Ouija: Review by Holly Bareham


Again, another late review but as I explained in my review for ‘The Babadook’, I just got a Cineworld Unlimited card so I have been going out way more recently.

I watched this film last Saturday with my friend and then today by myself. I didn’t watch it again because it was absolutely amazing or anything, it’s just it was Friday night and I wanted to be out the house. Maybe I wanted to see if I had the guts to watch a horror film at the cinema by myself. Turns out, wasn’t that scary the second time around.

So the storyline is about these two girls who played with Ouija boards when they were kids. Now that they’re older one of them, Debbie, played it again and died about a week later. Her friend, Laine, was absolutely devastated as she was the last one to see her before she died and she didn’t get to say goodbye properly. Wanting to say a proper goodbye, Laine convinces three of her friends and her sister to go to Debbie’s house to use the Ouija board in an attempt to contact her. This leads to a supernatural presence harassing them.

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Okay, so the acting wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t exactly Oscar-worthy either. That might be because we don’t really know an awful lot about the characters. For example, Laine and her sister Sarah’s mother either walked out on them or died a few years ago yet their absent-mother isn’t really explored. It’s more like an excuse as to why the parents of these teenagers never seem to be around. Shortly after Debbie’s death, Laine’s Dad goes away on a business trip. Even though his daughter’s best friend has just died? I don’t think so.

There’s not really a lot that can be said about this film. It was just an average horror film. Supernatural occurrences happened. The characters got scared. They went looking for help on how to get rid of the spirit plaguing them. It was okay, I guess. I think it was better than ‘Annabelle’. It did make me jump a few times when I first watched it. When I went back and watched it alone it wasn’t as scary. However, that might have been because the cinema was packed with teenagers and it was kind of funny to watch everyone shitting themselves.

Unlike ‘The Babadook’ that was in cinemas at the same time, there is no deep meaning behind this film. You don’t have to think too hard about it. It’s a simple horror movie that relies on cliches and cheap scares. This was Stile White’s first film that he directed and I wasn’t particularly impressed.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything else to write about this film. I’d recommend it to someone looking for a few scares. It won’t leave any lasting impact on you though unless you’re really easily scared. I’d recommend it to my friend who wants to try a Ouija board in an attempt to put her off using it.

The Babadook: Review by Holly Bareham

The Babadook

This review is incredibly late because I have been going to the cinema a lot lately due to the fact that a Cineworld was built in my town and I decided it would be a good idea to invest in a Cineworld Unlimited Card.

I did not see any advertising for this film at all. The only way I found out about it was in Film when we were supposed to be studying for our ‘Small Scale Research Projects’ and I decided to Google horror films coming out in 2014 (I was doing horror movies for my small scale research project so I guess it was relevant) and found an imdb page for it. Me and my friend watched the trailer and decided we should go and see it.

The basic plot of the film is that a single mother, Amelia, is plagued by the death of her husband while dealing with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house. Her son, Samuel, wakes her up nearly every night with fears of monsters and she has to read to him. One night he brings down a book called ‘Mr Babadook’ which shocks and scares both of them. Soon, Amelia can feel a sinister presence all around her.

My favourite thing about this film is actually a little sad because I really liked that all the sound was diegetic yet it still managed to build up a creepy atmosphere. I will say it straightaway though, if you’re looking for a film that relies on the conventional scares of a horror movie then this film is not for you. I definitely get a ‘we-could-study-this-film-in-class’ vibe. I really enjoyed it though. Probably one of the best horror films I’ve seen this year.

There was something about the Babadook itself that terrified me. A lot of the time I was hiding behind my hands because I was absolutely terrified and refused to turn in my seat away from my friend, even though it was making my neck and back ache. Saying that, I was hiding behind my hands unable to look at the screen so I looked at my friend who was looking at the screen with a straight face and then began to yawn. Maybe I’m a bigger wimp than I thought?

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The acting was also absolutely superb, especially from Noah Wiseman who played Samuel. I honestly thought this was an amazing film from start to finish. It’s one of those films where you have to think about the deeper meaning behind pretty much everything. This is probably the scariest horror film I’ve seen this year and I’m not even sure why. It just absolutely terrified me. When you’ve watched a lot of horror films you can start to shrug them off. You leave the theatre and you forget about it. This one had me up the night after I’d first watched it and continued to scare me for an entire week before I could eventually shrug it off.

I only had one problem with the film and it’s the fact that I can’t figure out the tagline – “if it’s in a word or it’s in a look you can’t get rid of the Babadook.’ I thought it would make more sense after watching it but I still don’t get it. If someone else got the meaning behind that then please message me and just inform me!
Overall, I’d recommend this film to anyone who can look for the deeper meaning in a film. If you’re someone that only really enjoys horror movies for the clichés and jump scares then it’s probably not for you.