Synopsis: When her friend, Brandon, brings a Ouija board to her party she helps him contact the spirit of a 10-year-old boy. When Brandon leaves the board behind at her apartment, she decides to use it by herself, something that results in the spirit trying to possess her and puts the life of her boyfriend, Jim, in danger.
Movie Review: Witchboard (1986)
A review of the 1986 horror movie starring Tawney Kitaen and Todd Allen.
It had been a long time since I took the time to watch this particular movie. So, when I saw it on one of our movie channels a couple nights ago, I decided it would be worth recording it. My wife and I watched it last night and, while it wasn't quite as scary as I remember it (as is the case with most movies from my childhood), I did still think it was a halfway decent film.
The thing I found I liked about this movie was the mystery. All evidence points to a malevolent spirit. But, there are also quite a few things that don't add up with that theory, making it less clear what is going on. Was she actually talking to another spirit? Was her friend/wannabe boyfriend, Brandon (Nichols) somehow behind it? Or, as I theorized at one point, was Linda (Kitaen) going through some sort of pregnancy-related breakdown that had her imagining things and possibly carrying out some violent deeds without remembering them?
The introduction of Lt. Dewhurst (Byrnes) added an addition, surprisingly interesting element. I'm still not sure why he was so quick to assume Jim (Allen) was a murderer, especially since there was a serious lack of motive. But, in addition to complicating things for Jim, he did prove to be a surprisingly good suspect too.
I'm still a little undecided about some of the minor characters in this movie, especially the medium, Zarabeth (Kathleen Wilhoite) who was bizarre (and a bit annoying) to the point it was really hard to take her seriously, even when she was trying to be serious. Plus, I was really disappointed Rose Marie's landlady role didn't have more to it. I really figured she would play a bigger part in all of this but, instead, she wasn't much more than a convenient witness.
I was also disappointed by the ending, mostly because the special effects were horrible, even by late-80s standards, to the point it was almost comical to watch. It didn't completely destroy my overall opinion of the movie. But, I do think the weak ending did hurt it a bit.
The ending, as I mentioned, is a little lame. However, the overall movie, while not quite as scary as I would prefer, was entertaining to watch. It's worth viewing if you are in the mood for an older horror film.
My Grade: B
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