Blair Witch (2016)

(On Cable TV, July 2017) So there it is. Another Blair Witch movie. Eh. As someone who saw the original movie at a preview screening in theatres (but never bought into the “is it real?” hype) back in July 1999 and was an early annoyed at the whole shaky cam/found footage craze, I went into this sequel/remake who fairly low expectations. They were met, more by default than anything else: Working with threadbare material, director Adam Wingard can put together competent horror set-pieces (there’s an effective piece of claustrophobia near the end), but can’t seem to bring the idea to anything but a repetition of the previous film. The good news, of a sort, are that this Blair Witch is pretty much exactly what The Blair Witch Project would look like had it been conceived today, complete with multiple cameras, a drone and YouTube. The bad news is that repetition is no innovation, and there have been such an endless stream of copycat movies to The Blair Witch Project that even an official sequel feels like a useless movie. Heck, without going all hipster reviewer on you, I remember Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows as more interesting than this sequel (plus, it had nudity). Whatever new ideas are brought up by the film (such as the time loop) aren’t effectively exploited and the whole thing does indeed seem to run in circles. Callie Hernandez and Corbin Reid are sympathetic, but ultimately unable to improve the film much. In the end, we’re left with a shrug. For writer/director pair Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard, this seems like a slicker step backward from You’re Next and The Guest. Hopefully they’ve learned a few things and recharged their creative batteries from the experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *