Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rare Flix: Witchboard 2- The Devil's Doorway

Before there was Ouija (the movie, that is), there was Witchboard!  After that, we had two Sequels that are remembered much less fondly (if at all).  That leads to today's film- Witchboard 2.  While the original featured an inadvertent Music Video Icon (Tawny Kitaen of rolling around on cars fame), this one features...the daughter of a Music Video Icon.  That man- Micky Dolenz.  For those of you who are under 50, this one might require explanation.  Micky is one of the members of The Monkees, a group that your parents listened/watched on TV.  Oh and that song from Shrek (you know the one) is a Remake of one of their songs.  So yeah, his daughter was in a bunch of films like this.  In 1993, she actually starred in this AND Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings.  Good year or bad year- you decide!  So why make a Witchboard Sequel after several years?  Money, of course.  The Video Market must be fed!  In this unrelated tale, a young lady finds a Ouija Board and discovers that it can help her achieve her goals.  Is there something more sinister coming?  Well, duh- this is a Horror film, after all!  To find out what happens, read on...
Our heroine (Ami Dolenz) moves into a new Flat/Apartment on her own.  She meets the odd people there and finds a Ouija Board.  It apparently belonged to the last tenant.
The most notable of the people around her is the obviously-up-to-something Handyman.  He gets killed by a mysterious force (using full-on Evil Dead Cam) manipulating a large stove.

Naturally, this (and the dozens of tools embedded in the wall) raises no suspicion!
This guy serves two roles.  On one hand, he's the Obvious Love Interest.

On the other hand, he's a Red Herring for when you start to question what happened to the previous Tenant.  That's succinct!
While her personal life goes well, she starts to have weird dreams and some people in her surrounding life die.  Nothing to worry about.
Okay, there may be SOMETHING to worry about.  On the plus side, this doesn't happen to her (in this movie, at least).

You have to appreciate the small things, you know.
On the plus side, this car blows up and looks kind of neat.  There's also a fun (but cliche) 'I can't control the car' bit thanks to the evil spirit.
Our heroine takes nobody's warnings and doesn't see that she is 'addicted' to using the board.  The final break comes when she starts to think that Obvious Love Interest/Red Herring killed the lady she's been 'talking to.'

Obviously, he didn't, but she still takes one use too many and...
...gets possessed by the spirit of the dead lady.  Unlike the last Film, she is talking to the right person...they are just kind of evil.
They eventually manage to excise the Spirit and all is well (for those who weren't killed or maimed).

We get some Sequel Bait in the form of a sarcastic Ouija Board Planchette...but that film is only on YouTube dubbed in Russian, so I'll get back to you on that.  The End.
Pretty forgettable overall, really.  The movie has a certain pedigree to live up to, as the original Film is a Cult Classic to most.  The Film makes no major, film-breaking mistakes...but also does nothing to stand out.  It uses basic Characters (new girl in town, Obvious Love Interest), basic scenarios (invasive ghost) and does nothing all that interesting with them.  Nobody is necessarily doing a bad job, but they have little to work with.  Watching Ami Dolenz play both innocent and less-so is kind of fun, but, again, not much is done with it.  She doesn't go all 'Black Swan' or anything- she just says 'damn' and wears some black.  I do that- am I evil?  The ghost is mostly represented by Evil Dead Cam (which was, at least, fresh in 1993), which I'm sure saved on the budget.  I will give the Film points in one regard- those Panning Shots are pretty neat.  While Argento is still the Master (see Tenebrae's five-minute long continuous shot), they at least do something visually-interesting.  Other than that, this is just one of those 'Stop doing something stupid and you'll be fine' movies.  It isn't terrible, but it isn't great.  As for being a Sequel to Witchboard, that's a bit dubious.  If you want a closer thing, apparently this would be the one to see (for me included!)...
Next up, I finally tackle a Horror Film Cult Classic not on Netflix.  After some bad Rat Films, who knows what to expect.  Stay tuned...

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