OUIJA SEANCE: THE FINAL GAME ** Italy 2018 Dir: Andrea Mugnaini 81 mins 

When Sarah (Katharina Sporrer) and three friends head off into the countryside to a pool party, which on the way gets cancelled, they decide instead to carry on to the old abandoned house which belongs to Sarah’s family. Two weeks away from returning home from Italy ,where they are all studying, Sarah had inherited this house from her late grandmother who she barely knew.
Needing to leave some important paperwork for her lawyer at the house they decide to stay there for the weekend. The house is old and dusty, full of sinister portraits and a feeling of unease about it. The friends discover a ouija board which once used will unleash a demon that will possess them all one by one. Once again there is nothing new here and it definitely has a more low budget feel to it akin to the 2007 Topel Lee movie  SEANCE rather than the Hollywood jump scare fests of recent times. They have tried to build the characters so they do all have a bit more personality but it still doesn’t make them particularly likeable. There is cringey script writing and awkward moments that really shouldn’t have made it through the edit. Firstly, who the hell leaves important documents in an abandoned building for their lawyer when they could just take them to his office? Then there is a scene in which Sarah’s friend convinces her to stay in the house for the weekend by meowing at her, even weirder was that it appeared to work. The only way that would actually work (in real life) would be if the meowing came from a real cat or better still, if said friend opened a door to a secret room full of kittens……but that would just be stupid. Another scene guaranteed to make you scream at your TV is the caretaker trying to bust down a door with the handle of a perfectly functional axe!!!! As for the ouija board and resulting demon, well you barely get a glimpse of either. All these major issues aside the setting is suitably picturesque and gloomy, the house is creepy, the artwork in the house is really good (gives you something else to focus on when things gets a bit slow) and I enjoyed the piano compositions throughout. Not that there really were that many special effects to speak of but what little blood there was was well done and effective. With a title incorporating the words “final game” I’m hoping this will be the last of this sort of thing…..but I know deep down they will just keep on coming.

Review by Sarah Budd

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