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Blair Witch (2016)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
The Blair Witch Project
> The Blair Witch Project (1999)
> Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
> Blair Witch (2016)
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Supernatural Horror, Cinéma Vérité
Adam Wingard Adam Wingard
James Allen McCune James Allen McCune
Callie Hernandez Callie Hernandez
Corbin Reid Corbin Reid
Brandon Scott Brandon Scott
Wes Robinson Wes Robinson

5.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: October 27, 2016
It's been seventeen years since the cult hit The Blair Witch Project took the cinema world by storm. The viral marketing scheme was something completely unheard of and it made it the movie the summer. Lately, the industry has been banking pretty hard on nostalgia and apparently felt it needed a sequel.

In the seventeen years since Heather and her crew's disappearance, her brother James has never lost hope that his sister is alive, lost somewhere in those Maryland woods. When another video surfaces online of a camper lost in the woods running through that cabin, he notices a glimpse of a woman in a mirror on the wall. Convinced that it's Heather, he sets out for himself in search of her. He's accompanied by Peter, his best friend since childhood, and Peter's girlfriend, Ashley. Also, film student Lisa is going with them with a plethora of video equipment, taking the opportunity to record James' search for her own documentary. The group meet up with Berkittsville locals Layne and Talia, the couple who uploaded the video. While they only wanted to know where they found the video, the pair hits them with an unexpected caveat. They'll only show them the location if they can join them on their trip. Naturally, James is hellbent on search for Heather, so he reluctantly agrees. As our group sets out into those woods, they're about to learn just exactly what just happened to Heather all those years ago.

While technically a sequel, Blair Witch has a lot in common with most of remakes of the past decade: it's a lazy rehash with no merit of its own, just hoping to make some easy cash on name recognition. The legend of the Blair Witch was fertile grounds in which they could have expanded the story, building the franchise's lore. Instead, they just retold the same stories, except much less coherent this go around. Hell, a lot of it completely contradicted what was established the first time. It was as if the screenwriters hadn't seen the original since it was released and were fuzzy on some of the details.

In fact, the only thing worse than its relation to the first movie is how unbearably terrible the sequel's own tricks were. You see, The Blair Witch Project was forced to focus on tension and suggested imagery due to its minuscule budget. Along with the tension among the group, it resulted in an effective horror film that carved itself quite a name in the genre. Well, this go-around Lionsgate was footing the bill and there was absolutely no restraint whatsoever. Instead of voices in the darkness and stumbling across a collection of those trademark stick figures, now we got full-blown voodoo dolls, mystical forces throwing shit around and not one, but two physical antagonists. Throughout most of the running time, I thought Blair Witch was a pointless rehash of the original, but nothing terrible. However, as more of these moments piled up and my eyes were rolling faster and faster, I found myself thinking once again that 'less is certainly more'.

Fortunately, bad acting was one problem this movie didn't have. They all had a natural chemistry, especially within the tighter relationships: James Allen McCune and his lifetime friend Brandon Scott, Scott and his girlfriend Corbin Reid and McCune and the budding relationship with Callie Hernandez. While slightly more hammy, Wes Robinson and Valorie Curry also held their end down decently as Lane and Talia. Once again, Scott played off very well with Robinson. I'm sure you've noticed that Brandon Scott's name keeps coming up. Out of the lot of them, he's the one I think will go on to make a name for himself. Not only was he consistently able to play off the characters he was supposed to, but he handled his own role the most effectively as well, taking Peter beyond just the standard "best friend" archetype to a fully fleshed out character.

Regardless of how you feel about the first movie, Blair Witch is an utter waste of time. Just skip it. 2.5/10
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