‘Blair Witch’ Review : A Vapid, Unnecessary Sequel To A Horror Classic

blair witch, found footage, horror

© Vertigo Entertainment

The Blair Witch Project jump started the found footage cinematic craze. Director Adam Wingard jumped on board to bring horror fans a modern Blair Witch sequel, essentially ignoring Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows. Initially called, The Woods, it was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con that the real name of the film is Blair Witch. This was a marketing ploy to cover up the fact that this is a sequel no one asked for. Blair Witch 2016 is neither scary or innovative like the original. In fact, the only thing that differentiates this version from the original is the introduction of digital DSLR cameras, smartphones, and drones.

A brainless group of college-aged students decides to go into the woods to investigate the disappearance of the original Blair Witch crew, Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard.

blair witch, found footage, horror

Heather‘s younger brother, James Donahue, leads a group of tag-alongs including Lisa the videographer, and his friends Peter and Ashley to the campsite where his sister disappeared. The crew is eager to get to the bottom of the disappearance of Heather, but as things become increasingly weird, the group finally agrees to leave the woods. However, by the time they make this decision, it’s already too late. They are trapped in the Blair Witch’s clutches and have to fight for survival.

blair witch, found footage, horror

© Vertigo Entertainment

The direction and editing fit with the sporadic style of a found footage films. Adam Wingard wanted the audience to see the horror from various vantage points which add to the chaos of it all. He wants you to know that no matter how prepared you think you are, you’re never prepared to go against the Blair Witch. Unfortunately,  the audience wasn’t prepared for the 4K cam-so-shaky, you’ll feel like you’ve been caught up in a category four tornado. It’s shocking that for a modernized update, the filmmaking is incredibly sloppy

Now, this is not a film where anyone should care about how good the acting is. The audience is there for one thing, and that’s to be scared s**tless, and the movie does a decent job of keeping the audience in suspense. As the group tries to escape, they are pulled further down the rabbit hole to the point of no return. As they get closer to the Blair Witch, the premise of the film is given away in such a lazy fashion it causes the movie going downhill fast. This is frustrating because the movie doesn’t give the audience a chance to think for themselves. Every foolish horror trope you can think of is crammed this 84-minute movie, dumbing down the experience.  People splitting up, people tripping and hurting themselves for no reason, gullible people falling for whatever, and going places where they know they shouldn’t. In the end, the movie turns out to be everything the first Blair Witch film managed to circumvent.

The Blair Witch Project revolutionized the way we saw cinema. There was a level of mystery that was so well hidden that many viewers were convinced the footage was real long after the movie released. Blair Witch 2016 tried so hard to be like the original but misses the mark at every turn. The characters are too vapid to be believable, and the movie commits the ultimate sin of showing the audience ******Spoiler****** which was entirely unnecessary. The conclusion doesn’t satisfy and will surely leave the audience annoyed and unfulfilled.

Rating: 3/10

Valerie Complex

Valerie Complex

Writer, film critic, anime lover. Extremely passionate about movies and equality on the big screen, small screen, and everywhere.

  • unpaidpundit

    The original Blair Witch was garbage. The overwhelmingly positive reviews it received must have been due to a case of mass delusion among media film critics, in a reaction similar to what they felt upon viewing “The Force Awakens.”

    • SAMURAI36

      Yeah, the writer of this review lost me when he said the original Blair Witch was a “classic”.

      • Valerie Complex

        True. First one is complete and utter trash.

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