Reel Reviews: ‘Ouija’ and ‘Annabelle’

By on October 29, 2014

The horror!

There are things that go bump in the night and things that go flop on the floor — the box office floor. That is what I wish I could be writing about “Ouija.” In fact, the opposite is true. The latest teen horror flick pulled in more than $20 million at the box office to snag the top spot ahead of “John Wick.” The movie was a miracle for Universal Pictures who only dropped $5 million to make “Ouija.” I’m sure it will do well next week, but it will only do well because of the average moviegoers demand for the genre not “Ouija’s” cinematic merit.

“Ouija” is the story of a group of teens who come up against an evil spiritual force. The first victim is Debbie (Shelley Hennig, who started as Stephanie Johnson on “Days of our Lives”) who found the Ouija board tucked away in her attic. When she played with the board by herself it awoke a vengeful, murdering spirit who possessed Debbie and staged her murder as a suicide.

Not believing her best friend would ever commit suicide, Laine vows to find out what really happened when unexplainable things begin to happen in Debbie’s house. A group of friends gather to play the game and reach out to Debbie’s spirit. Things are not as they seem as each member of the group is visited by a haunting force. Then they start dropping.

While the movie is jumpy, it’s not really scary, as in horrifying. The story is creepy, but it’s predictable. Some people may appreciate there is little gore on the screen except when lips need pursed. There is also no superfluous nudity — as expected in the genre — in the PG-13 “Ouija,” although some scenes hint their might be some.

Cooke is quickly becoming typecast as the horror flick actress. She and costar Ana Coto (who plays Laine’s troubled sister Sarah) are the only bright spots in this dreary movie. I’m not sure if “Ouija” is filled with horrible acting or simply inexperienced actors. Either way, this train wreck of acting delivers awkward dialogue and misrepresented lines that can make any viewer shake their head in disgust. I am sure you need to just skip this flick. I’ve told you everything you need to know about “Ouija.” Go see something else. (Opening this week is Rowan Joffe’s creepy-looking “Before I Go to Sleep” staring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. Joffe wrote “28 Days Later” and “The American,” which I won’t hold against him.)

Annabelle, a doll who scared the pants off everyone who watched “The Conjuring,” is back in her own feature film that  tells her backstory. “Annabelle” has already grossed $70 million at the box office and hopes to make a killing (no pun intended) over Halloween weekend.

Annabelle, a doll who scared the pants off everyone who watched “The Conjuring,” is back in her own feature film that
tells her backstory. “Annabelle” has already grossed $70 million at the box office and hopes to make a killing (no pun intended) over Halloween weekend.

Also in theaters: ‘Annabelle’

If you are looking for a horror movie to see this spooky weekend, go see “Annabelle,” from the folks who brought us “The Conjuring.” That 2013 movie was based on a true story of a haunted house and grossed over $137 million for New Line Cinema. New Line is back for more profits with a lower budget flick. “Annabelle” has already grossed more than $70 million and looks to continue adding profits this Halloween weekend.

When their home is invaded Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and John (Ward Horton) look to start over anew. But they brought with them a tormented force looking to destroy them.

Of course, “Annabelle” is studded with bits of lameness, but it is one of those horror movies that makes you cover your face with your hands and makes you sink in your seat in horrific anticipation. It’s not the best movie, but I’ve see a lot worse. It’s scary! If you are looking for a horror film to watch in the theaters this weekend, choose “Annabelle” over the others.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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