If you're looking for inspiration for a Halloween costume, you may like to try this sequel to 2014's generally panned horror film
- especially if you're a fan of 1960's fashion.
A miniskirt, large hair and white contact lenses are all you'll need to pull off the Ouija look - much easier and cleaner than pretending you've lost a limb.
Satirical suggestions aside, Ouija: Origin of Evil offers little new to the horror genre, but is executed well and a better film than the original. Unlike many horror films, it doesn't feel the need to launch right into killing characters or making us jump in our seats; it has the decency to establish its characters before the fun begins.
Horror writer and director Mike Flanagan (
) takes over the series and successfully draws us into the lives of Alice Zander (Reaser) and daughters Doris (Wilson) and Paulina (Basso), who live in Los Angeles in the mid 60s.
Recently widowed, Alice is making ends meet by scamming customers as a fortune teller and spiritual medium. She sees her job as offering comfort to people struggling to deal with the passing of a loved one, and thanks to Elizabeth Reasor's earnest performance we believe her.
However, after bringing the Hasbro game Ouija into the house to 'freshen up the act', Doris' behaviour begins to change. Alice has to shake a table leg to encourage her customers to believe she's speaking to spirits, but it turns out Doris has a natural knack for it. At first Alice is thrilled with her daughter's special gift, but Paulina is more concerned, bringing in her school priest for help.
Doris inevitably starts spending more time at the Ouija board, contacting her new friends in the spirit world, and two thirds through the film starts to cause real havoc. At this point you wonder if Hasbro has really thought through its product placement; it's not a good sell.
Smart and restrained sound effects - a ticking clock, a static television and whispered voices - feature throughout, but nothing beats total silence to get you squirming in your seat. Not that Flanagan always scares you when expected as he attempts to be a little unpredictable with the placement of his jump-frights.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is a familiar story - many possessed young girls have graced the screens over the years - but Flanagan throws in just enough creepy and witty twists to keep you interested in how it turns out.
It's unlikely to have you looking over your shoulder as you walk to your car on the way home, but it may well sell a few Ouija boards to teenagers intent on giving themselves a scare.
Cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalise Basso
Director: Mike Flanagan
Running Time: 99 mins
Rating: M (Violence, horror scenes. Content may disturb)
Verdict: Familiar story but nicely done.