October marks the month of horror movies for many die-hard fans, with this season being no exception. Almost exactly two years after Universal Studio’s Ouija was released and became a surprise hit of the 2014 Halloween season grossing over 100 million dollars worldwide, the studio is hoping to dominate the holiday again with Ouija: Origin of Evil. The latest installment has a new director, Michael Flanagan, a new cast lead by Elizabeth Reaser and a new setting, 1968 Los Angeles. Director Michael Flanagan knew the film’s wardrobe would be key to recreating the 60s vibe, so he called on trusted costume designer Lynn Falconer whom he has previously worked with on Oculus and Before I Wake.
Below Lynn exclusively reveals two of the character wardrobe sketches and discusses how she successfully recreated the era best known for graphic prints and A-line shapes.
-Were you familiar with the ﬁrst ﬁlm? Did you watch it at all for research?
I watched the ﬁrst ﬁlm and enjoyed it because it’s exactly the kind of spooky story that I love, and Ouija boards have always held a fascination to me. In fact, I only watched it once so that it would not inﬂuence the designs. With an exception of a few key story elements, we were all able to create our own amazing late 60's era story and look. In my opinion, the director, Mike Flanagan, was given a lot of creative freedom to write and direct the OUIJA Origins of Evil, which is a strong indication of how good he is.
-Did you base any of the character’s costumes on any particular 60’s icons that you enjoyed?
YES. I was also given a great deal of freedom, but I always show exhaustive inspiration boards before I jump in with building or shopping anything. One directive I was given was to search for looks that were somewhat "60's light". I knew that this meant no beehive looks, and to embrace the cooler, more laid back looks of the 60's. For Alice, I looked a lot to Sharon Tate, Jean Shrimpton (at ease, not modeling) and Anita Pallenberg. For Lina, I loved the images I found on Sylvia Vartan and Francoise Hardy.
-Since the ﬁlm takes place in LA, did you feel you could be a little more free/wild with the clothes? If it would have been in a small town in the south would you have done things different?
Great question and yes. I think that if the story had taken place in the south, then I would have shopped a great deal in New Orleans or Alabama, where the vintage is really amazing, but seems to reﬂect the more conservative looks of the 60's, in my experience. In Alabama for instance, you can scan a vintage store and see that Jacqueline Kennedy's style held sway for much longer than on the west coast/Los Angeles. I was looking for the groovier and softer side of the sixties, because "Alice's" (Elizabeth Reaser) clairvoyance set her apart in the story. I also wanted to tap into the character's fragility. Aside from a few great vintage shops in LA, I scoured the Estate Sales, and they were incredible--there were, and seem to be, a lot of aging starlets that come directly from this time, as I can almost see their stories when I’m walking through an Estate Sale. When I went to these sales--I imagined that I was in "Alice's" house.
-How do you ﬁrst decide what a character’s look is going to be? What factors determine this?
Mood boards are kind of my everything. After I review a ﬁlm project that I’ve done, I am ﬁrm in my ways about ﬁnding the perfect images--the ﬁnished costumes are always much stronger when I do exhaustive research of the time period, as well as ﬁnding images that catch the mood of the character. After this, there is a strong collaboration with the Director, Production Designer and the Director of Photography on color palette and lighting within the sets. We have all worked with Mike Flanagan before, but this time we were all closer to home- which was kind of great. I should also say that the most inevitable collaboration is the actor! When I showed them my mood boards, I felt like they really embraced the direction I was taking in Ouija Origins of Evil.
Which character did you enjoy dressing most?
I loved dressing the three ladies of the family(Alice, Lina and Doris) equally, because they all had their own distinct looks and the three of them together were almost a "combined character", if you will. They spend a great deal of time together, so each character's costume played off of the other two. Honestly the whole thing was completely fulﬁlling to me as a Costume Designer, it didn’t feel like work at all.
Ouija: Origin of Evil arrives in theaters October 21st from Universal Pictures. Henry Thomas (Betrayal), Annalise Basso (Oculus), Elizabeth Reaser (“True Detective”), Lulu Wilson (Deliver Us from Evil), Parker Mack (MTV’s “Faking It”), Sam Anderson, Kate Siegel (Demon Legacy), and Doug Jones (Hellboy, “Fear Itself”) star.
Mike Flanagan directs from a screenplay he wrote with his Oculus and Before I Wake collaborator, Jeff Howard. The film is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Purge series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series) alongside Hasbro’s Brian Goldner (Transformers and G.I. Joe series) and Stephen Davis (Ouija).
Synopsis: It was never just a game. Inviting audiences again into the lore of the spirit board, Ouija: Origin of Evil tells a terrifying new tale as the follow-up to 2014’s sleeper hit that opened at number one.
In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their séance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by the merciless spirit, this small family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.
For more info visit ouijamovie.com.
You can learn more about Lynn Falconer at http://lynnfalconer.com/