Blair Witch: Film Review

blair

I made an active decision to stop watching horrors ages ago because they were affecting me too much and I have stuck by that with the exception of a few buzzworthy films (such as It Follows) but I decided to watch Blair Witch because I’m a huge fan of the 1999 original The Blair Witch Project. When this was originally titled The Woods, I had no intention of checking it out, but as soon as it was revealed as a Blair Witch sequel, I was all over it – which I now regret.

The film is once again presented as found footage and it focuses on James (James Allen McClune), the subject of a project by Lisa (Callie Hernandez), a film student. James is the brother of Heather Donohue, who went missing in the Black Hills Forest in Maryland in the events of the first film. Somebody has posted new footage of Heather online, making James think she’s still alive, so James, Lisa, Ashley (Corbin Reid) and Peter (Brandon Scott) go on a hunt for her with Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valorie Curry), locals who supposedly found and posted the footage.

Many modern horror fans don’t understand the hype of the Blair Witch Project because they find it slow and boring because not enough happens. I personally loved it and was affected by it, but I saw it a few years after its release. Also, found footage has been overdone since so it’s not as exciting any more. Modern horror fans want a lot of effective scares and wouldn’t be satisfied if this remained the same – so you can all rest assured this has been updated to give the new generation what they want. It still remains true to the original but expands upon the mythology and shows way more than ever.

Like I said, I don’t watch many horrors any more so I found this truly terrifying. My heart didn’t stop beating like mad for the last hour – the intensity creeps in and doesn’t let up. I let out a huge sigh of relief when it was all over and realised I had been holding in my breath and keeping my shoulders rigid for a long time.

There are a lot of jump scares and I was on edge every time the music gave the audience a sense of foreboding. You let your imagination run away with you. This plays a lot on that – with sounds (bravo to the sound design team), the loss of time, not being able to find your way out – before descending into the real terrifying, sometimes gruesome stuff. One bit literally made me wince.

The acting was fine, I like that relative unknowns were cast, and the camera movements weren’t quite so jumpy and disorientating as Project but that’s cos more expensive equipment was clearly used, including drones, and each person had their own head camera. The plot was very similar to the original and it obviously won’t have the same impact as the first but it’s still a worthy development of the story.

Blair Witch is the perfect embodiment of why I don’t watch horrors anymore. It just didn’t let up at all and I can’t deal with it! You feel this creeping sense of dread and when they discover THAT house, well, it was game over for me.

In cinemas Thursday 15th September 

Comments

  1. Great review. Despite the ending being a little bit of a let-down, I too really enjoyed the first film. Can’t wait to see this next installment!

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