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  • Rev Horror

Ouija Shark

Dir. Brett Kelly (as Scott Patrick) (2020)

A group of teenagers summon a shark after using a Ouija board that washed up on the beach.

Is there a single genre in horror with a larger good movie : bad movie ratio than sharksploitation? 90% of the films in the genre are terrible, but thankfully, most of them know exactly what they are and lean in heavily to the ridiculous and hilarious premise that differentiates themselves from other films in the genre. 2020's Ouija Shark does exactly that, delivering a film about a ghost shark that is summoned by a Ouija board that washes ashore on a local beach. It knows how absurd its premise is, it knows it has limited scope and only so much to say, and it does a great job of packing everything it can into such a small runtime, a gift for films like this and a decision that makes the film infinitely more watchable than it may otherwise be.

A group of women gather for a girl's vacation, eating hot dogs and swimming in a backyard pool as they try to get to know each other better. When one of them suggests playing a game with a Ouija board she found on the beach, the board only comes back with one response to all of their questions: "Hungry." A ghost shark is summoned, putting all of the women in danger as they try to ward off the evil spirits of a ravenous maneater that is able to swim through the air and isn't held back by the limits of the ocean. They must find a way to rid themselves of the ghost before the shark rids itself of its hunger.

Ouija Shark knows exactly what it is and never tries to be something else, playing completely serious but understanding completely that it is anything but. It reminds a good bit of films like Velocipastor, another deeply comedic film that utilizes deadpan humor in an otherwise straightforward film to create a comedy out of what could have easily been a horrifically bad movie. It's ultra low budget, entirely indie, and a hell of a lot of fun. It's also a fantastic idea, a "sharks-on-land" thesis tested by actors who are clearly enjoying just being silly while they explore the concept of ghost sharks and marijuana hallucinations.

When you're making an indie horror movie, you have to be confident enough in your concept to make the movie you want to make without any cheap appeals to the lesser common denominator of horror fans. There's nothing wrong with jamming a ton of boobs and blood into your film, but it isn't particularly necessary in this film and therefore wasn't forced in. It's an interesting show of restraint, and the movie is perhaps better for it. It's also not a film that's going to be appreciated by people who weren't already drawn in from the title. It's not particularly groundbreaking, it's not scary, and it's never attempts to punch above its weight class, which is a blessing for a film that didn't need to do any of that to be entertaining. Nevertheless, if you're not already a fan of dumb indie sharksploitation, you likely won't enjoy this one either. If you are, however, you'll definitely appreciate the flick.

Who this movie is for: Sharksploitation lovers, B-movie indie horror fans, Bikini occult enthusiasts

Bottom line: Deadpan comedy and ultra-low budget "special" effects highlight this indie supernatural shark flick that is a super fun (and short) ride. It's not even slightly scary, nor does it particularly intend to be, and its ridiculous supernatural elements work well in a horror play on Doctor Strange. It's perhaps horror's strangest warning against playing with occult forces, and it works very well to create an entertaining indie horror with a ton of heart. Give this one a look on Tubi if you're a fan of indie shark comedy.

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