By Matthew Leasor

Boy, it has been a rough year for horror movies. It seems that the genre is stagnant and every movie is simply a re-tread full of more jump-out startles then true scares. Unfortunately Ouija is another disappointing example.

The basic plot is a group of teenagers gather together to play with a Ouija board to summon their recently deceased friend, only to summon a sinister entity instead. The teenagers get picked off one by one by the malevolent spirit in gleefully violent ways (well for the most part, there is an extremely lame death in a pool where you wonder, ok, can I understand if the guy can’t swim, but can he at least float?) on their way to unravel the mystery of how their friend got killed and how to rid themselves of the haunting spirit.

There is absolutely no character development in this film. You will never once care about any of the characters in the story. They never even attempt at establishing character archetypes at least, c’mon lets show some effort here! It took a very long time to get the excitement going in this film. It takes so long to get to the horror and action after the initial scene that I was starting to wonder if I was watching an episode of a high school relationship drama on the WB channel from the 2000s, or perhaps a less interesting episode of “Pretty Little Liars”. In fact, after full viewing, I felt like I had just watched a made for cable movie. A made for cable movie that was instantly forgotten when I awoke the next morning.

Ouija did have a few things going for it. There was a good twist about ¾ through the film that I was not expecting which pulls a 180 on the protagonists, and epic face-palm, them realizing that they are only feeding the beast so to speak. A false ending is supplied as well, although it is obvious the film isn’t over as it occurs to soon through the running time. A kill scene in a bathroom proved a very effective cringe worth moment.

Appropriately, the only crowd that will enjoy this movie is the same type that would enjoy sitting in a basement, the lights dimmed; playing with a Hasbro Ouija board they bought at Target: Pre-teen girls. Don’t waste your money. Skip it.

1.5 stars