Ouija: Origin of Evil
|Ouija: Origin of Evil|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mike Flanagan|
|Music by||The Newton Brothers|
|Edited by||Mike Flanagan|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$80.7 million|
Ouija: Origin of Evil is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed and edited by Mike Flanagan and written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard. The film is a prequel to the 2014 film Ouija and stars Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, Parker Mack and Henry Thomas. Unlike its predecessor, the film's plot focuses on a widow and her family adding an Ouija board to their scamming business where, unbeknownst to them, they invite a spirit that possesses the youngest daughter.
The film was released on October 21, 2016 by Universal Studios, grossing over $80 million. The film received positive reviews, with many praising it as an improvement over its predecessor.
Set in 1967 Los Angeles, a widow named Alice Zander works out of her suburban home as a spiritual medium, accompanied by her daughters, 15-year-old Paulina "Lina" and nine-year old Doris; although they stage their seances, Alice's real intent is to help people move on. The family is still reeling over the recent death of Roger, Alice's husband and the kids' father. After Lina suggests that Alice incorporate a Ouija board into her readings, Alice does so, and unknowingly contacts a spirit named Marcus that begins to possess Doris. She ends the game without saying "goodbye," breaking one of the three rules: never play alone, never play in a graveyard, and always say goodbye.
Alice receives a foreclosure note, meaning they may lose their house. Doris contacts the board for help, believing she is communicating with her dead father, and the spirit leads her to a secret compartment behind the basement wall containing a pouch of cash. When she gives the money to her mom, the family has a Ouija session, believing they can contact Roger. When the board answers a question only Roger would know the answer to, a thrilled Alice begins believing that they are in contact with her dead husband.
Soon, Doris becomes possessed by a shadowy spirit. Lina, who is becoming disturbed by the changes in her sister, finds papers written by Doris in fluent Polish, a language she does not know, and brings them to Father Tom to translate. Troubled, Father Tom visits them for a Ouija session under the pretense of contacting his dead wife Gloria. Although the session appears to be successful, Father Tom later explains to Alice and Lina that Doris did not contact Gloria; she never was. Instead, for every question he asked, she reading his thoughts and repeating the answers he was thinking in his mind. He reveals that the pages are entries written by a Polish immigrant named Marcus, who was taken captive during World War II by a sadistic doctor who conducted experiments on him and other captives inside the house's basement. These spirits knew answers that only Roger would know because they have been watching the family since the day they moved in.
Meanwhile, Doris kills Lina's boyfriend Mikey and she hangs his body. Upon seeing this, Father Tom, Alice, and Lina burn the Ouija board downstairs. When Father Tom discovers skeletal remains in the basement wall, they realize that they have been using the Ouija board in a graveyard all this time. Father Tom finds the secret room where the experiments were conducted, and is possessed by the spirits. He attacks Alice and Lina, but momentarily seizes clarity, only to be killed by Doris. Alice is captured, while Roger's spirit carries an unconscious Lina to her bed. Lina wakes up and recalls an earlier moment where her doll's mouth was stitched by her father's spirit "to shut out the voices", realizing that she must sew Doris' mouth shut to quiet the spirits' voices and stop the evil. During the struggle, she successfully sews Doris' mouth shut and Doris dies, reuniting with her father. After this, Lina is temporarily possessed and stabs Alice. While dying, Alice sees Roger and Doris together, and happily joins them, leaving behind a sobbing Lina.
Two months later, Lina remains committed in a mental hospital for the suspected murder of her mother. She is interviewed by a doctor and is unable to say what happened to Doris' body, but states that she, Lina, will never be alone again. She tries summoning her sister inside her cell and the doctor watches, unbeknownst that the possessed Doris skitters across the ceiling towards him. In a post-credits scene set in the present, a now elderly Lina remains in the asylum and receives a visit from someone claiming to be her niece.
- Elizabeth Reaser as Alice Zander
- Annalise Basso as Paulina "Lina" Zander
- Lin Shaye as Old Paulina Zander
- Lulu Wilson as Doris Zander
- Henry Thomas as Father Tom Hogan
- Parker Mack as Michael "Mikey" Russell
- Halle Charlton as Ellie
- Alexis G. Zall as Betty
- Doug Jones as Ghoul Marcus
- Kate Siegel as Jenny Browning
- Sam Anderson as Mr. Browning
- Ele Keats as Ellie's Mom
- Nicholas Keenan as Walter
- Michael Weaver as Roger Zander
In January 2015, a sequel to Ouija was announced. In February 2015, Jason Blum confirmed the film was in development, and as yet had no release date. Mike Flanagan was set to direct and co-write the sequel, with his Oculus co-writer Jeff Howard. The film was produced by Michael Bay, Bradley Fuller, Andrew Form, Jason Blum, Brian Goldner, and Stephen Davis. Annalise Basso was set to star in the sequel. On September 17, 2015, Elizabeth Reaser joined the cast of the film. On September 18, 2015, Henry Thomas and Lulu Wilson also signed on to star. On September 21, 2015, more cast was announced, including Parker Mack, Sam Anderson, Kate Siegel, and Doug Jones.
Universal Pictures used its 1963–90 title, designed by Universal Title and Optical for MCA Inc., to open and promote the film.
The film opened alongside Boo! A Madea Halloween and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and was expected to gross around $15 million from about 3,168 theaters in its opening weekend. It ended up grossing $101.4 million (compared to its predecessor's $19.9 debut), finishing first at the box office.
Ouija: Origin of Evil received generally positive reviews from critics, with many praising it as a significant improvement over its predecessor. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 83%, based on 99 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10, making it the highest-rated film to date produced by Hasbro Studios, and the highest rated film to date produced by Platinum Dunes. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ouija: Origin of Evil swerves its franchise's planchette unexpectedly to YES with a surprisingly scary and dramatically satisfying follow-up to its lackluster predecessor." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 65 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". However, the audiences were more critical, with a poll by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale, just like its predecessor.
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- Evans, Greg (September 21, 2015). "Consult The Board: 'Ouija 2' Rounds Out Cast". deadline.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
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- "Can Ben Affleck's 'The Accountant' Be An Asset For Weak Fall Box Office? – Preview". Deadline.com.
- "'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back' to battle 'Ouija' sequel and 'Boo! A Madea Halloween' at box office". Los Angeles Times.
- Anthony D'Alessandro (October 23, 2016). "'Madea' To Push Well Past $27M As 'Jack Reacher' Takes $22M to $23M; 'Joneses' Can't Keep Up – Sun. AM Update". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
- "Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "Ouija: Origin of Evil reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
- Official website
- Ouija: Origin of Evil at the Internet Movie Database
- Ouija: Origin of Evil at Rotten Tomatoes
- Ouija: Origin of Evil at Box Office Mojo
- Ouija: Origin of Evil at Metacritic
- Ouija: Origin of Evil on Twitter