uk cinemas listings

UK Cinemas

Cinema listings with film information and movie reviews

Entertainments Search:


On two occasions in Stiles White's supernatural horror, ill-fated characters spell out the golden rules of how to play safely with a Ouija spirit board. Never play on your own, never play in a graveyard, and always sign off by moving the heart-shaped planchette over GOODBYE. It sounds simple enough but within minutes of establishing these dos and don'ts, grief-stricken high school students are recklessly ignoring their own advice and find themselves at the mercy of a malevolent force. "It's only a game," nervously whispers one girl. The naivete of characters in hoary horror films never ceases to amaze. White's film, co-written by his wife Juliet Snowden, punctuates a predictable and increasingly preposterous plot with obligatory cheap scares, which all involve a member of cast appearing unexpectedly, accompanied by a discordant screech from composer Anton Sanko. As a big screen Halloween haunting, Ouija is pitifully short of both tricks and treats. High school student Debbie (Shelley Hennig) consults a spirit board on her own and takes a tumble over her balcony with a string of fairy lights wrapped around her neck. Classmates struggle to make sense of her apparent suicide. "I never got a chance to say goodbye," sobs Debbie's best friend Laine (Olivia Cooke) to her boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff). During a nostalgic final tour of Debbie's bedroom, Laine discovers an antique Ouija board and decides to rally the troops to make contact with their late friend and say their tearful goodbyes. "Do not go seeking answers from the dead," warns Laine's superstitious grandmother (Vivis Colombetti), the only person in the neighbourhood who isn't blinkered to the neon-lit bad omens. "Get rid of the board!" Unperturbed, Laine convenes at Debbie's house with her truculent younger sister Sarah (Ana Coto), Debbie's boyfriend Pete (Douglas Smith), gal pal Isabelle (Bianca A Santos) and Trevor to open a connection to the spirit world. Unwittingly, the friends make contact with a dark force that inhabits the house and torments the teenagers with the same greeting: HI FRIEND. The body count rises and Laine follows a trail of clues leading to a patient in Hoover State Care Psychiatric Hospital with intimate knowledge of the house's previous occupants. Ouija follows a linear path from ho-hum to hokum and clearly signposts the characters' demises including a dip in a swimming pool that takes almost the entire film to come to lacklustre fruition. Cooke looks pretty with tears in her eyes and her mouth contorted in fear while attractive co-stars are content to put themselves in harm's way. Director White maintains a plodding pace, even during a climactic race against time to banish the evil. We're itching to grab the spirit board and say GOODBYE to Ouija well before the blessed relief of the end credits.