In the 1960s, a widowed mom and her two daughters live meekly as they all help mom’s medium for hire business, by assisting in the theatrics such as blowing out candles and shaking the table when mom summons spirits to “give us a sign”.
To heighten the theatricality, mom buys a ouija board, paints the bottom of the planchette with a metallic paint, and practices manipulating it back and forth with her knees underneath the table. But then, the younger daughter seems to actually be communicating with the spirit of her late father, and thigns get progressively stranger.
The original movie, Ouija, was the epitome of scary movie clichés. Ouija 2 (sorry, but "origins of evil" is a dumb title), also suffers from many of these clichés. The microbudget horror movie is becoming surprisingly common: Lights Out, The Insidious series, The Conjurings, Annabelle, etc. Some of these films work and some don’t. Ouija 2 works. There’s nothing new or original here, but what is presented, is executed very well.
The small budget gives us a small cast and less CGI so that we have more time exploring our characters. None seem expendable, and the sense of dread is ratcheted up a bit. The pacing and tension is done well too - an exponential curve where scares go from slow burn, to gradual, to persistent.
Oddly enough, for anybody who actually remembered the first Ouija movie, there’s even some fan service thrown in. Ouija 2 works both as a standalone, and a clarifying prequel to explain the history behind Ouija (impressive since that movie wasn’t begging for a backstory). Infinitely more enjoyable than its predecessor, Ouija 2 is familiar and fun.