Latest Articles

  • C8d867bb2bff8e20a73bac905b733f80 450 750

    Patient Zero

    A familiar apocalyptic sandwich hides surprising mystery meat in the middle! Read More
  • 016d929ebbcd95df9d59d1984d0e0258 450 750

    Funny Book Splatter 084: Michael Hague

    James chats with the man behind Mammon, the frightening and beautiful vampire comic. Read More
  • E8e6766d269286b140c417ee1c04d1fe 450 750

    We Sold Our Souls

    Move over Ozzy, there’s a new metal god in town! Read More
  • 17f1c50fa2f7ab05fbab303e3e6514e9 450 750

    Leviathan #2

    These dinosaurs have had a free ride for too long. This time the extinction will stick. Read More
  • 7fb648997f0cd4bfd2bcab3afa047b60 450 750

    Secret Santas

    Get ready for a dark and twisted version of Jingle All The Way. Read More
  • 6e1aab9a12e77abab517c14180a60387 450 750

    The Immortal Hulk #5

    The Hulk and Sasquatch square off in a hospital and it's as awesome as it sounds. Read More
  • 13e49fbbc1f019dc9f623c16a79861fb 450 750

    August 2018 Loot Crate Unboxing

    James cracks open the aptly themed Mayhem box of nerd stuff with his two unruly co-hosts. Read More
  • 2c37f209983e8c2bade08e3036b18ead 450 750

    Of Stone: Volume 1

    You might have found your next favorite fantasy epic. Read More
  • 77e8016e3db78ee639d54c0d470a1979 450 750

    Escaping The Psychopath's Den

    Team HorrorTalk were invited to experience London's newest and most advanced escape room, check out how they survived. Read More
  • Ec83b79e70dfe6fef748f38c639cbfdb 450 750

    The Dreaming #1

    The troubles for the Dream realm deepen. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Latest News

  • Buffy Bounces Over to BOOM! Studios +

    3fd3322cbca7e1a1da36f470795c02a9 160 120 The publisher intends to release all new comics, graphic novels, and more beginning in 2019 Read More
  • The Freeze Delivers a New Spin on the Post-Apocalyptic Tale +

    E42e4ba8b2cc3f783d377b9e5bc1fc57 160 120 New series from Image Comics has everyone frozen in place. Read More
  • Murder Falcon’s Heavy Metal Variants Pay Tribute to the Classics +

    Aada0f0bd6be5168536e77eb8c52d4c2 160 120 Somehow this book gets even more metal. Read More
  • Go Back to the Terrortory Next Month +

    4ef1dd01429c65268bf68c2c72fb5225 160 120 Terrortory 2 hits Amazon on October 1st and we have an exclusive clip from the horror anthology! Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Home

2016 03 14 Witchboard 2

Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Olive Films

Witchboard 2 Poster

Written and directed by Kevin S. Tenney
1993, 99 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray released on October 15th, 2013

Starring:
Ami Dolenz as Paige
Timothy Gibbs as Mitch
John Gatins as Russel
Laraine Newman as Elaine
Christopher Michael Moore as Jonas
Julie Michaels as Susan
Marvin Kaplan as Morris
Sarah Kaite Coughlan as Carla

Witchboard 2 01 Witchboard 2 02

Review:

Paige is newly single, looking for a fresh start and believes moving into an artist’s loft will inspire her own creativity. Her quirky neighbors include Elaine, the hippie landlady who owns the building with her husband Jonas and brother, Russel. As Paige unpacks, she discovers a Ouija board in the closet and opts to goof around with it, but is surprised when a restless spirit named Susan asks for help. The ghost begins haunting Paige’s dreams and influencing her behavior in waking life too. The more time she spends with the board, her bashful demeanor begins to grow more provocative. Paige’s ex-boyfriend Mitch is an overprotective cop who tracks her down and begs her to take him back, but she now has her eye on Randall. Susan claims to have been murdered, so Paige asks Mitch and Russel for assistance solving the crime. Following a series of freak accidents, the guys are convinced there is something sinister going on and will have to protect Paige from both the Ouija and herself.

Writer/ director Kevin S. Tenney (Night of the Demons) returns to the wonderful world of Ouija with this fun followup to his 1986 debut Witchboard. Back in his element mixing horror and comedy, Tenney is clearly having fun with the original concept while incorporating some of his signature camera moves. The story is fairly straightforward, but with a few missing pieces that stick out under moderate scrutiny. Most innocuous is the strange absence of supporting characters, including Paige’s fellow tenants and boss, frequently referred to yet never to appear on screen, suggesting abandoned subplots. The people we do meet suffer script-induced red-herring motivations in order to keep the mystery alive until the final moments, making their behavior erratic. The main script-based problem, however, is the lack of rules concerning the powers and limitations of the spirits and the Ouija board. Susan may or may not be lying to Paige in order to gain the strength to exact revenge on those who wronged her, but in at least one instance the ghost assumes control of a vehicle being driven by someone who has never met Susan or had any contact with the Ouija.

Witchboard 2 03 Witchboard 2 04

Tenney’s penchant for dynamic imagery is prominently featured as he works closely with cinematographer David Lewis (Night of the Demons 2), passing the camera through giant keyholes or into moving vehicles to explore all possibilities in a scene. The duo makes solid use of the Steadicam rig to portray a vision of spectral movement reminiscent of the Evil Dead franchise. Tenney also knows how to get the best performances from his talented cast. Ami Dolenz (Pumpkinhead II) stars as Paige, a conservative “good girl” slowly succumbing to the will of the Ouija, first depicted in a series of sensual dreams. As the spiritual influence takes hold, she becomes a more assertive character willing to stand up for herself both socially and professionally. Her shift in wardrobe is abrupt and humorous as the demure accountant switches first to a sexy black funeral dress followed by Daisy Duke booty shorts for a moonlit grave digging expedition. Dolenz plays the whole endeavor straight and is a real sport for committing to some of the goofier aspects of the script and should be commended for her efforts.

Timothy Gibbs (11-11-11) and John Gatins (Leprechaun 3) form the sides of the love triangle as Mitch and Russel respectively, both hoping to win Paige’s heart. Neither seems inherently bad, but Mitch does have a temper and Russel a secret, yet these are not deal breakers in themselves. Gibbs is suitably heroic and ruggedly handsome as a leading man and is likely the least suspicious character in the film. Gatins is the more sensitive type and shares a great chemistry with Dolenz, and I continued to pull for them as a couple until the finale. Gatins would go on to find success as the screenwriter of such films as Real Steel (2011) and Flight (2012). The always-welcome Laraine Newman (Invaders from Mars) provides a bit of comic relief as Elaine, not as funky as the original picture’s Zarabeth, but a fun character given a bit more depth as the film plays on. Julie Michaels (Jason Goes to Hell) is the vengeful Susan, the gorgeous ghost with the most. It speaks to her talent as an actress that she leaves such an impression despite limited screen time. Michaels has gone on to enjoy a lengthy career as a stunt woman and now serves as stunt coordinator for both film and television projects.

Witchboard 2 has a much lighter tone than the original film and moves at a faster pace, making for a more entertaining experience. This is not a swipe at part one, a movie I enjoy, but rather to say this sequel tweaks the formula and will likely satisfy a broader audience of genre fans. The Witchboard series does not really offer gratuitous nudity and is not known for an iconic villain, but the creativity in the presentation keeps things interesting. In 1995, Tenney returned to the franchise a final time with his script for Witchboard III: The Possession, but did not direct. I honestly did not expect a trilogy from this material, but given the strength of the premise it will likely receive a contemporary reboot and, if we are lucky, Tenney will continue to call the shots.

 Witchboard 2 05 Witchboard 2 06

Video and Audio:

Witchboard 2 is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and receives a surprisingly solid transfer featuring vivid colors and deep blacks. If pressed to find something negative to say about the picture, I would merely be nitpicking some shortcomings of the original source materials. This is such a step up from the earlier releases that I cannot seriously knock the company’s efforts.

The DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo track is impressive in range and delivers a nice amount of punch during the intense supernatural moments of the story. The music and effects tracks are well-balanced and never drown out dialogue levels.

 Witchboard 2 07 Witchboard 2 08

Special Features:

Writer/ director Kevin Tenney is joined by actors John Gatlin and Julie Michaels for a delightful audio commentary that finds the three participants happily reflecting on their work just in time for the film’s 20th anniversary. The track is laid back and conversational and fans will definitely enjoy the stories, as there is a steady stream of information shared about the production.

A pair of deleted scenes running just under three minutes adds little to the film and it is easy to understand why they were cut, but since the content is referenced during the audio commentary, it is nice to have them included.

A vintage Behind-the-Scenes featurette (8 minutes) offers a mixture on set rehearsal footage with cast and crew interviews.

A pair of home video trailers joined by a trio of television spots promoting the arrival of this sequel offers a look at the marketing campaign.

 Witchboard 2 09 Witchboard 2 10

Grades:

Movie: Threestars Witchboard 2 Cover
Buy Amazon Us
Witchboard 2 Dvd Cover
Buy Amazon Us
Video: Fourstars
Audio: Fourstars
Features: Twoandahalfstars
Overall: Threestars

 

 

 

About The Author
ZigZag
Author: ZigZag
Staff Writer
ZigZag's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
Recent Articles

Search

Popular Categories

YouTube

OBEY - CONSUME

1.260x260

Contests

  • 1

Join Us!

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...