The Blair Witch rises once again in the sequel to the found-footage thriller that revolutionized the genre! Will it have the cult following like its predecessor or will it stand in the corner, in shame? Come inside to check out our official review of Blair Witch!
When a YouTube video surfaces of someone running through the same creepy house as the one in The Blair Witch Project, James, the brother of Heather; one of the original members of the missing team, forms a group of his closest friends to investigate the woods. Upon arrival to the woods in Maryland, the team begins to notice unexplainable supernatural anomalies. Anomalies that are set on torturing and murdering the young group.
Blair Witch takes place over 15 years after the events of horror cult-classic The Blair Witch Project. Project, revolutionized the genre with the found-footage style, even tricking many people into thinking what they had watched was entirely real. Blair Witch attempts to follow in those footsteps by keeping with the found-footage theme but enhancing with updated technology.
That’s one of the many plusses in Blair Witch. Unlike its predecessor, Blair Witch utilizes HD, bluetooth, and even Drone cameras to help move along the story. It’s a welcome addition compared to the dark, grainy camera used in Project. Picture quality aside, the bluetooth cameras really made you feel part of the action. While there were still a lot of moving shots that made scenes unrecognizable, it was still better than the bulky camera of Blair Witch past. Plus, using the bluetooth cameras, that attached to their ear, allowed for more exploratory scenes. For instance, to find the lost Drone, Ashley has to climb a tree to reach it. Previously, that’s not something they would’ve been able to show us, in that point of view.
Showing and giving the audience more was a noticeable motivator for the film. You could tell that Director Adam Wingard was finally able to give us more of his vision, thanks in part to updated tech. In a lot of ways, it takes from The Blair Witch Project, but without all the downtime. Losing that part gave Blair Witch a lot more intensity. Which, allowed audiences to appreciate more of the dark magic in the woods and even seeing things that many complained about not seeing in The Blair Witch Project.
All that being said, Blair Witch is held back by one pretty big negative. A very weak plot. The whole story starts out because Heather’s brother James gets pinged about the video mentioned above. In his heart of hearts he believes that this is his long-lost sister, running for her life. Although, when you really think about it, it’s been over 15 years. Logic deems that it’s been way too long for someone to still be in the woods for over 15 years. Heck, logic would even deem that it would’ve been too long for someone to be there for 1 year. Nevertheless, he forms a group of non-believers and a documentary film student to trek these woods, ignoring signs and overconfident believers, in search of his sister. What could go wrong?
Blair Witch is also mired by plenty of unnecessary side plots that ended up just becoming plotholes midway through the movie. For example, early on the group has to cross this stream. Not knowing if there are sharp rocks or how deep, they decide to take their shoes off. Well of course one of the girls cuts her foot pretty bad. They bandage it and move on, instead of turning back like normal people would have. When the Blair Witch starts her attacks this wound becomes a critical handicap for Ashley. Things actually start growing out of it, much like in the Ruins. Even with as much pain and fever as she was dealing with, her character was still able to hobble as fast as she could away from their camp when all hell broke loose. She was even able to climb as tree, as previously mentioned. It’s not a huge plothole more like an unnecessary takeaway but it, nevertheless, ended up taking me out of the movie.
Overall, I’d say that Blair Witch, on a technical side is better than The Blair Witch Project. It’s even got better acting and effects. It just can’t get out of it’s own way. There is just too much stupidity when they know how to survive her attacks. Yet, they continuously ignore or forget what they, themselves, are preaching only to get taken or killed. That being said, when you look at the big picture, it’s really cool what the team accomplished with this story. Even the acting is loads better than Project. However, because of the weight of the weak plot and writing it’s just not enough to get out alive with a good rating.