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Review: OUIJAGEIST (2018)

We’ve had Polterheist and Clowntergeist, so why not Ouijageist? Writers Darrell Buxton and Steve Hardy along with director John R. Walker decided we needed one and here we are with another tale of Ouija boards or, as it’s called here, a Witchboard and malevolent spirits. Is there any life left in this genre? Or is the title the only clever thing about the film?

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Single mother India (Lois Wilkinson) and her daughter Emily (India Raqia-Walker) have taken a big step up in the world. They’ve moved out of their dingy apartment into a house owned by Laurie (Roger Shepherd) who’s a friend of her mother Karen (Lesley Scoble, Village of the Damned, Cute Little Buggers). She hasn’t even finished unpacking when her dog finds a Witchboard buried in the garden. That is never a good sign. But it doesn’t stop her friend Becca (Gabriella Calderone) from playing with it.

Soon unseen forces are pushing her friend down the stairs, trying to boil Emily in a bathtub and throwing the head of India’s dog at her. But thing really get weird when her ex Paul (Nicholas Kendrick) shows up and promptly does an Evil Dead style transformation in the middle of a café. It’s time to call for an exorcist.

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Ouijageist is low budget and far from original, but it is entertaining. There’s everything from possession to a killer garden hose to a creature in the kitchen sink. The effects may be fairly bare-bones, but unlike so many low budget films lately, at least it has effects. Walker smartly doesn’t attempt anything the budget can’t cover. Better to have a few simple and effective practical effects than a ton of shitty CGI ones.

Once you get past the slow start, Ouijageist is fairly witty and fun, with quite a few references to other films worked in. Co-writer Darrel Buxton has written and edited several books on the genre, including Unsung Horrors and its sequel Son Of Unsung Horrors. The opening should get a nod from Argento fans. And the bishop who’s a fan of Poltergeist sets up a great gag later in the film.

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Ouijageist never takes itself too seriously and the result is a good way to kill ninety minutes. It’s available on digital and DVD from Wild Eye Releasing. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more details.

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