Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Stars: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid
Plot: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 35% Audience 29%
Why I Watched It: Well it’s a horror film and yes I did see the other two films, no excuse I know.
Random Thoughts: This film was built once again my marketing, Adam Wingard had finished a film entitled The Woods but when they screened it for the first time the title was revealed as Blair Witch and social media went crazy. It was good marketing and on that level the film carried a buzz. Now Adam Wingard is a horror and genre favorite he made the very good The Guest, the flawed but decent You’re Next but he’s also made Death Note, that was not good and with Blair Witch he has now made two films back to back that were not his original story and I think that matters and it’s something it to think about when you watch Blair Witch. He’s taken over someone else’s franchise if you will.
What I Liked: I’m not a fan of found footage films, I think it’s a limited sub-genre and one that really has been done to death but here at least they’ve done it a bit better and made it that we’re not dealing with the dreaded shaky cam. So the film is easier to watch and it also makes sense to the story why they’ve decided to film the way they did.
The film is creepy and they build the tension well they throw some scares early and they also build the atmosphere and the sense of dread pretty well. The idea of the Blair Witch is a good one and they run with it pretty well.
The best part of the film has to be the last 15 minutes or so where the film does go full out horror and it’s scary and effective. Once they find the house the horror picks up.
What I Didn’t Like: One could argue this is not a sequel or reboot but almost a full on remake and with that the film is boring at times and lacks any kind energy to it, it feels like we’re watching a copy. Up till the end this is also a beat for beat remake and that was disappointing.
Also I think the whole set up is flawed so the brother of Heather from the first film goes to find here cause he saw an image on a tape from youtube? So it’s been 17 years and he thinks that his sister is still in a house that police say they couldn’t find. Now this brings up a few questions, if a person caught her on tape why didn’t they help her, also we see the image that could have been anyone and really anywhere so we start out very flimsy and also why do they think they can find it if the police couldn’t.
Another good question is when they get there weird things happen with time and things that are supernatural how come this didn’t happen to the police searching and also this is public woods not someone’s home so wouldn’t people be in there from time to time and where is the boarder to this strange Blair Witch forest. They try to make this story small, about a brother trying to find his sister but if people go missing and it’s been 16 years it’s a bigger story with a much bigger scope.
The other weak link is a combo of alright to not great acting and paper thin characters, all these people do is fight and bicker, yes like the first one and to be honest aren’t that interesting or likable. That’s a real problem with all these Blair Witch movies, we never see the Blair Witch, it’s not a character so it can’t carry the film it’s the victims we deal with and in all the movies they’re either under written or badly cliched written and that’s a huge flaw. It’s not like the Nightmare on Elm street movies where people went to see Freddy kill teenagers. We need to care about these people and we don’t.
Not a real fan of the ending as it’s very close to ending of the first one, I have a fundamental problem with something that can’t be beaten and in fact we don’t even know how to defeat the Blair Witch, there’s no rules, this movies hinges on not stopping the Blair Witch but finding a victim of her’s from 17 years ago.
Final Thoughts: The end part is scary and worth seeing but what leads up to it is cliched and boring. You have a choice watch the first or this one and if you’ve seen the first one then really you don’t need this one unless you want to see the 10-15 minutes of decent horror at the end.