As you can guess, things spin out of control. But even as the tension gets carefully increased, Flanagan keeps a steady hand as he playfully riffs on demonic possession, haunted house, and ghost story classics like The Exorcist, The Omen, Poltergeist, and The Changeling. Like any strong cover band, Ouija: Origin of Evil knows how to draw from a range of influences that appeal to casual horror junkies and die-hards alike -- right down to the nail-biting finale.
What makes the ending so bleak? Well, after a series of dramatic confrontations (and, yes, very loud jump-scares) with a local priest, following Doris' full conversion into Damien-esque demon child, Lina finally defeats her possessed younger sister. How does she do it, exactly? By sewing her mouth closed -- a callback to the first film -- and sending those pesky demons back to hell. In an ingenious choice that probably saved his PG-13 rating, Flanagan keeps his camera focused on Lina's anguished face as she threads the needle. The terror of sewing is real.