Dumb kids and drone cameras and witches! Oh, my!
Just when we all thought it was safe to venture into the woods again, BLAIR WITCH is back. Question is… Why?
The 1999 found-footage original was a piece that raised the creep-o-meter to levels of “WTF?” & “Holy Shit!” Not only did it fool some into thinking it was real (courtesy of brilliant marketing), it was gritty, heavy on suspense, and beyond spooky. Adding to it, the film held its own without gore and/or cheesy jump-scares. It provided relatable, interesting, simple characters and the scope of it all lured us in and gripped our soul. With added kudos, its style sprung a trend of found-footage craze in Hollywood. However, nothing ever compared to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Nothing! (Spare me the overrated PARANORMAL bullshit.)
Seventeen years later (Yes, much like the industry, I’ll skip over the embarrassment, tax write-off titled: BOOK OF SHADOWS [‘00]), a sequel sees the light-of-day. With a working title formally known as THE WOODS, back in July at SDCC it was revealed this would be the long overdue real sequel to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.
The story behind this one is linked in form where a group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ (James Allen McCune) sister (Heather Donahue from TBWP) who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch.
In a nutshell, this mishmash of a sequel-quasi-remake was seriously unnecessary. If anything, the only heartbeat it has would be the last twenty-five to thirty minutes, or the handful of moments when they revisit the original. Other than that, it’s a generic, bloated piece full of cheesy humor, clichés, and way too many unlikeable characters making dumb mistakes, and to make matters worse… Not scary and/or creepy in the least.
I can see this piece generating a buzz and some scratch during opening weekend, but that opening weekend is pretty much where it shines brightest. With practically nothing new to add to the BLAIR WITCH franchise, this is one found-footage flick that should have been left lost in those woods to rot.
Grade: C- / Genre: Sequel, Horror / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:30
Starring: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Wes Robinson, Corbin Reid, Valorie Curry
Directed by: Adam Wingard