Plot: Laurie (Carly Schroeder) is deep into a research project on the paranormal, which doesn’t make her mother Katherine (Dee Wallace) pleased in the least, as she dislikes her daughter’s involvement in the supernatural. Katherine is under immense stress, as she is on the verge of a financial meltdown and foreclosure of her home, but she seems more focused on Laurie’s work, as if there was a deeper reason she doesn’t want her to look into the paranormal. But Laurie has a plan and she intends to bail her mother out with a book deal, as her research could yield some interesting elements and she is about to visit the family’s old, isolated house. She believes her family’s past involved some kind of occult presence that happened at the house, a belief that is backed up when her cousin Samantha (Mischa Barton) arrives on the scene. She then reveals the full story behind the paranormal history of the family’s home, which seems to be dormant. But when a Ouija board is brought out and Laurie’s friends begin to tune into the spirits, will the evil energies be awoken once again?
Entertainment Value: I was drawn to Ouija House by the cast, which boasted a number of well known names and some were genre veterans, so I hoped that would lead to some fun chills and thrills. The narrative is straight forward for the most part, but takes a wild, hard turn toward the finale that is so outlandish, it is both bold and hilarious, giving the title a whole new world of relevance. The wackiness that unfolds in the final scenes isn’t indicative of the entire movie however, which takes a more serious, slow burn approach to the horror elements. The pace does drag a little, but not too much, though I do wish the narrative was more kinetic at times. The cast helps balance that out however, with solid performances that soften the exposition and slow pace, especially Dee Wallace, who dials up the melodrama. Wallace approaches the mother role as if she’s in a Lifetime thriller, which is fun to watch. Carly Schroeder has the central role and she is capable, but I appreciate that an ensemble approach is taken, as it allows others a chance to shine. The cast also includes Tara Reid, Tiffany Shepis, Chris Mulkey, and Mischa Barton, so there’s some notable folks involved. Ouija House might not be a genre classic, but it has some fun elements and is worth a look, if just for the cast and the finale, which boggles the mind.
The sleaze is limited in this one, as there’s no real sexual content, but we do have a few topless women at times. So there’s a little skin to be seen, but don’t expect it to be frequent or graphic in the least. The movie has a good amount of violence and some odd instances to boot, but the bloodshed is minimal here. The Ouija elements drive the horror related violence, including a bizarre scene where a girl’s body is used as the board and she swallows a large rock. A few scenes have a little blood involved, but I wouldn’t call it gore, just some small splashes here and there. But as I said, there is some violence and the Ouija madness is frequent. The dialogue is fine, if unmemorable in most cases. When the cast amps up their performances a little, the material is more fun, but that doesn’t happen often. Dee Wallace however is ramped up throughout, so her scenes tend to steal the show in this one. As for craziness, the main sources are Dee Wallace and the outlandish finale, so there is some solid wackiness present, despite the otherwise serious tone involved.
Overall Insanity: 2/10