Monday, July 14, 2014

Summoning Revenge

Even though I had a few days left before I had to watch the other movie that was being taken out of my instant watch queue, I wasn't sure if I would get to it for here on time. Instead of getting all worried about it, I decided to watch Last Kind Words over at Tops. I needed a movie to review for there anyway, so it worked out better. For my next review for here, I decided on Ouija Board (2004), or Witch Board as it was called on Netflix. This was the movie I had to wait on a replacement for, because the first one they sent to me was broken. It is a movie from South Korea, and will be the last DVD from Netflix from another country for a little while at least.

Lee Yu-jin (Se-eun Lee) has been getting picked on at school, along with a couple of other girls. For revenge, they decide to call on the spirit of a girl who died 30 years ago under mysterious reasons. With a piece of paper with the names of the bullies on it and a pen, they try to summon the girl. Yu-jin knows it works because she breaks her own rule and opens her eyes and sees the girl (Yu-ri Lee). The next day a new teacher (Gyu-ri Kim) arrives at the school. During attendance, she calls out the name of the girl who died 30 years ago, which freaks out the students for whatever reason. It isn't long before students begin to put a plastic bad over their head, douse it with lighter fluid, and set it on fire. While it is suspected who is behind it, there is much more to what is going on than anyone thinks.

Writer/director Byeong-ki Ahn is no stranger to the horror genre. The only film of his I have reviewed before would be Phone, which I liked a lot. Ouija Board was very confusing for a while. It starts with the three girls making the curse on their bullies. There is no build up to this. No clue who these girls are or why they are being bullied. Don't even know who the bully is or how many there are. For the most part the gaps are filled in eventually, but I still didn't like the way the story started, and quickly entered a "don't give a shit" mood about the film. However, I was pulled back into the film as the story reveals there is a lot more to it than first meets the eye. It soon turns to possession, reincarnation, and revenge for what happened 30 years ago. It never became a great film to me, but I have to give it credit for pulling me back in. There was things that bugged me though. For one, they never use a ouija board, nothing is ever spelled out for them that I could tell. Of course this isn't a film in English, so I guess something could have been and I wouldn't have known it. Then there is the fact that the person reincarnated looks just like the person that died, yet no one seems recognize the person. I get it was 30 years ago, but I would still think someone might get a sense of deja vu.

There was some brave stunt people in this movie. I wouldn't want a burning bag on my head for nothing, but we see this happen a few times. Not a lot of effects from that, but there is some nice makeup to be found. Burns and such. There is also a pretty blood scene towards the end of the film. The acting didn't seem too bad. The DVD was set for voice over. I prefer subtitles, but if a DVD is already set for voice over then I usually don't take the time to change it. For the most part this didn't bug me but when there was a lot of voices at once, like students all reacting to something, the voice overs sounded bad.

I was surprised by the twists and turns that Ouija Board took. The further it went along, the more interesting it became. What starts out as just another ghost out for revenge turns into a lot more. I do wish it had started better than it did though. At first I thought it would start this way, then show what happened up to that point, but that wasn't the case obviously. Even though I liked the turn around that the story did, I still didn't fall in love with it. I would still suggest giving this one a watch if you haven't already. Not many reviews out there for it, but most aren't that great it seems. Maybe it was because I found it to be different after the twists. Even so, worth a watch I think.
3 out of 5 Get a real ouija board!

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