[Review] OUIJA SHARK terrible, awkward, and just bad…

The title is the best thing about Ouija Shark. It’s everything the movie is not: it’s clever, it’s funny and it makes you want more. The poster is kind of cool, too, and the tagline — Gonna Need a Bigger Board — is a groaner, but not in a terrible way.

Everything else about Ouija Shark is awful. And not in that it’s a “so bad it’s good” sort of way. It’s just… bad.

Directed by Scott Patrick, Ouija Shark tells the story of a group of young girls having a weekend at a remote lakeside cabin. While wandering along the shoreline, one of the girls finds a piece of driftwood — actually more like a freshly hewed bit of wood from Home Depot– with the classic Ouija board game burned onto it. Naturally, she takes it back to the cabin and the girls play it and conjure up the ghost of a Great White Shark. Actually, what they conjure up is more like a washed-out, sun-faded see-through decal of a great white shark that they keep waving erratically in front of the camera but we’re meant to believe it’s the ghost of a Great White Shark. 

What follows is a series of increasingly uninteresting scenes that basically involve one of the girls running while the Ghost Shark decal is waved behind her. The Ghost Shark attacks, the girl screams and…there’s a puff of smoke or a flash of white light. There’s no blood. No guts. No pitiful screams of the victims being chomped on. No extreme closeups of the shark teeth — ok, Ghost Shark teeth — chomping down on human flesh. There’s a flash of light and … nothing. Towards the end, a mannequin arm gets thrown in a pool with some red dye around it, but that’s about all you get in Ouija Shark.

There are a few hilariously bad moments, though. Like when the father of one of the girls after being killed by the Ghost Shark, is up in heaven and shoots some sort of celestial rays out of his hands to form a mystic shield to ward off a Ghost Shark attack. It’s silly. Almost funny. But then you remember a previous scene where that same dad did a cheesy Tarot reading — all along, out loud — that was a horrible excuse for badly acted exposition, and you’re less likely to enjoy his heavenly capers.

There is also a terribly awkward scene where one of the girls helps a creepy neighbor wash his car while a generic rock song plays. It has absolutely nothing to do with the story and doesn’t tie in with the plot before or after the car wash takes place. It feels like you accidentally hit the remote while watching Ouija Shark and changed channels to a local music video channel. Only sleazier.

And then there is the end. Not the end of the girls and the Ghost Shark, but an additional ending that tries to make a political statement out of Ouija Shark. Or at least a political joke. A mysterious man in a monk robe, the dark lord who controls the Ouija Board and it’s Ghost Shark, makes a phone call to tell his master that his evil plan has been a success. His master, a chubby man with bad blonde hair and Cheeto colored skin, tells him it’s time to implement Phase 2 of Operation Ouija Shark. And, the man in the White House proclaims, “It’s gonna be huge.”

Learning that there may be a Ouija Shark 2  is the scariest thing.

  • John Black, Ouija Shark
John Black
John Black still remembers his first horror movie, sneaking in to a double-feature of Horror House with Frankie Avalon and a Boris Karloff film he can’t remember the name of but will always remember for giving him his first glimpse of cinematic nudity as one of the actresses moved from the bed to the door without putting on any underwear! (Fond family memory: That glimpse, when discovered by his parents, cased John’s mom to call the theater and yelling at the manager for letting her son see ‘such filth’.) Luckily, John was more impressed by the blood and horror than the bare haunches and quickly became a devotee of the genre.

John has been a professional movie reviewer since 1987, when his first review – of a Robert De Niro film called Angel Heart – appeared in the entertainment section of The Cape Codder newspaper. He’s been writing about film ever since, primarily now as the entertainment editor at Boston Event Guide. Hardly a day goes by when he doesn’t watch at least one movie, which is how he thinks life was meant to be.