Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In short: The Ouija Experiment 2: Theatre of Death (2015)

aka The Ouija Resurrection

Oh, how meta! Turns out, in the world of The Ouija Experiment 2, the first film was only a movie, so the film brings back three of the first film’s main actors, now playing themselves. Now I can’t keep Swisyzinna, Justin Armstrong and Eric Window anonymous anymore, but it’s their own damn fault. Anyway, our heroes – such as they are – have just taken part in the “world premiere” of their film in a shabby movie theatre in some god-forsaken Texas town. In what is difficult not to read as an act of ever so slight wish fulfilment, the audience is really excited about the film. But wait, there’s more!

In the next few days, the supposedly haunted cinema will be turned into a haunted house attraction to promote the film, with the high point an extra special haunted tour behind locked doors for lucky winner Michelle Joy (Sally Greenland) and two invitees of her choosing – her gay best friend and the local mildly psychic goth girl.

Alas, Window farts around with the original ouija board from the first movie while trying to impress a local bimbo and of course does not say goodbye, which invites in the local incest ghost who proceeds to first kill the actors and then anyone else it can get its claws on. There’s also a bit of “darn those backwoods” people horror thrown in in the end, but let’s not go there, particularly since that part of the film gives us an overlong expositional speech of highly dubious merit.

You know when I said about the first film that I found myself somewhat charmed by it because it clearly tried very hard, as well as by the existence of some decent scares? That pretty much holds for the second Ouija Experiment too. The film is a bit more ambitious with its attempts at meta horror but that never really amounts to much more than a handful of scenes that wink at the audience in a not too penetrant way. The cinema is certainly a spookier place than the first film’s apartments/bungalows/wherever you American people live, lending itself well enough to this second film’s eschewing of POV horror for more standard filmmaking.

The acting’s still pretty bad – though the actors from the first film have improved a bit – and the humour goofy in a somewhat charming manner, while the horror sequences go from fun to aggressively annoying and back again. As a whole, I enjoyed the film more than it probably deserves. Maybe because it – as well as its predecessor – feels to me like the direct to video version of the goofier side of 70s and 80s local filmmaking, or because I kinda like its particular type of silliness, or perhaps just because I can’t help but root for a sequel that doesn’t just repeat its predecessor beat for beat.

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