Directed by Adam Wingard
The Blair Witch Project is an iconic, legendary horror movie that was pretty much responsible for defining the found footage craze. Unfortunately, there’s been mixed results ever since Paranormal Activity made it popular again. So, it was always going to be interesting when we got another Blair Witch story, and have it open up several possible mysteries about what would happen next. Would it be a retelling of the older film? Or something new? As it turns out, the film may feel a little too similar to the original The Blair Witch Project, putting a bunch of kids alone in the woods and seeing them picked off one by one.
The film is a slow burn, but when the scares hit, they hit quickly and don’t slow down. The second half of Blair Witch boasts almost non-stop tension with plenty of jump scares, so if you like that sort of thing, then you’ll like this, but stay away if you get scared easily. It’s safe to say this is not for the faint of heart. The characters are dispatched multiple times in brutal ways, picked off one by one, and although it may be in a fairly predictable manner, you are still left scared and wanting to know what happens next. As the film progresses, it’s pretty clear that nobody is safe.
The characters, unfortunately, aren’t as well-developed as they could have been and fairly generic on the whole. You have the standard set-up for a found footage plot; a group of students are going into the woods for a couple of different reasons. James (James Allen McCune) wants to find out what happened to his sister, Heather (from the original The Blair Witch Project), who went missing in the woods and was never found. Lisa (Callie Hernandez) wants to film a documentary for her course. They also bring their friends, Peter (Brandon Scott) and Ashley (Corbin Reed), along for the ride On the way, they meet up with conspiracy theorists, Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valorie Curry), who are responsible for posting the clips showing Heather’s final moments on YouTube and reigniting hope for James that his sister might be out there, even if the odds are at this point extremely unlikely.
The students are better equipped to face the threats this time, or so they think. There is safety in numbers and this time around they benefit from advanced technology in the form of GPS, walkie-talkies and a drone with a camera attached, but it quickly becomes apparent how out of their depth they are when the twisted, haunted magic of the Blair Witch comes into play. There are a few moments when you wonder why the students keep filming themselves when they should be concentrated on their own survival, but that is a problem that affects most found-footage horror movies and not just Blair Witch. Thankfully though. the movie’s biggest issues are kept to a minimum, with director Adam Wingard further proving that he is a name to watch out for.
2016 has been a pretty great year for horror movies so far. We’ve already had 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Conjuring 2, The Shallows and other hits like Don’t Breathe and now, Blair Witch. Whilst it may be considered a fairly divisive movie, it is worth watching at least once for horror fans, providing an entertaining experience for audiences as it serves once again as a reminder as to why camping alone in the woods is a bad move.