A shady psychic and her two adorable daughters discover that a presence from the other side strenuously objects to her business practices. Those viewers with an interest in the fair-to-middling original Ouija should find their lingering questions answered by this 1960s-set installment; sticking through the credits is advised. Everyone else, meanwhile, can just sit back and luxuriate in the infernal energy that director/co-writer Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) brings on board, using the franchise to concoct a deliriously inventive possession movie, which leavens out the terrifically staged Pavlovian scares with healthy gobs of deadpan wit. (Dig the decade-appropriate camerawork and cigarette burns in the corner of the screen!) It’s been a great year for well-constructed horror (Don’t Breathe, The Conjuring 2, The Shallows, etc.) but there’s some real playful master craftsmanship on display here, of the sort that jangles the viewer without leaving them feeling ill-used. Yes, you should definitely see this prequel to a movie based on a board game.
Director: Mike Flanagan
Producer: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Jason Blum, Brian Goldner, Stephen Davis, Couper Samuelson, Jeanette Volturno, Trevor Macy and Victor Ho
Cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, Henry Thomas, Parker Mack, Halle Charlton, Alexis Zall, Doug Jones, Kate Siegel, Sam Anderson, Chelsea Gonzalez, Lincoln Melcher, Nicholas Keenan, Michael Weaver, Ele Keats and Eve Gordon