Ouija Shark 2 Movie Review

Written by Kat Albrecht

Released by Wild Eye Releasing

ouija shark 2 poster large

Written and directed by John Migliore
2022, Not long enough 82 minutes, Not Rated
Released on July 25th, 2023

Starring:
John Migliore as Anthony
Deborah Jayne Reilly Smith as Cressida
Kylie Gough as Illyana

ouija shark 2 01 ouija shark 2 02

Review:

Ouija Shark 2, more accurately described as Ouija Shark vs. Tarot Gator, is destined to be a controversial film. With anti-realistic visual effects, a scant plot, and very earnest acting, Ouija Shark 2 is a love-it-or-hate-it type of film. And I loved it.

Let’s start out by addressing the giant foam shark in the room. If you watch a film called Ouija Shark 2 and are upset that it is not realistic, you might be part of the problem.

A politer way of putting it is that horror is an interesting genre precisely because of how expansive it is. A serious psychological film? An ‘80s slasher bonanza? Sharktopus? We’ve got it all. However, this can also pose a problem for films like Ouija Shark 2 because it can make it harder to find their audience among a myriad of types of films that appeal to very different viewers. Not all horror fans will like this, and if you aren’t a fan of the smelliest cheese and the campiest camp, you probably won’t have a good time with Ouija Shark 2. But if you’re a TROMA fan and are ready to enjoy some comedy and farce along with your sharks, you can’t miss this one.

ouija shark 2 03 ouija shark 2 04

Ouija Shark 2 is a dramatic improvement from Ouija Shark, such that I would suggest skipping the first one entirely. Sure, you might be missing a little context, but writer/director/star John Migliore helpfully recaps everything you need to know. The gist of it is Ouija Shark is back from hell to destroy everything, but Anthony and his friends are here to save the day. Keep in mind Ouija Shark is very clearly a puppet, Anthony is a middle-aged man in a cape, and there’s a song sung by the devil.

Early in the film, we visit our hero Anthony, roaming the bowels of hell. Right away, you know you’re in for a treat. The set dressing and effects are highly effective and usually utterly absurd, with the general environment of hell being particularly stand-out.

There are also a number of mechanical/character choices that help the film excel. A personal favorite is how our heroic trio has to shout the name of the spell they plan to use out loud before spinning a very-CGI’ed circle of light for a while, ultimately dispatching a feeble looking fireball that is highly effective. Phenomenal.

For some reason, the major male characters are all uncannily like Dollar Tree John Goodman, but in context, this is also a good thing.

ouija shark 2 05 ouija shark 2 06

Some of the acting in Ouija Shark 2 is triumphant in its wrongness, including John Migliore’s performance as Anthony, which is 33% sorcerer, 33% dad, and 33% live-action Bibleman (look it up). Similarly, Deborah Jayne Reilly Smith’s performance as his estranged wife Cressida is strangely wooden but very effective next to Migliore’s character. Some sincerer emotional scenes do not translate as effectively in the film, but the glory of the shark and gator puppets massively counterbalances this problem.

Along those lines, the finale is every bit the chaotic comedy fest I was hoping for. As Ouija Shark tries to destroy the world, we are also treated to a delightful series of cameos by townies experiencing Ouija Shark with a bevy of one-liners that immediately took me back to every improv comedy show I’ve wandered into on late nights in the city. This scene typifies a sense of joy that pervades the film, no matter what the demon shark is up to.

Ouija Shark 2 is a wonderful example of the type of film it’s trying to be. Its biggest weakness is ultimately a mismatch between its intention and the expectations of viewers who might stumble upon it unwittingly. But if you’ve made it this far – I recommend you conjure up the Ouija Shark (2).

ouija shark 2 07 ouija shark 2 08

Grades:

Movie: Cover
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Kat Albrecht
Staff Reviewer
Kat Albrecht is a legally trained sociologist and computational social scientist studying how complex data can inform policy, with particular emphasis on the nexus of fear, criminal data, and the law. In other words, she’s a college professor who studies horror films sometimes. Her research specialties are practical special effects, creature features, and arguing about the meaning of genre. Kat will gleefully review any film that takes place in the ocean or in outer space and exclusively paints portraits of herself.
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