The first trailer for Ouija, the upcoming movie based on the long-running Hasbro board game, has just made its way online.
When I was a kid, it seemed like everyone had a Ouija board in their house at one point or another, and I vividly remember sitting in dark rooms with my friends, laying hands on the thing and trying to talk to ghosts. We never did, though.
But apparently enough people have believed in the power of the Ouija board -- also known as a "spirit board" -- to keep it in existence for more than 120 years. The first such device was marketed in 1890 as a way to contact spirits by letting them move the planchette (a heart-shaped wooden disc) around the board to spell out words and sentences using letters and numbers. It became especially popular during World War I and was bought by Parker Brothers in 1966. That company was sold in 1991 to Hasbro, which still makes Ouija boards today.
And now they've made a movie based around the concept, since Hasbro is all about making movies out of toys and games even if you don't really have those pesky, unimportant things like stories and characters to work with. You may recall that a Ouija movie was first developed in 2008 and eventually scrapped in 2011 because it was turning into a super-expensive, Pirates of the Caribbean-type adventure. Now it's been downsized to a horror movie with a cast of "young, hot" unknowns and a director nobody ever heard of, although it's produced by Platinum Dunes (Michael Bay's company) and Blumhouse Productions (home of Paranormal Activity and The Purge).
To be fair, the movie has at least gone back to the original idea of what you use a Ouija board for, and the trailer does pay lip service to the game's history. But it also looks like a lot of other mainstream horror movie product we've seen in recent years, with a checklist of scenes and images to get through.
What do you think? Is the concept of the Ouija board enough to get you into the theater?
Ouija is out Oct. 24. Read the official synopsis below, then check out the trailer (via the Facebook page of Pretty Little Liars) and poster.
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.