Exclusive: Juliet Snowden, Stiles White Talk Horrors, Appeal of Universal’s Ouija Film


The long-mooted Ouija film has faced a few ups and downs.  Originally conceived as a big-budget adventure movie, Ouija, naturally, takes its cue from the Hasbro “game” of the same name.  The project saw its beginnings at Universal, but it was kicked over to Paramount where McG was attached to helm.   Earlier this year, however, Ouija reverted back to Universal with Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity), Platinum Dunes (Friday the 13th) and Hasbro (Transformers, Battleship) producing.  It was then that Juliet Snowden and Stiles White were revealed to be not just the writers, but the directors as well.  

The pair, who penned Boogeyman, Knowing and this week’s release, The Possession, spoke to Shock Till You Drop last night at the red carpet premiere of the latter and talked about the appeal of Ouija, the potential for good on-screen frights and potential release month.

“It was originally a $100 million movie, now it’s a $5 million movie with us,” Snowden laughed when we congratulated them on the project.  “Jason [Blum], Michael [Bay] and the Platinum Dunes guys, Universal and Hasbro – that’s a lot to answer to.”

Asked if their take will still contained the previous script’s rumored “adventure” angle, White said, “For us, there was that version, but we’ve got Blum on board now, it’s going to be a smaller budget, a more contained idea.  We just love the idea, when Juliet was growing up, her older sister had a Ouija board, my grandparents had a Ouija board up on the shelf in the closet, so I remember one – I’m not sure if I ever played with one, I had a healthy sense of caution with it.  I love the idea it’s a game, but not really a game.  It’s sold as a game because where else can you put it in the store?”

“Contact spirits with something you find on the shelf at Walmart or Target?” Snowden continued, “That’s where we’re coming from with the story, it’s not just about one board, it’s any board and that’s what makes it scary.”

White added, “The idea that the board spells out messages – as a psychological horror film, we just felt there was a lot to play with there.  We pitched our ideas, we’re currently writing the script right now, the process is moving quickly.  Once you get into the writing of it, you’re visualizing it from the get-go when you’re signed on to direct.”

“The timeline is fast, we’re moving fast,” Snowden said.  “We have a release date, next October…”

“Sometime in 2013,” White quickly interjected, however, we suspect Snowden may have let something slip.  

October does sound like an ideal time for a supernatural yarn like Ouija, perhaps the film aims to corner Paranormal Activity‘s space during that month.

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