13th Jul2023

‘Ouija Shark 2’ Review

by James Rodrigues

Stars: John Migliore, Deborah Jayne Reilly Smith, Kylie Gough, Simon Wheeldon, Lena Montecalvo, Sabrina Migliore, Mike Trebilcock, Jim Ordolis | Written and Directed by John Migliore

Let’s firstly address the biggest question; is it vital to see 2020’s Ouija Shark before this sequel? Will the plot intricacies be lost on anybody who missed director Brett Kelly’s third shark-centric feature? Worry not, as a catch-up is offered in the opening moments courtesy of Anthony (writer/director/star John Migliore). Speaking through a mystical ball, the magician recaps the first film’s events where his daughter’s aquatic discovery of a Ouija board released the Ouija Shark onto the world before its banishment resulted in Anthony being trapped in hell.

The sequel journeys to the location of eternal damnation and brimstone, as Anthony pursues the eponymous shark to try and stop its rampage. Meanwhile, a rescue plan is being formed by his wife, Cressida (Deborah Jayne Reilly Smith), who seeks to embrace her connection to the occult while speaking with psychic, Illyana (Kylie Gough).

Such a title offers hope for an entertaining feature to settle down in front of and have a good time with. While the components are there, it feels as though someone forgot to flip the switch designated for “fun.” A scene has hell-residing puppet master Caldura (Simon Wheeldon) monologuing to bikini girls before launching into a musical number, yet what should be a scene-stealing showcase instead feels forgettable.

What’s utterly mystifying is how many areas this feature falls down in. It simultaneously tries too hard to be funny, does not try hard enough to sell the mystical elements, and struggles to live up to the title. Attempts to raise the stakes through magical warfare are undercut by lame jokes, while none of the established relationships feel sincere. Despite the characters heavy-handedly explaining their emotions, it feels less believable than the glaring greenscreen, and part of the reason is due to the lacking performances. While a plush doll is used to portray the ghostly shark, that is a more believable performance than some of the on-screen humans.

There is a charm in the low-budget workaround for a kaiju battle, yet it feels fleeting amidst the tiresome nonsense. For a film which has a low-budget Doctor Strange fighting tiny goggle-wearing apes in hell, it is disappointingly dull stuff. As the ending tries setting up further adventures, it is difficult to feel emotions greater than a defeated sigh. Sad to say, the proceedings just left this reviewer Ouija bored.

* 1/5

Ouija Shark 2 releases on digital platforms on July 25th, courtesy of Wild Eye Releasing.


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