Friday, March 6, 2015

Ouija Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
After Debbie (Shelley Hennig, “Teen Wolf”) suddenly dies, her best friend Laine (Olivia Cooke, “Bates Motel,”) attempts to contact her using an antique Ouija board she finds in Debbie’s room. When the curious teen begins asking the board questions and stumbles upon the mystery of her friend’s death, Laine discovers a resident spirit calling itself DZ, and eerie, inexplicable events begin to follow her. The group of friends digs deeper into the history of Debbie’s house and are shocked to find that Debbie wasn’t the first victim—and won’t be be the last if they don’t figure out how to close the portal to the spirit world they’ve opened.
Film (3 out of 5 stars)
After Laine’s best friend, Debbie, apparently kills herself, Laine is determined to contact her from the beyond.  When Laine finds a Ouija board in Debbie’s room, Laine recruits her sister, her boyfriend, Debbie’s boyfriend and another friend to sit down and play with her.  The group contacts a spirit, who they think is Debbie and begin asking questions.  After some strange things happen, the group leaves the house and returns home.
However, the spirit they believe is Debbie isn’t giving up.  It lures the group back to the house for another session and when the group realizes that the spirit isn’t actually Debbie, they run.  Now that the spirit has been released, it is going after each member of the group, one by one.  When Laine finds out Debbie found the board in the attic of her house, she investigates the house further and learns that the previous owners had a daughter who went missing.  Laine visits one of the members of the family and learns some shocking things.  She learns that in order to help her friends, she needs to help the spirits of the house.
When I first heard about this movie, I was terrified.  It looked completely terrifying and scary.  Ouija boards creep me out… even though, there is one sitting in the hall closet (that will be tossed in a couple weeks when I purge the house of all unneeded items).  I saw the movie in the theater and walked out of the theater not as scared as I thought.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the film.  I did like watching it, and enjoyed watching it again.  I thought all the actors did a great job and were realistically scared during their scenes.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
Ouija’s 1080p high definition wide screen 2.40:1 presentation was really good.  The picture was clear and the colors were bright.  There are a lot of dark scenes where colors, but still the picture is clear and easily seen.  Blacks are dark and true and even in the dark, the scene is easily viewed.  Ouija is a good movie to watch on any screen.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is also very good.  The volume moves up and down from quiet to loud, but it’s not such a significant change that I needed to adjust my volume.  All scenes were clear and intelligible with just the right amount of creepiness added.  The background music and sounds really made the movie creepier and there were a couple parts where I jumped.  Audio is also available in Spanish 5.1 DTD Digital Surround and French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround.  Subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish and French.
Extras (3 out of 5 stars)
The special features for Ouija, while lean, were interesting.  I enjoyed watching the explanation of the board, hearing a little about its history and seeing some behind the scenes.
  • The Spirit Board: An Evolution – Four minutes about the Ouija board’s origin, why it gained such popularity and how it has changed over the last 125 years.  This feature has interviews with experts and crew members talking about the boards and explaining how it became the centerpiece for the movie.
  • Adapting the Fear – Three minutes of behind-the-scenes of how the movie became based on a board game.  Including interviews with the cast and crew talking about how they scared each other and some of the tips and tricks used to scare the actors.
  • Icon of the Unknown – Four minutes on how a Ouija board works.  A talk about the psychological, logical or spiritual reasoning as to how the board answers the questions being asked.
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
Ouija is a fun movie to watch.  It’s appropriately creepy, made me jump in my seat and think twice about walking around my house with all the lights off.  I enjoyed watching it and it made me wonder about what’s under my 100-year-old house.  Ouija is definitely a movie I will keep in my library; add to my horror movie viewing night, and rewatch every once in a while.

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