Interviews: Director Andrea Mugnaini Talks About Ouija Seance: The Final Game

Ouija Seance: The Final Game, out this week on VOD (from High Octane Pictures), is the latest in a long line of films centered around messing with a Ouija board. 

From director Andrea Mugnaini, and starring Alan Cappelli Goetz, Katharina Sporrer and Holly Mumford, comes a terrifying reminder that some doors should never ever be opened! 

Sarah and her friends decide to spend the weekend at an old villa Sarah mysteriously inherited. After finding a Ouija Board in the attic, Sarah and her friends unknowingly awaken an evil force connected to the villa’s hidden secrets. To fight the unimaginable horror they will have to face their darkest fears and worst nightmares. 

Ouija Seance: The Final Game is on VOD now and on DVD August 3rd.

Director Andrea Mugnaini explains why the subgenre is so hot right now!

TMS: What do you think makes a good horror film, Andrea?

AM: I think that a good film, horror or from any other genre, it’s an unique and unrepeatable alchemy among all its elements. Hard to find a recipe, if there is one. Personally speaking, I think that what you do not see is much more frightening than what you see. The tension waiting for someone or something that is about to arrive on scene it’s always more scary than any monster or killer that can arrive. As in real life, the things that scare us the most are those that we do not know yet.

TMSIs sound as important as video?

AMSound is certainly as important as video, in some cases even more. Following what I just said on the last question sound is able to bring on scene what it’s not there yet, or add elements that are not visually present. Somehow it works on a more unconscious level than the video and if is used well it’s a very powerful weapon to create tension. I think that in horror movies a good sound design is essential and especially in this genre we have seen a lot of great examples in the last few years, probably because horror genre it’s by definition suitable for experimentation.

TMSWhy do you think movies set around the Ouija board and other paranormal events have been so popular in recent times?

AMBecause the human being, by its nature, is attracted by everything that he does not know and is forbidden. Also I think that we hope for something after our life here. I don’t think that is just a recent phenomenon, you can find stories of ghosts in any ancient mythology and in literature from any age and place. We have always been attracted by paranormal events and always we will be. I believe there is something true behind all this.

TMSDo you believe in such stuff? Any experience there?

AMI believe in what I see and in what I experience personally so yes, I believe in such stuff. I’m not saying that through a Ouija board you actually get in touch with ghosts or evils but for sure you get in touch with something, in my opinion something that is on a deeper level of ourselves, hidden inside the unconscious… I let you give a name to it.

At first, I had many interviews with people that personally experienced a Ouija séance. I wanted to speak with different people to observe as many points of view as possible regarding this phenomenon and the explanations that they give to it . So, during my researches, I spoke with people of different nationalities, ages, religion, culture, and social status. The amazing thing is that their stories were all very similar despite the big differences of the interviewees and despite the explanations that they gave to it.

So everyone knew that something strange (and in some cases terrifying) was happened but everyone had a different point of you about the origins of this phenomenon.

The case that struck me most it’s happened in South Africa back in the 90’s. After weeks of negotiations a had the chance to talk via Skype with a lady that has lost her daughter cause she committed suicide. She left a paper saying that someone (she wrote the name of the entity on this paper) ordered her to achieve it. She was 13 when she did it and the way she killed herself is literally terrifying but I can’t say any other detail about it in order to protect the privacy of this lady.

TMSAny spooky occurrences on set?

AMUnfortunately I can’t report any particular spooky occurrences during the production, it would have been great for marketing, but we are all here still alive.

But I can remember that in the ancient house where big part of the story is set, there was always some kind of energy.. hard to explain. I had the feeling to be seen by someone sometimes. In fact, that house it’s been the witness of a brutal murder back in the 80’s .

TMSWhere was the film shot?

AMThe movie is set in Italy, my wonderful Country, and more precisely in Florence and Vallombrosa, an amazing ancient forest not too far from the town. Vallombrosa translated means literally shady valley and it’s a place with an unique atmosphere. It’s an area rich of legends and folklore so it was the perfect location to set my movie. Despite the difficulties to shoot in a place with practically no streets, no electric energy, no hotels or restaurants within many miles, I really wanted to capture that atmosphere with my camera.

Also, the Villa where it takes place a big part of the movie it’s been the witness of a brutal murder back in the 80’s and I could breath some kind of energy there.. hard to explain, but definitely that was the perfect location for my movie.

TMSIs it available in any other countries yet?

AMIt’s available in Germany, Austria and South Korea but for more details you have to ask Galen from high octane pictures.

TMSWhat are you working on next?

AMMy next film project it’s about hikikomori. This phenomenon it’s born in Japan but it’s very popular all over the world now, it concerns hundreds of thousands of young people scattered all over the world that basically take refuge in the meanderings of the Net abandoning the society. They never get out of their rooms, usually sleep during the day and stay awake at night and practically have no physical contacts with anybody. They totally switch to a digital life. If this is not sufficiently frightening, there will be a surprise that will make it even more terrifying.