31 Days of Reviews: The Ouija Experiment

I did not watch this one alone. I forced someone else to watch it with me. We were both pretty decently terrified.

The Ouija Experiment is about a group of people who decide to, you guessed it; experiment with a ouija board! They decide to document their experiences, and they soon discover that they got more than they were bargaining for, especially when they don’t play by the rules.

This movie was a pretty low budget production, and I think they did really well for what they had. It looked like the set was someone’s actual house, like it looked lived in, and I know at least one of the houses was borrowed by the filmmakers for the movie based on the message in the credits. They had a pretty small production crew. I definitely applaud them for making what they did.

I did have some problems story wise. I was having a hard time understanding some of the character’s relationships with one another. The siblings I understood. The best friends I understood. The boyfriend/girlfriend relationship I understood, but then there was this guy with the camera. He came in with the girlfriend, so it was implied that they went to school together, but I didn’t understand why he was so intimately involved throughout the whole movie. I may have just missed something, but it was weird to me that he was an outsider on the first day, and then a welcomed part of the crew for get-togethers without the person he came with.

The other thing that baffled me a bit was how all of a sudden every character had a camera. This would probably be a good time to say that this is a found footage movie. They do make references to Paranormal Activity which is pretty fun. It makes sense for the guy with the camera to come in during the beginning and film everything. It makes sense that the girl he’s coming with doesn’t know how to use the camera, and all of the people in the house are uncomfortable with the camera being on them. That all makes sense. Then, at some point, every character has a camera of their own, and they’re using it to film their surroundings. Where did they get these cameras? I thought they didn’t like being filmed? I thought they didn’t know how to use it? It’s one of those things where you have to just believe what is being shown to you because the multitude of cameras is what helps drive the story forward. I just wish it was explained a little rather than thrust upon us.

It’s a pretty decently diverse cast. I definitely approve. Some of the references to popular internet culture may go over some heads, and will probably date the movie as time goes on, but I never had too much of a problem in delivery.

When it comes to scares, The Ouija Experiment definitely delivers. I’m always a sucker for face morphing ghosts that scream at you so loudly that their jaw seems to break off. There were a couple of times where I shrieked, “holy Mocha!” (even though the credits say that the film was edited using Final Cut, not Adobe). As I mentioned previously, I was pretty freaked out. I was pleasantly surprised. It even has the more subtle scares where something is standing there in the background, and you see it only briefly, and it’s gone before you can really think about what you saw. I like that.

The ending did seem a bit much. Mainly, the plethora of coincidences (birthdays, death days, addresses) all trying to explain why the events were taking place. I think it would have been sufficient enough just to leave it as the rules of the ouija board had been broken, and the spirits had been released. The rest of it didn’t seem entirely necessary. The ending with the character Michael seemed to be unnecessary to me also, but that is more easy to swallow than the complicated details of the spirits.

Overall, The Ouija Experiment is actually a movie that I would recommend. It was a lot better than what I was expecting. It’s definitely a nice thing to watch as a film student. It gives you hope that maybe your small production team will be able to collaborate on something that is as successful.

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