Friday, July 20, 2012

Movie Review: Witchboard III: The Possession

 If you go into this film expecting an awful, low-budget mess, you will actually be pleasantly surprised.

 Brian is an out-of-work stock broker who's landlord is an eccentric but generally friendly collector of odd items.  The landlord reveals to Brian the secret of his success; trading commodities with advise from a Ouija Board.  Brian doesn't believe him at first, but when the Ouija proves to be correct, he returns to his landlord for more advise.  The landlord has a pleasant conversation with him on his balcony, gives Brian a pinky-ring, and then leaps to his death impaled on a fence several stories below.  Brian and his wife are the only ones to initially visit his funeral until the arrival of the old man's ex-wife, who insists on opening the casket to make certain the old man was dead, and then panics when she sees Brian wearing his ring.

 Brian uses the Ouija to plan his next commodities purchase, coffee.  He has to come-up with $50,000, and gets a 24 hour loan from a dangerous loan-shark.  Coffee is losing money all day the next day, and when the time to pay-back the loan arrives, Brian instead takes the Ouija to the shark.  The shark doesn't even give him time to explain, and while preparing to cut off one of Brian's finger slices Brian's hand.  Blood drips on the case the Ouija is in, and a malevolent force executes both the shark and his hired-muscle. 

 Of course, Brian realizes that the Ouija is evil.  He returns to his apartment and goes to the building's basement to place the board in the furnace.  The board protects itself by electrocuting Brian with a power-line.  Brian seems to be dead, only to wake-up the surprise of his doctors and his distraught wife.  Furthermore, coffee rebounds and they make $500,000. 

 But, Brian is no longer who he used to be.  The spirit of the old man has possessed Brian, and it seems that the old man was himself possessed by a demon.  The demon wants to have a baby, and at first seems nice enough, but quickly proves to be a real prick with telekinetic powers and a penchant for killing violently those who get in his way.  Brian, meanwhile, is a disembodied spirit appearing in the reflective surfaces and mirrors around his apartment, trying warn his wife of the danger she is in.

I mean, is this necessary?
 Okay, so, conceptually, the film obviously is on shaking ground.  At first, the spirit of the board is clearly illustrated to be separate and distinct from the old man, answering questions and coming when being summoned.  Then, it appears that this spirit is what was possessing the old man, as Brian becomes the spirit able to communicate through the board.  If this is true, then was it the old man's original spirit that responded to the demon's commands?  While that may be possible, why did it help the demon instead of fighting him as Brian did?  Next, the demon possessing Brian is impressing everyone with the nice-guy act.  He needs a baby... to possess it, eat it, play catch with it... it isn't really clear.  If this is your ultimate goal, and the nice-guy thing is working, why screw it up by acting like a dick, coming-on to your wife's best-friend, and killing people?  Unless this is your first possession as a brand-new demon, you should probably know better.

Smurfs gone bad.
 The production value of the film is fair; not major-motion-picture level, but not shot with a cell phone, either.  The actors actually seem to care about what they are doing, which is a real plus.  The special effects are decent; most of it is stuff flying around the room on its own and the demon itself.  It is done effectively enough not to make it obvious that it is a special effect.  The writing is fair as well, but the plot has holes in it big enough to drive a truck through.  I mean, along with what I mentioned earlier, why was a Ouija Board even involved in this film?  Other than serving to tie it into the series, it served no real purpose. 

 The nude scenes were bland.  The wife isn't wearing crotchless panties then she most likely would have some trouble performing the sex-acts depicted.

 The film could have been better, but for a B-horror sequel, it wasn't bad.

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