Friday, October 24, 2014

Ouija [2014]

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-III) (3 Stars)  AVClub (C-)  Fr. Dennis (1 Star)

IMDb listing
ChicagoTribune/Variety (J. Chang) review
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review (O. Henderson) review
AVClub (K. Rife) review

Ouija [2014] (directed and cowritten by Stiles White along with Juliet Snowden) is a film that I could not bring myself to see because (1) it is about divination, something that Catholic Church does have issues with (CCC 2115-17), and (2) it's basically a two hour advertisement for the Hasbro-trademarked version of a "divination board" which one could actually easily make for free -- my dad's generation "back in the 1940s" and "in the old country" (today's Czech Republic) would simply use a small mirror on a flat surface, on which they themselves wrote out the letters, to do the same thing as Hasbro's Ouija board does -- without needing to buy the game board from anybody.

Now what's wrong with "Divination?"  Well, my favorite cautionary tale about divination comes from a somewhat amusing story in the Bible ;-): The poor King Saul, facing an impending battle with the Philistines and afraid that the Prophet Samuel was right, that God had withdrawn his blessing from him (in favor of David), goes to "the Witch of Endor" to summon the deceased prophet Samuel "from the beyond."  Well, she succeeds in doing so.  What does the deceased Samuel tell Saul?  That, yes, Saul's going to lose the battle with the Philistines and that he and all his sons will all die in that battle (1 Sam 28). Now THAT was ONE HECK OF A "FORTUNE COOKIE" :-). 

Anyway, since having first heard story when I was, something like 10 years old, I've always loved that story: There ARE some things that one would just not want to know ;-) especially if there would be nothing that one could do to change one's destiny.  

Then the whole purpose of the Quija board exercise is to conjure up some entity "from the beyond."  Well, it should be rather clear that even if one could conjure something up like that, one would _not_ have the faintest idea of what that entity would be.  Hence, the exercise is either pointless or dangerous ... and it could even simply deliver one bad news. 

So then the film ... it presents a story about a bunch of teens who find their using of a Ouija board to be a rather harrowing experience ... Well, if proved "uneventful," it wouldn't make for much of a story, would it? 

So there it is ... and why I chose not to spend money to see it ;-)

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