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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Scream Factory., 4 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Witchboard [Blu-ray] [1986] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
*****This review is for the Region A Blu-Ray release of Witchboard!****

Given it's popularity and occult links, it's always been a mystery why so few horror movies have tried to make use of the Ouija board as a plot device. Famously one was shown as an explanation for Reagan Mcneil's (Linda Blair) possession in Friedkin's The Exorcist, but it was a throw away plot point that assumed most of the film's audience were familiar with how the things worked so valuable screen time was not used up going into too much detail.

Kevin S. Tenney, a young writer/director at the time noticed this too, so as part of his college course he wrote the screenplay for Witchboard (at this time titled Ouija) and when the script got noticed he dropped out of college to go shoot his movie. Witchboard is the first film I can remember to really go into detail in regards to the myths and lore surrounding the Ouija board and delivers a mature and frightening depiction of what can go wrong when someone messes with the board not knowing what their doing.

Tawney Kitaen plays Linda, a gorgeous Law student with two men in her life. Her boyfriend and her ex, both of whom used to be friends until they fell out over Linda. At a party her ex brings a Ouija along and they attempt to contact the spirit of a dead boy called David. When her boyfriend is skeptical and insulting over the board the spirit throws a tantrum. An argument ensues and Linda's ex leaves, leaving behind the board. Linda begins to fool about with the board and soon contacts David, who is friendly at first, but as Linda slowly get's taken over by the board the spirit becomes more and more sinister...

A lot of UK fans probably remember this from the halcyon days of video rental. Or the decent quality Anchor Bay release that hit the shelves a few years back. Witchboard is a slow burning horror that some modern audience may feel is a little slow. It's a classically structured horror that actually tries to develop character and story and slowly blends in the horror. If you think of modern ghost films like Insidious your on the right track. People after something a little more ferocious from the get-go might want to check out Tenney's follow up horror Night of the Demons (also released by Scream Factory) which is a lot more Evil dead, and while I admittedly prefer that film for an evenings entertainment, I encourage horror fans to seek this out and give it a try.

Scream Factory's disc is, as usual, region locked. Again, if some Uk company were planning a UK release of this film I could totally understand but as of yet there has been no announcement. So, if your lacking a multi-region capable player it seems your stuck with the Anchor bay DVD, unless of course you can play region 1 dvd's as this is a double play package so comes with the film on DVD as well.

Scream Factory's transfer is the very best this film has ever looked. Noticeably more detailed and colorful, some of the real revelation's come from the night sequences which are a really noticeable improvement over the old anchor bay release. The Blu-ray ports over all the old bonus material from the DVD including the commentary and the vintage featurette, which is broken up into smaller pieces for this release. We also get a new second commentary track thrown in and a 40+ minute making of that is up to the usual great standards of Scream Factory.

Overall if your a fan and can play region locked discs I highly recommend checking this out. If your a UK distributor stuck for ideas on what to release then I suggest looking into obtaining the rights. Whichever way you see this film though it is well worth seeking out.
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