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Its been so long since you’ve heard from me, I decided to start over again by going back to the first time I was allowed to spew my warped opinions on crazy movies on this amazing site. I started out reviewing Witchboard, so what better way to triumphantly return than by watching the incomparable Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway.
Look at that cover. LOOK AT IT. It grabs you right on in: a buxom blonde getting strangled by a Ouija board. What could be greater? Oh, let’s find out. Where the first movie left off with the crybaby marrying the unpossessed Tawny Kitaen, and her landlady finding the Ouija board in the rubble, Witchboard 2 opens with cutie-pie Paige looking at a loft apartment while her skeezy landlord-to-be ogles her gluteal region.
Despite his creepy behavior and warnings about his crazy wife, Paige decides to lease the apartment. Of course, the fabled Ouija board is in the only closet in the place, so the stage is set for the impending terror. Of course, she gets settled in and decides to engage the dark side all on her lonesome, and meets a spirit named Susan, who starts to talk about a promotion that Paige is up for. She gets all excited until her ex Mitch shows up and starts yelling at her. There’s a lot of dramatic back-and-forth that boils down to him not understanding her artistic spirit, and then the landlady’s nephew, Russell shows up and tries to be gallant, threatening to call the cops to get him out of there, but Mitch informs us he is an officer of the law. Russell points out that he showed him his badge, and therefore has his badge number, so he can report his ungentlemanly behavior if he doesn’t vamoose.
Next, we get to see Paige at work, and let me tell you, this chica needs a power suit and some cojones if she’s going to get anywhere in the wild world of accountancy; especially when up against horse-face. No, not Sarah Jessica Parker, but another unfortunate looking actress in shoulderpads who is trying to best Paige out of the CPA position. I hate weak and stuttery characters, and that’s what Paige is shaping out to be: weak, unsure of herself, and afraid to stand up for herself. Something tells me that some demon is going to help her out with that.
Let’s talk about the landlady, Elaine, for a second. She’s wearing too much makeup to be a hippie, and the dopey voice is super annoying. Like, a total drag. Ugh. At least we get a teeny bit of exposition out of her; the possible identity of our Ouija ghost: Susan Sydney. The landlord, Jonas, interrupts us; and my gawd, is he the worst kind of stereotypical sleeze-bag prevert. “I’m the handyman around here, and if you ever need anything… I mean, AN-Y-THING…” Gag me with a spoon, already! If she wanted to get with a hedgehog, she can call Ron Jeremy. Yuck city. Alright, back to the film.
Who came up with the creepy tenement laundry room idea? I swear, if I lived in a place where the only area I could do my laundry in was in itself a horror movie set, I’d just go down the street to the Washeteria and be done with it. Too many horrible things have happened in basement laundry rooms, even in private residences. No thanks! Here we get our first taste of creepy activity; bangs and clanks, then she gets startled by Russell and uses self-defense techniques to nail him in the mommy-daddy button. He also tells us that Susan Sydney was the bee’s knees, and that he’s a photographer.
We get a lot of really awesome demon POV shots while Paige prepares for a bubble bath. She just gets to luxuriating, when she hears footsteps. Of course, she hauls her soapy wet tushie out of the tub and investigates, then has another tiny Ouija session. Susan is a ghost of very few words, and it is a little infuriating, especially when she spells out nonsense like A-R-T-I-S-T H-E-L-P and then makes the planchette freak out. But, this paranormal gibberish takes us to the first active violence we’ve seen: Something throws an axe at Jonas, then chases him around with a sawblade. He weasels away from that end by locking himself in the boiler room, but the dark forces are smarter than that, and they make the boiler cook him like a pot roast on your grandmama’s stove.
Now we start to see a little transformation in Paige; she puts ol’ horse-face in her place- Even uses the eff-word!- and tells Mitch off, then decides she wants to sit and let Russell shoot some snaps of her. He tries to bring out her inner sex-kitten, which doesn’t really work so well. When they return to the apartment, the cops are there, investigating Jonas’ death by pressure cooker.
Paige is in the grips of the dark side now; having nightmares (the Ouija board strangle! Ha!), and inspired to do mediocre sketches of creepy lady eyes and roses. Soon, her apartment is covered in sketches, and she’s starting to paint again. Mitch drops by to check on her, and apologizes for doubting her talent (I wouldn’t have gone that far, but he’s trying to make things up to her), and she asks him to look into the mysterious Susan Sydney.
At Jonas’ funeral, Russell reveals that Susan Sydney isn’t dead, and Paige tries to confront the Ouija board about it. After some more gibberish about a rifle cape (?), Mitch calls and says that there isn’t any record of Susan’s death. Paige gets mightily hacked off, and tells that devil board she’s going to throw it away, then it goes nuts, locking the door on her and slamming down all the shutters. Russell and Elaine come to the rescue, and they have a session on the Ouija, and more craziness comes out; it gives an address, but won’t cough up any personal details about Susan, then makes a mirror explode.
The address turns out to be bogus, there’s not a Parkwood street, but there is a ‘park’ in the ‘woods,’ and the scooby doo brigade heads out to find her final resting place. Paige is wearing some spectacularly short-shorts, which is way out of character and not functional for digging up shallow graves at all, and she’s making Russell take part in these shenanigans. I am getting bored, bored, bored. There’s only been one kill, and it was offscreen. Oh, wait,make that two; Mitch showed up in the woods and killed an opossum. There is more blood and guts in an episode of Lassie than there has been in this movie. Was this thing made for TV? Jiminy christmas, can I get some scares here? She has another sexy nightmare; the apartment looks like the set of a Stevie Nicks video, all candles and dry ice fog. We finally get a glimpse of Susan in the mirror…or is it?
Can I tell you how much I love the occult shop owner? I like this guy. Replace Paige with him, and this flick will pick up. He gives them an automatic writer and a book on the history of Ouija. She becomes some kind of scantily-clad cryptogramatical genius and deciphers Susan’s gibberish, and finds some earrings in the fireplace. She whips out the automatic writer and pisses off the ghost again, and makes it exact some demon justice by flipping Mitch’s car all over the San Fernando valley while Paige dreams about Susan getting murdalized by a gigantic chef’s knife.
She comes to, and Russell tries to talk some reason into her, telling her that the reason she’s wearing the clothes of a streetwalker is that she’s slowly being possessed, and convinces her to let Elaine throw the board and the automatic writer thingie away. Paige predictably fishes them out, and as soon as she fires up the board, Elaine gets taken out by a wrecking ball. Please, no Miley jokes. If I avoided them, so can you. The pace moves from neutral into first gear around the last eighteen minutes of this thing. We finally figure out what Susan’s problem is, she slept with Jonas and Elaine butchered her, so yeah, she’s out for revenge but wants a body. So, she possesses Paige totally. We get a final fight scene, and Paige shakes off the possession, and she lays into the board with the pickaxe, destroying it and killing Susan, the evil stripper-ghost.
This movie is basically a rehash of the first one. Dead spirit wants to live again, and systematically destroys everyone around it to make it happen,, folks learn about the history of spirit boards, and you gotta pierce it with something sharp to make whatever’s in it die. Best part of the whole movie: Jim, the crybaby from the first movie, makes an appearance that leaves the ending open for yet another sequel.
All in all, its a very ‘meh’ kind of sequel. No real spooky stuff going on like in the first one; no gruesome death scenes, nothing really to write home about. They do call back to the first Witchboard a lot; the board changes just like it did, becoming more sinister as the movie goes on until it’s full-on evil board, the poor chick becoming sexier and angrier as the film progresses; like I said, a pale imitation of the original. It’s like comparing Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2: same basic story, but told in a different way, only this sequel was much less entertaining. If you cut out the 4 f-bombs and blurred out some photographed ta-tas, you could air this puppy on Lifetime.
Watch the trailer to “Witchboard 2”