Friday, July 18, 2014

Ouija - Keep Telling Yourself It's Just A Game Trailer

Ouija -- Poster October 24, 2014 | A Constantly Racing Mind
I  am not absolutely sure that creating a film around a board game is the best idea.  Especially if the game is about the occult.  That is exactly what is going on in this year's film titled "Ouija."  Some of the board game centered films turn out to be benign and fun, while others aren't.

I remember in 1985 Tim Curry along with Eileen Brennan starring as Mrs. Peacock and Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White with Christopher Lloyd playing Professor Plum, Martin Mull as Colonel Mustard and Michael McKean as Mr. Green. Did I forget someone?  Oh yes, there was also Lesley Ann Warren playing Miss Scarlet in Hasbro's "Clue." The gimmick for this film was that the director, Jonathan Lynn, filmed three different endings that would show in different theaters across the country.

One of my favorite films that feature a board game as the center of the plot is the Joe Johnston adaptation of Chris Van .Allsburg's book "Jumanji"  The film starred the wacky Robin Williams, Kristin Dunst, Jonathan Hyde, and Bonnie Hunt. When the film came out in 1995, I saw it as a cute family film that challenged the imagination with some silly fun.

In 2005, Dax Shepard, Josh Hutcherson, and Kristen Stewart starred in another  Van .Allsburg book adaptation, "Zathura: A Space Adventure."  This one was also aimed at kids and was a fun space adventure that also centered around a board game. 

2009 found Eliza Dushku and Mike Vogel starring in the horror-thriller "Open Graves."  The film follows three friends as they visit Spain.  After obtaining a elegantly carved board game they meet another American tourist visiting the Iberian peninsula. They all set about to play the board game only to find that each person who is eliminated from the game start having accidents that lead to their deaths.  

2012 was the year Hasbro and director Peter Berg released their film version of the classic board game, "Battleship."  The big budget Science Fiction, visual effects driven film only made $65,422,625 domestically. The production budget was $209 million.  Worldwide the film made $303 million with $237.6 million coming in from foreign markets. However, it is the domestic ticket sales that the studios depend on to determine if a film is profitable or not.

Does anybody remember Captain Howdy from the "Exorcist?"  He is Regan's imaginary friend  who played Ouija with Regan before she succumbed to full possession. 

"Ouija" stars Olivia Cooke ("The Signal," "The Quiet Ones"), Ana Coto Daren Kagasoff ("The Secret Life of the American Teenager"), Bianca A. Santos, Douglas Smith ("Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters").

This is Stiles White's directorial debut.  However, he has been working with Stan Winston Studio as a special effects production coordinator since 1994 when he worked on the Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt film "Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles." Since then he has worked on a variety of films such as "The Relic," " Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,"  "Lake Placid," "The Sixth Sense," and "Galaxy Quest" to name a few. 

Stiles White and Juliet Snowden wrote the script for "Boogeyman."  In 2005, the pair worked on the Nicolas Cage Sci-Fi film "Knowing."  Then in 2012' they took an article by Leslie Gornstein titled "Jinx In a Box?" and turned it into a major motion horror flick aptly titled, "The Possession." The film starred Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick and the Jewish rapper Matthew Paul Miller better known as Matisyahu.

Here is the synopsis for "Ouija:"

In Ouija, a group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board. Stiles White directs the supernatural thriller that is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller (The Purge, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) alongside Blumhouse Productions' Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious series, The Purge), Bennett Schneir (Battleship) and Hasbro. Juliet Snowden and Stiles White wrote the script for Ouija, and Universal will distribute the film worldwide.

In the trailer above,  Elaine (Cooke) invites her friend Debbie (Shelley Hennig) to go out, but Debbie declines and ends up dying in a freak "Final Destination" type of death.  Elaine recruits her friends to hold a seance in the house that Debbie died in.  She uses a Ouija (aka spirit board) board to call her friend's spirit from beyond the grave, but unleashes something malevolent instead.

Also appearing in "Ouija" is Blumhouse Productions alumni Lin Shaye from the "Insidious" movies.
"As friends we gather, hearts are true, spirits near we call to you."
"Ouija" is due out on October 24, 2014 just in time for Halloween.

Movie Data

Genre: Horror
Year:  2014
Staring: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos, Douglas Smith, Lin Shaye
Director: Stiles White
Producer(s): Michael Bay, Jason Blum, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller, Brian Goldner, Bennett Schneir
Writer: Stiles White, Juliet Snowden
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 89 minutes
Release Date: 10/24/2014

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