A company of friends are forced to face a waking nightmare after they awaken dark forces with a Ouija board.
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Stiles White, the screenwriter of the, in my opinion, disgusting ‘Damnation Box’ (or rather, one of their number) makes his directorial debut, this time replacing the abode of Ghost House Pictures, owned by none other than Sam Raimi, for the haven of Bloomhouse, which produces horror opuses of varying quality with such consistency that the most, in the view of the producers, unpromising of them just do not get into wide distribution, going straight to streaming. By ‘promising’, of course, we mean the box office potential, not the quality of the product – if it were otherwise, we certainly wouldn’t have seen ‘Ouigi’ in cinemas.
Probably not every modern fan of the genre is familiar with such its representative as ‘The Sorcerer’s Board’, which was released back in the eighties, and even got a couple of not very successful followers on the wave of success of number one. A remake of that 1986 film is now rumored to be in development – and ‘Ouigi’ is by no means such. Everything is much more banal: Hasbro, in addition to its well-known figures in the range also has these ‘plaques’. Given that the tablet in the film contributed to a large number of deaths, the picture oddly enough turned out not to be advertising, and anti-advertising – particularly impressionable adults are unlikely to want to buy such a tablet as a gift for their child. But in the picture, however, we will talk about a certain, so to speak, ‘antique’ board, which the first victim inherited from the previous owners of the house. But before that there will be a prologue in which we will be explained the basic ‘rules of use’ of the object. A few minutes later, one of the heroines will hang herself from the garland, which will come as a shock to her relatives and friends in high school. After a while the heroine Olivia Cook will find the unfortunate artifact among the things that belonged to the deceased, and wants ‘to make contact with her’.
The film’s creators themselves describe their work as a ‘mystical thriller’ in order to somehow ‘make a straw for themselves’ and to avoid fair accusations of a weak concentration of horror elements per unit of time. In terms of those, by the way, there is a significant crisis of ideas here, with the writers not even trying to come up with something original, using a completely typical set of clichÃ©s. And there is a complete lack of aspiration to present these cliches under some unconventional sauce. The flicker of the table lamp alone is enough – how many times have we seen this clichÃ©, and how many times will we still have to see it? But, say, Jennifer Kent in her powerful horror film ‘The Babadook’ which was unfairly not given a chance to be released in Russia (I strongly recommend to see this film if you have a chance – it’s a sort of art-house ‘Sinister’) has managed to play with this effect in an unusual and original way – but here we cannot speak of such luxury. Well, no one cancelled the general sluggishness of the action – the characters talk a lot, something happens – but it all reminds more of a youth serial, and the scary episodes sort of recede into the background.
In fairness it should be noted that there is a certain charm of ‘youth horror film’ reminiscent of similar films of the eighties and nineties, in which the plot also happened to be in the center of high school students. And the characters, for the most part, aren’t dumb enough to evoke a spitfire attitude. It also makes sense to mention the absence of the inherent ‘Damnation Box’ unwarranted pathos, which caused only wild laughter there. Nevertheless, the direction in which Stiles White continues to go is increasingly gravitating toward the ‘kindergarten horror’ label. After all, a PG-13 rating is far from a verdict: the aforementioned Astral is vivid proof of that. But here everything is dry, bloodless and sterile. To paraphrase the film’s slogan, I would like to say: ‘keep convincing yourself that this is a horror.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (85.0 Mb/s)
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
English, English SDH.