Director: Kevin Tenney
Starring: Todd Allen, Clare Bristol, Burke Byrnes, Ryan Carroll, Gloria Hayes
Never play it alone
Linda Brewster and her boyfriend Jim is having a few friends over for a few drinks. One of the guests is Brandon Sinclair, who used to be Jim’s best friend and also just happens to be the ex-boyfriend of Linda.
Brandon has brought a fun little party game with him called an Ouija board, or better known as a Witchboard. Linda becomes obsessed with the board and when Brandon forgets to take it with him, she starts to play with it on her own… and you should never contact the spirits alone.
Witchboard is one of those movies a lot of horror fans, including myself, saw when they grew up during the 80’s and had fond memories of, but when we now revisit it 25 years later it is both easy to see why we loved it so much at a younger age, but also why this movie wouldn’t succeed in 2013. It is a film that was suitable for the mid-80’s, but today frankly feels very dated.
Witchboard was made by Kevin Tenney, which people might recognize more from his big hit and awesome 80’s horror film Night of the Demons. This was his first film and he not only directed it, but also wrote the screenplay. The story is very simple, there’s an Ouija board, evil spirit, three main characters that have some unresolved issues and a few killing scenes.
What lacks the most in this film is the actual horror. While the premise of having an evil spirit haunt people through an Ouija board is great, and hardly used before this (although it did play a small part in The Exorcist), the film lacks any type of suspense or horror atmosphere. Supposedly it had a 2 million dollar budget, but it feels like it is a very small film with little to none special effects, which is kind of strange considering the year it was made in.
Tawny Kitaen plays the main role as Linda, and she is actually very good in this and way above the rest of the cast. She also has a shower scene, which is much appreciated. Her co-stars Todd Allen and Stephen Nicols as Jim and Brandon however gives off a kind of strange vibe together in this. The relationship between those two characters seem more like previous lovers than previous friends and it brings some odd feeling to their scenes.
Witchboard plays off like a typical 80’s horror film, but lacks the gore or scares to make it become something more worth checking out for the modern horror fan. It has a good premise and I would not mind seeing a remake of this today. For those of us who grew up in the 80’s it can still be interesting and enjoyable, for the newer kids out there I would say find something else.