2014's "Ouija" was something of an anomaly: a majorly profitable hit of the Halloween season (it earned $103 million worldwide off a $5-million budget) that few actually seemed to like. Slick yet wimpy, the film—inspired by the Hasbro board game—seemed to be primarily targeting sheltered 13-year-olds girls at sleepover parties. Simply put, anyone who has seen more than a couple horror movies would likely be unfazed by what "Ouija" has to offer. In mounting (and, quality-wise, overhauling) the brand, writer-director Mike Flanagan (2016's excellent "Hush") and co-writer Jeff Howard have been given free reign by producer Jason Blum and the good folks at Blumhouse Productions to do as they please. In just about every conceivable way, classily orchestrated prequel "Ouija: Original of Evil" is a marked improvement over its predecessor, ratcheting up a number of expert chills even as the narrative rounds plenty of familiar bases.
1967, Los Angeles. Recently widowed mother Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) is struggling to move on while running a fortune-telling business out of her house. In actuality, her abilities as a medium are bogus, she and her daughters—15-year-old Paulina (Annalise Basso) and 9-year-old Doris (Lulu Wilson)—rigging seances while providing their clients much-needed closure with deceased loved ones. When Alice decides to introduce a Ouija board into her oeuvre, Doris instantly takes to the mystifying oracle. What initially appears to be a conduit to communicating with their late father and husband takes a more sinister turn as a malevolent entity threatens to possess the young girl.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review