It’s been a while, but several titles I hadn’t yet seen finally caught my attention on some of the big streaming services. So here’s my brief take on these three.
It’s yet another movie about a group breaking into an abandoned insane asylum where an evil doctor once performed horrible experiments on inmates.
Mostly what this derivative film has going for it is a bunch of familiar faces, including hot T2 cop Robert Patrick, Eliza Dushku, Chace Crawford, and the guy who played Roofie on the first season of Deadbeat.
After a painful amount of exposition as to why Chace has to break into this asylum, his group gets in and spends a lot of time running around the oddly clean and orderly halls of the derelict building. The best part of this segment is the real light—it’s super dark with just their flashlight beams and constant flashes of lightning coming through windows.
Then the group starts to essentially walk two time periods at once, slowly being drawn into the past when evil Robert Patrick ran the insane asylum.
They literally become part of another time and never seem to question why.
Eliza’s performance is the highlight here.
OUIJA HOUSE (2018)
Another huge cast of familiar faces, but can that save Ouija House? Well, Tiffany Shepis appears for about 2 minutes (as usual). Tara Reid plays a young Dee Wallace. Dee Wallace plays an older Tara Reid. Chris Mulkey plays a caretaker.
For the tenth time, Tiffany, the line is not “When can I get paid?”
Our main girl is writing a book on the paranormal and wants to do witchy stuff at a family home with her friends and her cousin, played by Mischa Barton, who seems like she’s consciously trying not to act or sound like Mischa Barton.
“Whoa! Put down the gun, daddy! All you have to do is ask…”
Don’t read further if you actually want to watch this film, because I have to poke fun at it, which requires spoiling it.
One of the first big twists…one character announces they have cell service. Holy crap.
They find a Ouija board. Mischa describes a family past (in flashbacks) of witchcraft. They use the Ouija board.
There’s a scary doll for no reason. The slut of the group decides they should use her body as a Ouija board because she’s a slut. And then…
After they literally wait around for something to happen as we watch nothing happening, the slut finally goes all demon eyes then routinely gets neck tics before darting off snarling and stopping at particular spots on the walls that have letters hidden behind the paint. That’s because…the entire house is a Ouija board. Hence the title.
Seriously, the rest of this movie is like watching a bunch of high people use their friends as a human planchette, placing their fingers on her and chasing her around as she spells things out using the letters written on the walls. It’s brilliantly ridiculous and super entertaining to watch and laugh at…for a few minutes.
Still, for me, it was worth watching to the end, because despite being in the film for a few minutes, Dee gets to remind us that she is still the queen of screams.
SOUL TO KEEP (2018)
The title is cliché. The film is derivative. If you’re going to do cliché and derivative, Soul to Keep is how you do it. Yeah, I’m talking to you, stud muffin.
A brother and sister bring their friends to the old family house they inherited to hang and party. Observant horror fans will notice various Easter eggs giving a nod to Evil Dead.
The group finds an occult book down in a creepy basement. They decide to do a ritual in the book to summon a demon (doesn’t everyone?), and the goth girl in the group leads the incantation.
Soul to Keep turns into a mashup of Evil Dead and Night of the Demons, with seduction, deep throating demon tongue, a lesbian subplot, an invisible barrier that won’t let them leave the property, and some twists.
Just note, possession fun aside, you do have to pay attention as the truth unfolds during the denouement if you want to understand the excessive flashbacks presented to explain everything.