Witchboard is a 1986 American supernatural horror feature film written and directed by Kevin S. Tenney (Night of the Demons, Brain Dead). The movie stars Tawny Kitaen, Stephen Nichols, Todd Allen and Kathleen Wilhoite.
The film focuses on a female college student who is harassed and later possessed by an evil spirit after communicating with it through a friend’s Ouija board. It spawned two sequels, Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway (1993) and Witchboard III: The Possession (1995).
Brandon Sinclair brings out his ouija board at a party and attempts to contact David, the spirit of a ten-year-old boy with whom he has communicated numerous times. The spirit responds, but Jim, formerly Brandon’s best friend and now nemesis, insults David, making David angry and provoking David to slash the tires of Brandon’s car.
The next day, Linda, Jim’s live-in girlfriend, sees Brandon’s ouija board (which Brandon left behind from the previous night) and tries to contact David. The spirit that appears is actually an evil being (Malfeitor) acting under the guise of David. This malicious spirit starts being nice and helpful, informing Linda where her lost diamond engagement ring is.
Meanwhile, at the construction site where Jim is working, Jim’s friend Lloyd is killed by the murderous spirit. Linda again contacts Malfeitor—whom she still believes to be David—and he lies, responding that he did not cause the accident. Linda begins to fall under “progressive entrapment”, in which the spirit changes and starts to terrorize the user, making the person weak and easy to possess…
“Except for its remarkable success, Witchboard is thoroughly unremarkable. Time has not revealed whatever made this dull thriller so appealing, leading lady aside, of course. Tawny is as Tawny does. For Witchboard, that’s more than enough.” Mike “McBeardo” McFadden, Heavy Metal Movies
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“It’s packed with fake-out scares, including the impressive fake-out-scare-holy-shit-real-scare-after all scare, cheesy special effects, and some genuinely cool horror scenes. There’s a moment when you see the world from the spirit’s point of view, we ride along as the camera seems to float down hallways, above beds, etc, and it is fairly freaky.” Left Hand Horror
“Witchboard is a winner in a BIG way. From sets that look like they were constructed in someone’s garage to a plot that literally revolves around a piece of cardboard, this movie should be required viewing for any film student itching to make a scary movie. With almost nothing to work with, director Kevin Tenney somehow gets everything right, and turns out a horror movie that is not only hysterical to watch, but actually manages some brilliant jump-scares in the process.” Tower Farm Reviews
“This is a brilliant, world-class example of how truly excellent a terrible ’80s flick can be: big hair, tight jeans, ruthlessly annoying characters, and straight-up bad acting. Yet somehow all of these awful things add up to make something entirely enjoyable.” Twins of Evil
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New Audio Commentary With Writer-Director Kevin S. Tenney and Actors Stephen Nichols, Kathleen Wilhoite And James Quinn | Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Kevin S. Tenney, Executive Producer Walter Josten And Producer Jeff Geoffray | New Interviews With Kevin Tenney, Tawny Kitaen, J.P. Luebsen, James Quinn, Walter Josten, Todd Allen And More | Theatrical Trailer | TV Spots | Still Gallery
The Ouija Board: A history and its influence – article