“Ouija”: It took us places we didn’t want to go

Is your holiday weekend packed full with previous engagements with Netflix and desperately searching Hillcrest racks for something that could pass as a costume, but you still want to watch all of the classic Halloween horror movies? Good news, reader. You have the unique opportunity to witness every overdone, stereotypical horror movie trope in just 89 minutes. All you have to do is be willing to waste an hour’s worth of Work Study money on Ouija.

Although the flick was likely designed to be consumed by members of Generation Z dropped off at the theater by their moms, it is also likely that it was penned by those same 15 year olds. The plot was undoubtedly the film’s biggest downfall, as it was ridden with a “classic” horror movie plotline so tired you would think it had a 7:45 morning class.

The movie opens with a childhood flashback of doe-eyed BFFs playing with an Ouija board and planchette, tools used to supposedly contact the dead. Flash forward ten years, and the two girls are now doe-eyed teenagers meddling in the spirit world yet again. In the trailer, Laine, played by Olivia Cooke—otherwise known as the girl with the oxygen tank in Bates Motel—unexpectedly says goodbye to her best friend, Debbie (Shelley Hennig) when she is found dead in her home. Spoiler alert: a crazy spirit summoned by the board is responsible.

The memorial service for Debbie brings all of the players of the scary movie formula center-stage: Generic Jock Boyfriend (Daren Kagasoff), Brooding Leather Jacket Wearer (Douglas Smith) Overworked Waitress at the Local Diner Just Ready to Escape This Small Town Life (Bianca A. Santos) and Alternative Teenage Rebel Little Sister Who Has Headphones on for, Like the Whole Movie (Ana Coto). This group of friends is set on getting to the bottom of their friend’s suicide, and they will traverse the trope-o-verse to do it. As you waste away in your theater seat, the walking, talking angst masquerading as a group of actors onscreen will: nonsensically turn off all the lights when they are home alone, blame suspiciously-open doors on the wind, attempt to make flossing scary, buy into stereotypes about persons with mental illnesses, rely on a minority grandmother figure to fill major plot holes by offering timely “spiritual guidance” and offer to house sit in the place their friend died two days prior. The most entertaining part of my Ouija experience was the jeering-at-the-screen of my fellow movie-goers for the most annoying characters to “just die already”. In defense of the young cast, they tried their darndest. After all, you can only do so much when a director hands you a script that features lines like, “Nah, I’m going to stay in tonight. I’ve got some leftovers; I’m gonna rock it.”

Photo courtesy of latimes.com

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