Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Ouija Experiment (2011)

Number Rolled: 64
Movie Name/Year: The Ouija Experiment (2011)
Tagline: It's just a game... isn't it?
Genre: Horror
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: La Luna Entertainment, La Luna Films, Out of Body Films
Producer: Stuart Alson, Nicole Holland, Felix McNulty, Josey Wells
Director: Israel Luna
Writer: Israel Luna
Actors: Justin Armstrong, Dave Clark, Leah Diaz, Belmarie Huynh, Miranda Martinez, Swisyzinna, Taylor Terry, Carson Underwood, Eric Window

Blurb from Netflix: Film student Brandon and four friends play with a Ouija board, unwittingly opening a portal to the spirit world and a drowned girl’s deadly mystery.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’ve used a Ouija board before. I’ve never really understood what people see in it, though. It’s not nearly as creepy as the movies make it out to be and it’s not nearly fun enough to be called a game. It’s just a thing that exists. Of course, I have some very bleak beliefs about the afterlife and none of those beliefs allow me to put any stock in something like a Ouija board.

I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this film.

It delivered pretty much what I expected recipe-wise. Ouija board becomes a portal from the afterlife and people have to deal with malicious spirits. You expect the jump scares, you expect the scene where no one believes the first person to see the ghost, and you definitely expect some janky shaky cam.

There were, however, enough minor twists and differences between the recipe and what I saw for me to say that it was above average quality.

I enjoyed the actors quite a bit, for the most part. Justin Armstrong (Allegiance of Powers, Art of Survival, John Bosco in America) was pretty likeable for the character he played and Swisyzinna (Liquid Feet, Deceptions of Love, Wops the Movie) had a slow start, but when the movie started to flow into the creepy portions, she really came alive. The only two actors I had any issue with were Belmarie Huynh (Hoovey, Thug-Ocracy, Sweet Baby Love) and Eric Window (Circles, Sideline Confessions, Carter High), and I think that was more because I hated their characters than because of their performance.

My favorite thing about this movie was that it didn’t just rely on jump scares. Sure, there were some of those, but the story mostly revolved around a mystery that was woven into the plot. That mystery was decent enough that I didn’t really expect the direction it took.

I’d watch this film again, even with the shaky cam.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ll be upfront and say that I can’t stand Ouija boards. I won’t be around if one is being used, and it terrifies me that they market these things to kids. I mean, really? Making the thing pink and girlie doesn’t change the fact that it’s a tool to play with forces that you just don’t understand.

What drove me crazy about the shows MTV's Fear (2000-2002) and Scariest Places on Earth (2000-2006) was that they would throw inexperienced people into these situations and then give them tasks that were actually rather dangerous. These people didn’t know what they were playing with – or what was going to follow them home.

Before I get too far off on a soapbox, I have to admit that even though I have a healthy respect for and keep my distance from the things, I am still fascinated by Ouija boards all the same. It’s the same sort of morbid fascination that draws me to things like sharks and tornadoes (which, by the way is my absolute worst fear ever). I watched the heck out of the tornado chasing documentary series and even went to the IMAX movie – in the dome IMAX, not the overly large regular screen. I even white knuckled through the front row experience of my employee screening of Twister (1996)… much to the hand-pain of my then-boyfriend.

That being said, I expected more from this movie. I don’t know why. Netflix’s utter lack of stars on the recommendation apparently wasn’t deterrent enough to lower those expectations. I should have paid more attention.

This movie was a mess. I would honestly give it no stars, if I didn’t feel like that should be reserved for horrendous things like those centipede movies. This flick at least caught me with a few jump scares.

I was bored out of my mind. It was very hard for me to get engaged with the movie. I thought I was watching a soap opera for a little while. I was afraid it was going to even delve into soft-porn for a hot minute there. (I’m not trying to pun. It wasn’t steamy at all. Just cheesy backside nudity.) It was found-footage shaky-cam a lot of the time, which also didn’t help.

The action didn’t even really start until the last 40 or so minutes of the movie.

I wouldn’t recommend this, and I am seriously hoping we don’t end up with the sequel for review. (Though, I would watch that in a heartbeat over the centipede sequels. Seriously. Ugh.)

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 15%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 1.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 0/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

The Random Rating: R

Movie Trailer:

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