and the studio agreed to this.”

“Mike  (Flanagan) helped us out when we did the first film, and he had an idea for the second film that I really liked. He wanted to do an origin film, which seemed like a great idea to me.”

“I promise fans, those who didn’t like the first film, that they will enjoy this film much more,” says Blum. “It’s more dramatic and much scarier.”

Jason Blum, Blumhouse Productions

DecayMag.com Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard Ouija: Origin of Evil


Ouija: Origin of Evil is not particularly a horror film per se. The film projects itself as a Suspenseful Mystery Thriller. This is a much welcome change in comparison to the 2014 release. Presented here is a slow but entertaining direction centered on the supernatural. A curious exploration and consequences thereof become the premise of the film. This commentary is direct and begins to unfold from the opening frame.

Ouija: Origin of Evil, caters to both the average cinephile and horror enthusiasts alike. Gore and high frequency of jump scares are absent in the film. The narrative is set 1965 Los Angeles. The reenacted scenes have a precision to historic details. Between the wardrobe and props, found is a glimpse into the past. The music score complements the setting and enhances emotions for key scenes.

Stay tuned to DecayMag.com for our exclusive interview with the Newton brothers. the Newton brothers are the composers for Ouija: Origin of Evil.

Child actress Lulu Wilson is the spotlight performer for Ouija: Origin of Evil. Wilson exceeds expectations in her role as Doris Zander. She adapts with flawlessness between a doe-eyed innocent young girl to a demonic terror. Her performance is terrifying and adorable. Horror enthusiasts should keep an eye out for Lulu Wilson. Ouija is not the first horror film Wilson stars in. Also, according to IMDB.com Wilson is cast for an upcoming horror franchise entry.

DecayMag.com Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard Ouija: Origin of Evil


Ouija: Origin of Evil is a Caucasian driven film. It is sad to see ethnicity were not represented in here. The primary characters are as follows;

• A middle-class Caucasian family plagued by supernatural forces.

• A Caucasian priest battling the forces of evil

The narrative is familiar and doesn’t stray far from established formulas. Characters have a basic structure with a template-based backstory.  It would be logical to restructure characters and traits to meet current social standards.

The CGI effects presented in Ouija: Origin of Evil are comical in nature. The renders were not exclusive and borrowed from ideas in place with horror cinema. These visual effects did not strike the audience with a sense of terror.

DecayMag.com Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard Ouija: Origin of Evil

From a personal opinion, the film presents a scene that may be overlooked by audiences. The initial possession of the character Doris Zander has a sexual predatory aesthetic. Doris suffers an assault when a creature forces himself into her mouth. The action renders her paralyzed from the traumatic experience. Her attacker is an entity, a male shadowy figure. The assailant can be interpreted as a masked assailant. It is uncanny to witness such a depiction within a PG-13 horror film. What is the message projected here?

In conclusion:

Director and co-writer Mike Flanagan did what he was set out to do. Ouija: Origin of Evil is a good start to a horror film franchise. Audiences will soon forget the disaster released in 2014. The question remains;

Will Ouija, the franchise continue with a well-produced path?

Can Ouija: Origin of Evil do enough to invigorate a potential franchise?

Rating Score:  0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40  Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive

90 %
70 %
60 %
Practical Effects
50 %
Scare Factor
5 %
Special Effects
5 %
Viewing Experience
90 %
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Ken Artuz is Co-Owner of Meca Ex Studios LLC. Artuz is a New York City Based Photographer with proficiency in Photoshop. His digital artwork was featured in exhibitions SOHO, NYC, twice. Artuz is a graduate of The Institute of Audio Research where he earned his degree in Audio Engineering and Record Production. He also earned certification in Television Production and Field Recording at Lehman College. For Horror Artuz Favors French Extremism and Indie productions. He is a novelist, and screenwriter listens to EBM, Industrial & Witch house and is an avid MMA sports fan. Ken Artuz will create a media empire built on the DecayMag Brand.


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