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New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - OUIJA SEANCE: THE FINAL GAME

OUIJA SEANCE: THE FINAL GAME review
A group of holidaying friends unleash hell when they come across a Ouija board.







Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Andrea Mugnaini

Starring: Alan Cappelli Goetz, Andrea Fachinetti, Holly Louise Mumford, Gianfranco Quero, Katharina Sporrer

OUIJA SEANCE: THE FINAL GAME poster

A film titled Ouija came out in 2014, and though it starred the talented Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel), it was a pretty lame outing.

In 2016 Ouija: Origin of Evil was released and it was great; a prequel to the 2014 outing, it is a massive jump forward in quality and scares.

Now in 2018 comes Italian-set Ouija Seance: The Final Game, which is completely unrelated to the previous movies bar the title; and unfortunately it's even more substandard than the first movie.

Sarah (Katharine Sporrer) comes home from her art class to find her roommate Barb (Holly Mumford) supposedly doing Zumba in her matching lingerie in front of a mirror - you know, like we all do.

After some wardrobe discussion it transpires that they are about to go away for a party weekend in the countryside. Just a slight detour to Sarah’s late grandmother's house and it's onwards to the party.

OUIJA SEANCE: THE FINAL GAME

It transpires that Sarah has just sold the house and, as of Monday, she says it'll be the property of an electrical company who want to demolish it.

Apparently she was her unknown grandmother's only living relative since her mother died "23 years ago," she says portentously.

The party where they were going to spend the weekend is cancelled en route and so the stop at grandma's house turns into a longer stay then originally planned.

Along for the weekend are Barb's horn-dog and all round asshole boyfriend, Guillaume (Alan Capelli Goetz) and super-keen-on-Sarah, Rico (Gianfranco Quero).

After a warning from the de rigueur 'creepy caretaker', which they promptly ignore, we are treated to this little nugget of dialogue spoken by Guillaume who is joined by Rico on his way to urinate in the woods: "I hope this ain’t an excuse to look at my cock!" - screenwriting gold right there!

While the men urinate, the women wander the old house because evidently women don’t have bladders in horror movies.

Sarah is troubled by visions of a haunted-looking woman in a hospital gown; well, maybe 'troubled' is the wrong word as she actually doesn’t look bothered at all.

Guillaume is ominously cutting up some phallic hotdogs by the fire when he decides to go up to the attic and see if there is any Chianti. "We are in Italy after all," Rico concurs.

OUIJA SEANCE: THE FINAL GAME

Of course, upstairs they have to open the secret room and before you know it they’ve found some of dear old grandma's devil worshipping tools, including the titular Ouija board, which of course they use and unleash familiar Hell.

When things start to go bump in the night and Sarah finds herself having nightmares about her mother's suicide she seeks out that crazy old caretaker, who is apparently not so crazy after all. He gives her a tree of life necklace that was her mother's and tells her not to go in "that room."

Too late old man!

Guillaume and Rico seem to be having some sort of alpha male competition and the goading is frankly a little silly, particularly given their close quarters.

Things start to get bloody and there's a surprisingly unexpected event in the second half that triggers the story into more traditional horror territory.

Rico proves 'nice guys' really are the most insidiously frightening creatures and the caretaker proves to be a bit of a hero.

OUIJA SEANCE: THE FINAL GAME

Everything in this movie is rather generic, except that the horror aspect is almost non-existent; gender stereotypes are alive and well here and not in a fun '80s way, with the males getting particularly shafted in the sympathetic character stakes. The Ouija board scene is a blink and you’ll miss it affair, leaving the film with no real middle, and the ending is ho hum.

On the positive side, performances are not bad, the Italian scenery is beautiful and makes for an intriguing setting at the very least; there is also some thoughtful direction by newcomer Andrea Mugnaini.

Overall a rather bloodless affair that needed an injection of chutzpah to really get the juices flowing. It’s a PG horror in every sense but this particular subject matter is a 'go hard or go home' sub genre that just felt too light and weak to have any impact; and if you are going to have 'Ouija' in the title, you milk that thing for all its worth.

Meh.

Ouija Seance: The Final Game is on VOD now and DVD August 3rd.



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