SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Ouija: Origin Of Evil. If you have not yet seen the film, and don't wish to know any details about the end of it, please click away to another one of our wonderful articles!
While most of writer/director Mike Flanagan's Ouija: Origin of Evil is kept distant from its predecessor - set decades before the events in the first Ouija - the sequel does connect the two stories with its post-credits sequence. Picking up a good 50 years after the very end of the movie, a shot reconnects audiences with mental hospital patient Lina Zander, who has grown older and is played by Lin Shaye, as she was in the 2014 film. Unfortunately, this wasn't entirely clear to some test audiences who got to see an early cut of Ouija: Origin Of Evil, as they believed that the film was trying to connect the series with another horror franchise: specifically Insidious.
Mike Flanagan told me this humorous story earlier this month when I had the pleasure of talking with him over the phone in advance of Ouija: Origin of Evil's theatrical release. I asked about the inclusion of the post-credits tag, and the director told me that the scene was actually moved partially to avoid confusion. The sequence was originally simply the end of the movie, but when they started showing the movie to people they got the wrong impression based on the fact that Lin Shaye is a fan favorite in the horror genre. Said Flanagan,
We ran into an issue with people that hadn't seen the first film, who jumped out of their chairs, because the minute you see Lin [Shaye], you're wondering if we aren't actually connecting this movie to Insidious. So that was something too - there might not be enough recall, or we have enough new viewers that hadn't seen the first film, that last image might confuse them even more. 'Oh, she grows up to be a psychic!' And it was like, 'No, no, no, no, no.'
The possible confusion with Insidious - which is also a Blumhouse Production -- wasn't the only reason that Ouija: Origin of Evil ended up with a post-credits sequence, however. It turns out that Flanagan also felt that it was unfortunately jarring to have the end of the movie be set in the present when everything before it was so stylistically established as the past. The director explained,
We ended up moving it because the movie felt like it was over, and the shift in time at that point just felt uncomfortable. It felt strange in the edit, and I think it's because we were so immersed in that time period and those characters, that to put us into a contemporary setting with a familiar face - and Lin is familiar to every fan of the genre - but to kind of take it away from the period that we had cultivated so much, it just felt strange. And so we experimented by moving it after the credits and that felt appropriate.
It certainly has become popular in the film industry to use post-credits scenes to wrap up loose ends and tease the future (Marvel Studios being largely responsible for the trend), and in this case it definitely works. Even just thinking about the end of the film and the final scene it's pretty easy to see how jarring it would be. That being said, it's a nice move for Ouija: Origin of Evil to link back to the first movie, so putting the sequence at the end of the credits really is a good move.