Written by Mike Flanagan & Jeff Howard.
Directed by Mike Flanagan.
I never saw the original. I watched the first fifteen minutes or so when it was on TV once and gathered I didn't want to waste my time finishing it. Since this is a prequel, I figured it wouldn't be a detriment to my viewing experience. And it wasn't.
I am guessing this movie did so well with critics because the first movie was terrible, and this was so much better by comparison. For me, this movie was competant, but not much more.
A widowed mother (Elizabeth Reaser) in the 1960's works as a medium, complete with gadgets and tricks to make the people think that spirits are visiting them. One day she buys a Ouija board to help with her repertoire, but it conjures a real spirit named Markus who possesses her younger daughter Doris. The spirit gives Doris powers, like telekinesis, and the older daughter Lina (Annalise Basso) seems to be the only one to notice there's something very wrong with Doris.
Lulu Wilson does a fantastic job as Doris. She can probably make her living in horror movies for the rest of her childhood (she'll appear in Annabelle 2 next year) and hopefully can transition to broader work. She reminds me of Mara Wilson (Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda). (I don't think they're related).
It had a couple good scares, but it had a slow pace and it broke its own rules a couple times.