Hot Take: Remember The Blair Witch Project? Isn’t this basically the same movie with better technology and louder sounds?
If you are a fan of The Blair Witch Project which came out 17 years ago in 1999 and imagined the film might be better if they stuck with similar sight gags and noises and just upgraded the film’s technology then Blair Witch is for you. If you saw The Blair Witch Project and thought anything else, Blair Witch is probably a waste of time.
In carrying on the story of the original, writer Simon Barrett kept it simple. A group of college students have decided to visit the Black Hills Forest in Maryland. One of the students is the brother of Heather who was one of the characters from the original film. James (James Allen McCune) believes his sister might still be alive and a YouTube video of found footage from someone’s visit to the Black Hills Forest revealed a shadowy female figure in a house which he thinks might be his sister. Another student, Lisa (Callie Hernández), is a film student and is using the opportunity to make a documentary for one of her classes. Um, that sound familiar?
Two other friends join James and Lisa and the pair pick up two locals who found the lost footage and want to accompany the pair into the woods. Once the group gets to the woods, director Adam Wingard does his best to recreate all of the scariest moments from the original film like voodoo symbols appearing overnight, piles of rocks, clanging noises and, of course, inexplicably venturing into that scary murder house where the first group met their demise.
In addition to all of the scariest moments of the original, the director brought back of the other things you hated about the original like the group yelling each other’s names over and over and over again into the woods. Everyone losing their minds because it just seems to stay dark forever and tons of arguing about what to do next.
The only real difference between this film and the original would be upgraded camera work that replaces annoying, shaky camera shots with inexplicably loud noises that accompany each cut scene. At some point, your body grows weary of twitching every time one of those loud noises pierces your ears. There’s also better technology including outdoor webcams and a drone camera. Both technologies are woefully under-utilize as the webcam is just there and the drone gets stuck in a tree.
Even the most ardent supporter of The Blair Witch Project will have to admit that this is just an expensively made (in comparison, the original cost $60k while the sequel cost $5 million to produce) cheap knock-off of the original. Blair Witch might be worth seeing for nostalgic reasons or for a younger generation who didn’t get to experience the original. Outside of that, it’s hard to justify the existence of this sequel which is almost a remake.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- If You Loved the Original…
Blair Witch does its best to explain the most unexplained parts of the original. We’re not sure how the characters know so much about the Blair Witch but it at least explains that guy standing with his back to the camera at the end. Kind of.
- If You Liked the Original…
Blair Witch has a nostalgia factor that cannot be denied. If you can suspend disbelief and not get too hung up on how stupid the idea of going into these woods is again or not get lost in the fact that a huge search through these woods didn’t cause countless others to go missing yet everyone with a camera and tents gets lost forever in these woods then you’ll get some enjoyment out of the budget horror flick of the week.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- If You Didn’t Like the Original…
Blair Witch will likely grate on your nerves even more than the original. This group is as headache inducing as the first film’s group and just as careless.
- If You Hated the Original…
Don’t go into the theater. You’ve been warned.