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Retro Review: Witchboard (1986)

Long before Universal Studios and Blumhouse Productions created the Ouija franchise back in 2014, director Kevin S. Tenney used the classic board game/spirit board as a launching point for a horror franchise of his own.

The movie was 1986, the movie is called Witchboard, and it starred the woman who launched a thousand Whitesnake songs: Tawny Kitaen.

Before I go any further, it must be acknowledged that Mike Flanagan's Ouija: Origin of Evil is a solid genre film, and far better than its predecessor, Ouija. There. That's done.

What Witchboard may lack in polish and production values, it makes up for in spades by being an energetic and likeable film with a decent cast and a fun plot. This was the 80s, so even when horror was played straight, the genre didn't take itself too seriously.

There's not a boat load of special effects on display. Tenney does it all with camera and make-up effects. It works, and works well. He relied on telling a good, and at times scary, story. The effort pays off.

As for the cast, they're decent. Todd Allen and Stephen Nichols are solid as the two heroes of the piece. And yes, Tawny Kitaen can act, and looks great doing it.

Witchboard is a solid little film, and one of the better offerings of the 80s. It's a Good, and if you haven't seen it, remedy that ASAP.


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