Moving out of her boyfriend’s home because he doesn’t support her desire to become an artist, Paige (Ami Dolenz) rents a large studio apartment in Los Angeles. When she finds a Ouija Board in the closet, she plays around with it and is contacted by a spirit named Susan. Susan claims that she used to live in Paige’s apartment and someone in the building murdered her.
The good news is that talking to Susan inspires Paige to start painting and investigating Susan’s death not only brings Paige closer to her cop boyfriend (Timothy Gibbs) but it also allows her to make friends with her landlady Elaine (Laraine Newman!) and a photographer named Russel (John Gatins). The bad news is that Susan is a vengeful spirit and soon people start dying. One man is taken out in a boiler room explosion. Another is taken out by an axe. Trying to drive isn’t easy when Susan decides she wants to be your co-pilot. If Paige solves Susan’s murder, will that bring peace to Susan or is Susan too obsessed with killing to stop even if her killer is brought to justice?
Witchboard 2 isn’t bad. Both director Kevin Tenney and the Ouija board return from the first film and Ami Dolenz does a good job in the role of the naïve young woman who gets possessed by spirits beyond the grave. The daughter of Monkees drummer Mickey Dolenz, Ami Dolenz appeared in several direct-to-video horror films and thrillers in the late 80s and early 90s and she had a refreshing naturalness about her as an actress. She could be both sexy and innocent without ever seeming like she was trying too hard to convince you that she was either. (Everyone who watched a lot of late night Cinemax in the 90s developed a crush on Ami Dolenz at some point and anyone who says otherwise is lying.) Kevin Tenney surrounds Dolenz with an engaging cast of eccentrics, the most memorable one being Larraine Newman of Saturday Night Live fame, who provides the same sort of spacey comic relief that Kathleen Wilhoite provided in the first film.
Though Witchboard 2 is modest in its goals and its execution, it’s still a good chiller for an October night.