I already know that this upcoming weekend is going to make me sad. Ouija is bound to make more money than it deserves just because it is a “horror” movie. It goes head to head with Keanu Reeves’ return to action movies in John Wick.
How did they get the couch up in the attic?
It may take years to understand. This question may even lead to my inevitable breakdown. But seriously, there was only a 3’x3′ space to crawl up to the attic, barely big enough for a person to fit through. Yet, when the final girl, Laine, crawls up to the attic to investigate where the Ouija board came from, she sees a full-size couch and a creepy doll sitting on it. Was it an IKEA couch that the previous homeowners constructed in the dingy attic? Was the roof of the house built around the couch? The world may never know.
This scene took place an hour into the movie. It’s not as if I didn’t realize how bad the movie was previous to that, I think it was just the breaking point that tested my sanity.
One of the first terrible scenes happened early on. After her best friend’s suicide, Laine comforts her friend’s mom at the wake. The mom then says, “Well, thanks for watching the house this coming weekend!” To be clear, the mom, who clearly had a terrible week, apparently had to go on vacation and let her deceased daughter’s best friend watch the house. I just…..
I’ll do my best to summarize the story without mashing my face on my keyboard. After her friend’s suicide, Laine recruits a bunch of her high school friends to use a Ouija board to communicate with her dead friend. Well, they communicate with a ghost, but it’s not her friend, instead it’s a little girl whose mouth has been stitched up. This group of “teenagers” try to investigate the history of the house and spirits inside, all while trying to survive before the board takes them. Oh, I forgot to mention that these particular ghosts kill you by giving you cataracts and making you kill yourself. It’s all just terrible so please don’t worry about the plot further. If you have any respect for my reviews, I require your admission that you will not see this movie.
The LA Times recently interviewed the president of Hasbro Studios, Stephen Davis. He seemed to have no qualms about the poor quality of Ouija. Instead, he says that with Ouija he hopes to “possibly luck into a franchise.” Yes, no matter the quality, he knows that poor suckers will see it and there will be a possible sequel.
Don’t even see this movie thinking you’ll at least get some good scares before Halloween. I counted 11 fake-out jump scares throughout the movie. The audience I was with didn’t scream once. It was a long 89 minutes. This movie was so dumb that I felt bad about ripping on Annabelle. (Author’s note: That is still a mediocre movie, but has one scary scene).
Please don’t let Hasbro luck into a franchise with Ouija. Just promise me now that you’ll pass on Ouija.
The past decade has been an interesting one for Keanu Reeves. He has dabbled in police corruption dramas, samurai films and indie flicks. With John Wick, he has finally settled back into his sweet spot.
Reeves plays the title role of John Wick. He is the only cinematic hitman to ever truly escape “the life.” He was once known among the criminal underground as “The Boogeyman.” Since his departure, he has been happily married and left his darkness behind him.
In the opening few minutes, his wife passes away (of natural causes) and he grieves in his own dark way. Before she died, she bought him a puppy to take care of and help him through the grieving process. All he has left in his life are a small puppy and a 1969 Mustang. When the son of a powerful Russian mobster attacks him to steal his car, and in turn kill his dog, John Wick starts on the course for revenge and finds himself right back in the dangerous life of a hitman.
So he loses his wife, his dog and his car. This movie is basically Death Wish: The Country Song.
That is not a bad thing. You will never be bored during John Wick. The action starts early and doesn’t let up. These scenes are brutal and, dare I say, creative. His reputation precedes him everywhere he goes. Everyone he encounters realizes that they won’t be able to put up much of a fight against him. He is basically Batman, if Batman double-tapped every criminal in Gotham.
Reeve’s acting range has never been Oscar-worthy, but this type of strong-silent role is perfect for him. It doesn’t hurt that his supporting cast provides the charisma either. Reeves is joined by Michael Nyqvist (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Ian McShane (Deadwood) and Willem Dafoe (Your Nightmares).
Stylistically, this is a treat to watch. It resembles the blue-tone noir world similar to Mel Gibson’s 1999 revenge thriller, Payback. Every scene is muted and moody. The music choices are random, yet somehow work because they don’t quite match the intense close-combat action.
It may seem like I’m raving about this movie. It won’t be in my year end top ten. I will say that it knows exactly what kind of movie it is – Grindhouse revenge thriller – and it pulls it off wonderfully. See John Wick if you’re in the mood for a violent flick that doesn’t let up.