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Ouija Seance: The Final Game makes a play at bringing something new to the supernatural spirit board sub genre, but it fails to bring its A game.

Sarah, a student in Italy, learns of an old country villa she has recently inherited from her estranged grandmother. After a cancelled party, she and three of her friends decide to stay at the villa for the weekend. The group explore the old house and find a hidden room littered with dusty bottles and a peculiar-looking spirit board. They decide to play a game of Ouija, but end up revealing dark secrets of Sarah’s family history.

Can they escape with their lives, or will they succumb to the dark spirits of the Italian villa?

After the first watch, Ouija Seance: The Final Game was a little troublesome to wrap my brain around. Not because it was confusing or required me to use my brain more than usual, but because I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. I went in expecting a movie that got straight to the action: friends find a haunted Ouija board, use it, and experience chaos.

That didn’t exactly happen. It actually took about 25 minutes to find the board, which seems like a short time until you realize that 25 minutes is a third of the way through — a third with no Ouija in sight.

It does get better for a while though. The Ouija board itself is unique, a circular tree ring with latin inscriptions and a pentagram etched into the wood. As much as I love the nostalgic look of the Milton Bradley board, I was very excited to see a change to a more cryptic-looking device. Unfortunately, I found the board didn’t live up to the hype I built it up to be; the seance was an extremely quick occurrence of the lights flickering once and the window being gently blown open.

It didn’t get better with the second watch either.

I grew more and more annoyed with this selfish set of “friends.” No amount of chemistry (which wasn’t there to begin with) could save the actors from the writing. When I wasn’t rolling my eyes from their incredibly clichéd behavior, I was becoming more and more frustrated with the amount of questions that were popping up about Sarah and the board.

Why did her mother run away? Why was Sarah so upset about something that she couldn’t have possibly comprehended as a toddler? Why is this curse even still a thing when the person it was placed on, her mother, is dead? Why didn’t the groundskeeper step in earlier if he knew what would happen if they found the board? The story is confusing and contradicts itself many times. And I’m not even going to mention the ridiculous shadow demon following Sarah through the house…

But alas, I watched it a third time, trying desperately to find something I did like. If you can get through the acting and ignore the plot altogether, you’ll find the cinematography is actually very nice. The coloring was very Italian, with warm sunset skies shining on the actors during the day, and beautiful blue moonlight cascading down at night. We also get a few instances of fast motion scenery, channeling a Blair Witch time-jump vibe.

The funny thing here is, as much as I was annoyed with this movie, its aesthetic reminded me of my college days watching straight-to-Netflix horror every afternoon. That little bit of nostalgia and solid filming technique saved this movie from being a total waste of time.

I wholeheartedly try to give every movie a chance, hence my three watches. Sadly, I don’t love every movie I see. Ouija Seance: The Final Game is firmly sitting on the “once is enough” list for me. If you decide to watch, once is really enough, and even then, I wouldn’t include it in a Ouija movie marathon. But do look past the trite mess in the foreground for a glimpse or two of solid filming.

Ouija Seance : The Final Game is available on VOD now (as of July 3, 2018) and will arrive on DVD on August 3, 2018.

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