The third and final entry in the Witchboard film series had a number of things going against it from the start. Firstly, it’s a third movie in a series based around possession coming from a Ouija board. Secondly, the stories told already didn’t really lend themselves to another sequel. Thirdly, it came out in 1995…a dead period for horror.
So how does it stack up when compared to the first two? Well, it is the weakest of the bunch but it’s not a terrible film by any stretch. It can be praised for changing the story up somewhat even if the end result is just exploitative nonsense.
The first obvious change is the lead in this movie is a man. A man named Brian (David Nerman) who is down on his luck and looking for a job. He is miserable even if he gets loads of support from his wife Julie (Elizabeth Lambert).
After having a day of rejection, Brian meets his landlord Francis (Cedric Smith). Who introduces him to how he became rich and successful. A Ouija board where a spirit has been giving him advice on ventures to invest in. This is the first of many dumb moments in this movie as there is something so absurd about a spirit giving financial advice.
Anyway, Brian also things it’s dumb but later sees that the investment the spirit proposed would have paid off. He goes back to Francis who reveals that he is dying and that he wants Brian to have his ring and the Ouija board. Brian accepts followed by Francis leaping off the balcony to this death. It’s one way to go out and is one of the more gleefully twisted scenes in the movie.
Naturally Brian begins to use the Ouija and if you’ve seen the previous films you know how this goes. However, in a variation on the stories told so far, Brian is actually possessed by a demon halfway through the movie. With the real Brian taking on the role of a spirit trying to communicate with his wife. It’s a welcome change even if it results in some very suspect ‘evil’ acting from David Nerman.
It doesn’t take long for Julie to realise that something isn’t right with her husband. Will she be able to stop the demon and save Brian’s soul?
It’s a brave move to call the movie Witchboard III and pretty much abandon the plot points of the Witchboard series after a certain point. The predictability of this is disappointing though and it’s a real shame the latter parts of the movie doesn’t do enough with it. Instead what we have are a bunch of ‘horror’ scenes designed to ramp up the violence and gore, 90s style. That and the awful effects!
That’s perfectly fine in some regards but it sees the story fall apart resulting in an ending that is just utter nonsense.
Not the kind of fun nonsense either.
It’s no surprise that this was the last entry. The series was already feeling stale after the second. There is entertainment to be found here, particularly in the first half. The pacing isn’t half-bad, it has gore and plenty of nudity. Just don’t expect anything ground-breaking or something that makes sense.
Witchboard III: The Possession