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Between Actual Demonic Torment and Ouija Board: The Movie, I Choose Demonic Torment

November 8, 2009

Think back to when you were in grade school.  It’s a gray, rainy summer afternoon, and the parents have gone to work.  You sneak into the abandoned, ramshackle Carpathian itinerant home in front of the Roma graveyard in your small town, dig around in the basement, and open an ornately carved chest etched with sinister, eldritch runes.  You pull out a board covered with strange characters that you don’t recognize, but that you somehow understand.  Small fingers touch the cracked triangle with a viewing hole in the center, and the terror begins.  Evil specters battle for control of your corporeal frame to be reborn and wreak havoc on the living.  For hours your body twirls in air, caught between the physical realm and the Ether, until a crazy (or so you thought at the time!) old priest, hearing innocent cries mingled with the tortured screams of the damned, limps into the cellar and banishes the demons from this Plane.  Sadly, he dies in the struggle, trading his life for yours.  The accursed house is leveled and the lot is sealed, never to be used again until decades later when a condescending urban couple with young children moves to your picturesque small town to escape fast-paced city life, ignoring warnings from the townfolk not to build a home on the old Gjokaj property.

If this didn’t happen to you, you are one of the millions of people who remember how much fun a Ouija board wasn’t.  A couple friends snuck it over to your house in a backpack—for some reason you were convinced you shouldn’t be dabbling in the Dark Arts—plopped it on the floor, and got to work.  None of you knew how to spell too well yet, so the conjured spirit talked a lot about “fart” and “pee.”  Everyone accused you of moving the viewer (yes you were, but so were they).  The board did not float in the air, like it did at your sister’s friend’s cousin’s house.  The triangle did not jump out of your hands and shatter itself against the wall.  The curtains did catch on fire, but that’s because you started playing with matches, which are more fun.  The whole ordeal got so boring after ten minutes that you all left Ouija to play with Legos or watch He-Man.  Any spirits that may actually have been summoned died again due to boredom and frustration.

This is how much fun the Ouija Board movie is going to be.   Yes, Tron 2 and Lost writers have decided to make a movie about another “toy,” one that’s much older than Transformers and far less popular.  The film will supposedly revolve around some Ouija Board rules: never use it alone, never use it in a graveyard, always say good-bye.  io9 had the same reaction you just did: there were rules?  (By the way, follow these same rules when trying out a new sex toy.  Trust me.)

The writers should know that lots of horror, horror-ish,  and horrible movies already hinge on rule-breaking: Gremlins, Candyman, Army of Darkness, any movie where people find books on spell-casting or demon-summoning.  The writers should also be reminded that a Ouija Board movie has already been made.  It is called Witchboard, and it already has sequels and offshoots.  There are also several movies called just Ouija, all of which probably suck but will still be better than Ouija Board: The Movie.  Oh yeah, there’s also this other super-obscure movie where some little girl plays around with a Ouija Board; contacts Captain Howdy on it; and then gets possessed by a demon who blesses her with a rotating head, powers of levitation, and pea soup for breath.  In short, this movie has as much chance to be watchable as Asteroids: The Movie.

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