Ouija: Origin of Evil is a prequel-sequel to the 2014 film, which took the popular slumber party game of Ouija and turned it into a shoddy and forgettable horror movie about a Ouija board that acted as a gateway to evil, malevolent spirits.
In this sequel film, we jump back in time almost fifty years to witness the backstory established in the first film: Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) and her daughters Paulina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson) move into an old house to conduct Alice's phony séance business. Along that winding path, the girls unwittingly open a portal to the spirit world via a Ouija board, and one of those spirits possesses Doris. After that it's... well, you know (if you bothered to see Ouija).
What's unusual about all this is the fact that Ouija: Origin of Evil actually looks like pretty creepy, good fun. Normally, this sort of film is a clear franchise cash-grab attempt (down to its generic, bargain-bin title) - yet it seems that no one told director Mike Flanagan that he's supposed to phone it in. From this one TV spot, Origin of Evil already looks leagues above what the original Ouija was, despite having a story that we technically already know the ending of (and not a happy ending, at that).
Of course, maybe the notion of getting an unexpectedly quality horror film from Mike Flanagan shouldn't be so surprising anymore: The director gained cult-status acclaim from his 2013 supernatural psychological horror film Oculus, which was itself an adaptation of his acclaimed short film of the same name. That's all to say: Mike Flanagan seems to be a rising star in the horror genre worth keeping an eye on.
Ouija: Origin of Evil will be in theaters on October 21st.