Custom Search






Ouija: Origin Of Evil

October 27, 2016

Inferno (**) PG-13      

Inferno, the latest in the series of film adaptations based on author Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon character (previously seen in Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code) has many problems, chief among them being a certain lack of logic. At the tail end of the picture a character states that overpopulation on our planet must be contained in order to save the earth. I simply sat there thinking to myself that the last time I checked the earth wasn’t going anywhere and anyone of scientific merit will tell you that the earth will continue spinning long after the human species has come and gone. If anything is endangered it would be the people who inhabit the planet and not the planet itself. That, of course, doesn’t stop the plot machine in the film from cranking out a tale springing from the premise that overpopulation will destroy the earth. If you’re willing to swallow that premise then maybe you won’t have as many problems with Inferno as I did.    

At the onset of the film, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), the professor with a penchant for decoding symbols, is lying in a hospital suffering from what appears to be amnesia and nursing a head wound.

Tom Hanks & Felicity Jones in Inferno

It’s funny how his amnesia is so selective that he can’t remember the word coffee but can remember lesser details, although the film, to its credit, does address this in a humorous throwaway line of dialogue. At any rate, Langdon has barely awakened from his semi coma when an assassin attempts to put him out to pasture in the hospital setting the wheels in motion for Langdon and his doctor (Felicity Jones) to make their escape. They remain on the run for the majority of the first hour of the film in repetitive action sequences that have been better executed in other films of a similar nature.    

Just about the time that the film begins to fall into the doldrums a plot twist at around the seventy five minute mark livens things up and sends the movie in a different direction. Plot twists and the identity of the film’s true villain are revealed, although it’s only enough to sustain a moderate level of interest but that’s about it.

Ron Howard, who also helmed the other two pictures in the Langdon series, is behind the camera on this one as well. He does the best he can with the material but that’s not saying much considering how old hat a story involving bio terrorism is at this point. The trouble is that Howard is, as a rule, only as good as his material. Inferno, as a result, is a mildly involving but generally lackluster affair and it will interesting to see if audiences turn up to see this newest entry nearly a decade after the last one appeared. I know I’m curious.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (**)

Considering how poorly made and conceived the 2014 horror opus Ouija turned out to be I found myself quite surprised at the positive word preceding the release of the film’s prequel, Ouija: Origin of Evil. Was it possible that the filmmaking team behind this latest entry would actually attempt to do something other than to cash in on the box office returns of the first film? The answer to that question is a resounding no and one would best be advised to not believe the hype.

As one could probably ascertain from the film’s title, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a prequel of sorts in what looks to be a franchise, assuming the latest one brings in the bucks. While the film may be lame as they come in the storytelling department it does deserve some faint praise for some of the technical details, most notably some nifty choices of certain shots (film buffs will especially dig the use of the split diopter lens). The film also has a generally retro feel right from the get go as the old Universal Pictures logo from the 60s/70s scrolls across the screen. There’s also an attempt to make the film look like an actually movie print when, every twenty minutes, a circle in the top right corner appears.  It’s a nice touch for those of us old enough to remember when film prints actually had to be assembled and weren’t beamed into theaters via satellite.

All of the technical prowess in the world, however, can’t disguise the fact that this is a lame movie with virtually no scares.

Scene from Ouiga: OoE, with Henry Thomas at right

There are a few during the last twenty minutes or so but it’s a long and tough sit to get there. The film takes place in 1967 where the recently widowed Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) is attempting to run a fortune telling business out of her home while raising her two daughters as a single mom. Alice makes no bones about the fact that it’s all a scam, which doesn’t seem like a particularly good example to set for your kids, but I digress. At any rate things begin to heat up when Alice purchases a Ouija board to use in her psychic business and things take a turn for the worse.

At least Henry Thomas (Elliot in the classic film, E.T.) turns up as a priest to liven up the party somewhere in the midst of the proceedings.

As a film, Ouija is slightly better than the lame 2014 original but that really isn’t saying much. It wouldn’t take much effort to best that film and perhaps that’s why the filmmaking team behind this prequel seem to be making such a low key effort. When you’re starting at the bottom I guess the only way is up.

Both movies are playing at the Carmike in Hickory and all around the area.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at filmfan1970@hotmail.com.



Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

The Girl On The Train & The Accountant

Masterminds • Deep Water Horizon • Birth Of A Nation

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Snowden & The Magnificent Seven

Bridget Jones’ Baby & Blair Witch


The Light Between Oceans

Hell Or High Water & Don't Breathe

Sausage Party & Indignation

Florence Foster Jenkins & Pete's Dragon • Café Society

Eat That Question & Suicide Squad

Star Trek Beyond & Jason Bourne

Lights Out


The Purge: Election Year

Independence Day: Resurgence • The BFG

Free State Of Jones & DePalma

Now You See Me 2 & Finding Dory

The Conjuring 2 & Me Before You

X Men: Apocalypse Love And Friendship

The Lobster & The Meddler

Money Monster • The Nice Guys Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Miles Ahead

Elvis And Nixon Green Room

Midnight Special Everybody Wants Some

The Jungle Book

I Saw The Light • The Boss

Hello My Name Is Doris & Krisha

Divergent: Allegiant & Batman v Superman

10 Cloverfield Lane & Brothers Grimsby

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot & London Has Fallen

Triple 9 & 45 Years

Eddie The Eagle• The Witch

Where To Invade Next & Son Of Saul

Deadpool • The Choice • How To Be Single

Hail Caesar & Fifty Shades Of Black

The Finest Hours & The 5th Wave

Mustang & The Lady In The Van

Anomalisa • 13 Hours: The & Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

The Revenant • Youth

Carol • Joy • The Hateful Eight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens • The Big Short • Concussion

Daddy’s Home • Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip

In The Heart Of The Sea • Krampus

Creed • Brooklyn


‘Mockingjay Part 2’ • All Things Must Pass • The Night Before


Spectre & The Peanuts Movie

Steve Jobs & Our Brand Is Crisis

Crimson Peak & Room

Bridge Of Spies & Goosebumps

99 Homes

The Martian • Sicario & The Walk

The Intern • The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials • Everest

The Visit & Black Mass

Mistress America

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl A Walk In The Woods

American Ultra • No Escape • Sinister 2

Straight Outta Compton, The End Of The Tour, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Irrational Man & Fantastic Four

Ricki And The Flash & The Gift

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation • Southpaw • Vacation

Ant-Man & Trainwreck


Amy • Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, Ted 2

Inside Out & Dope

Love and Mercy & Jurassic World

Insidious Chapter 3

San Andreas & Aloha

Poltergeist &

Mad Max: Fury Road

Hot Pursuit

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Ex Machina

While We’re Young & Unfriended

The Longest Ride

Fast & Furious 7

It Follows




Focus & The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Fifty Shades Of Grey

Jupiter Ascending

Still Alice

The Imitation Game A Most Violent Year

American Sniper Inherent Vice

Selma & Taken 3


Big Eyes • The Interview

Night At The Museum The Secret of the Tomb • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Top Five • Wild • Annie


Whiplash & The Theory Of Everything

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 • Horrible Bosses 2

Dumb And Dumber To

Birdman & Interstellar




The Judge

Annabelle & Gone Girl

The Equalizer & Happy 75th, GWTW!

The Drop • A Walk Among & The Tombstones

No Good Deed

The Identical

As Above, So Below & November Man

If I Stay & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

The Giver • Code Black & The Expendables 3

Boyhood • Into The Storm & Magic In The Moonlight

Get On Up & Guardians Of The Galaxy


Begin Again & The Purge: Anarchy

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Chef & Tammy

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Jersey Boys

22 Jump Street & How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Fault Is In Our Stars & Edge Of Tomorrow

A Million Ways To Die In The West

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Maleficent

Godzilla • Summer Preview

Neighbors • Godzilla

The Amazing Spiderman 2 & Belle

The Other Woman & Brick Mansions

A Haunted House 2 & Heaven Is For Real

Oculus & Rio 2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier



The Grand Budapest Hotel & Veronica Mars

300: Rise of the Empire

Non-Stop & Son Of God

Three Days To Kill

Robocop & The Past • About Last Night

The Monuments Men

Labor Day

I, Frankenstein

Inside Llewyn Davis & Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Lone Survivor & August: Osage County

Her • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom & The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Anchorman 2

The Hobbit: The Desolation & Of Smaug • Nebraska

Dallas Buyers Club & Oldboy & Out Of The Furnace

Philomena & The Book Thief

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Delivery Man

About Time & All Is Lost

Thor: The Dark World & 12 Years A Slave

Ender’s Game & Last Vegas

Bad Grandpa &The Counselor

Carrie & The Fifth Estate

Captain Phillips, Enough Said & Machete Kills

Gravity & Runner Runner

Metallica: Through The Never , Rush & Don Jon

Prisoners & Rush

Insidious: Chapter 2 • The Family & The Spectacular Now



The World’s End You’re Next

Lee Daniels’ The Butler • Jobs • Blue Jasmine

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters & Elysium

2 Guns

Blue Jasmine • The Wolverine & Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station • The Conjuring & The Way Way Back

Pacific Rim & Grown Ups 2

The Lone Ranger & Despicable Me 2

The Heat & White House Down

Monsters University, World War Z, Before Midnight & The East

Man of Steel & This Is The End

The Internship & The Purge

After Earth, Now You See Me & Frances Ha

The Hangover Part III Before Midnight

Star Trek: Into Darkness & Fast and Furious 6

The Great Gatsby & Frances Ha

Iron Man & Peeples

Pain and Gain & Mud

Oblivion & Lords of Salem

42 and Scary Movie 5

Evil Dead & Jurassic Park 3-D

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Tyler Perry’s Temptation

Spring Breakers Admission

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone • The Call

Oz: The Great And Powerful West Of Memphis

Jack the Giant Slayer The Last Exorcism, Part II

Dark Skies & Snitch

A Good Day to Die Hard & Safe Haven

Side Effects & Identity Thief

Bullet To The Head Warm Bodies




BannerEventAd-01.jpg   BannerEventAd-01.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm | focusnews@centurylink.net

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2018 Tucker Productions, Inc.