Just in time for Halloween comes the latest attempt by Hasbro to turn one of its iconic board games into a hit movie after previous failures including mega-bomb Battleship and Clue. But now, after dialing down plans and budgets for a more elaborate version with Michael Bay attached, Hasbro — again with the help of Universal Pictures as well as Jason Blum’s Blumhouse — is unleashing a cheapo scream version of Ouija, based on its game that purports to raise spirits from beyond.
Unfortunately, as my video review indicates, the only dead thing they really manage to conjure is the script. The PG-13 pic is a one-note affair, where pretty teens get knocked off one by one. Teen girls probably will flock to it, but the audience I saw it with at one of its first public screenings late Thursday night at Universal CityWalk clearly was underwhelmed. But for Hasbro, it’s a gift and a real awards contender — if they give one for Best Product Placement.
Stiles White directed and co-wrote with Juliet Snowden. Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) is the lead teen, and she’s at least intriguing. And I always like seeing Lin Shaye, here playing an aging mental case who used to live in the house of terror where the Ouija Board is causing all sorts of mayhem.