“Blair Witch” stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Valorie Curry, Corbin Reid, and Wes Robinson. Released on September 16, 2016, the film is about a group of college students who venture into the woods that holds a supernatural entity.
The film is directed by Adam Wingard, who is known for directing films such as You’re Next and The Guest. It is a direct sequel to the 1999 psychological horror film, The Blair Witch Project. The true nature of this film had been kept a secret for quite some time because it was filmed under the fake title, “The Woods”. Like everyone else, I was pretty surprised when the filmmakers announced that they were actually making another Blair Witch movie. Good job, guys. You sure fooled us. Although it would be cool to see an original horror film called “The Woods”, I guess this would have to do. I haven’t seen any of Wingard’s other works, besides You’re Next a while ago, but I did hear that he made some pretty good horror films, so let’s see if he can make a good horror film out of this one.
Clearly, if you’ve seen The Blair Witch Project, then this film might give you a strange case of deja vu. A group of teenagers walk into the woods, blah blah blah, they did some talking, yadda yadda yadda, then they got attacked by a supernatural legend that lives in these woods. That’s the story of “Blair Witch” in the nutshell. Now before you call this film a reboot, let me remind you again that this is a direct sequel to The Blair Witch Project. The other “sequel” that came out 16 years ago, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2? Let’s pretend that didn’t happen and toss it out like it was expired milk. It revolves around James Donahue (played by James Allen McCune) searching for his missing sister, Heather, who disappeared 17 years ago trying to uncover the existence of the Blair Witch. If you haven’t seen The Blair Witch Project, that is a spoiler (Sorry...). So to put it in my own perspective, it felt like a “part sequel, part reboot” type of horror film. It almost felt like Adam Wingard is making his own version of The Blair Witch Project, complete with wearable cameras and drones, and for the most part, it was decent. Not as groundbreaking as the first film, but decent in its own way. Like The Blair Witch Project, the film was shot in a found footage style, which may seem “gimmicky” to a lot of people who are already tired of the genre to begin with, but at some points, it does offer a creepy experience of being in the woods with these characters. Speaking of which, the characters didn’t really make me care about them so much despite the actors’ respectable performances. They’re pretty much pawns who were just waiting to be plucked out by the Blair Witch one by one. Another thing I would like to point out is the effective atmosphere of being haunted in the woods at night. It didn’t really scare me that much, but it managed to deliver the amount of creepiness that the film has to offer, especially when it’s used during the third act. By the way, the third act of the film reminded me of one of those first-person horror games that I watched on Youtube. No joke. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the jump scares. Basically, I saw this movie at a small auditorium at my cinema and the sound mixing was almost loud. Even some of the sounds of people fumbling with the camera gave me a jump scare. I’m pretty sure that it’s just for that auditorium and not anywhere else. Anyway, it did have some fake jump scares like the other cheap horror films, but there were some that got to me a little bit.
Overall, “Blair Witch” does have some similarities to its predecessor like its found footage style and its story, but when it comes to reminding its audience not to stay in the woods at night, it’s a pretty decent piece of found footage cinema. It doesn’t really come close to being as scary as the other good 2016 horror films I’ve seen, but the creepy atmosphere and the actors‘ performances were handled very nicely by director Adam Wingard. If you want a film that will send you chills down your spine, this one may be for you. Now with that out of the way, I must go watch something harmless and funny that will get my mind off of this whole “Blair Witch” nonsense.