Blair Witch (2016) Review

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This film seemed to come out of nowhere, I love the original despite it spawning a crap load of terrible found footage films. The sequel to what is arguably the best marketed horror film (if not just film in general) of all time was a huge disappointment as it went away from found footage and ended up being run of the mill boring. I was happy that this was going to return to what made the original so successful and hopefully add a bit more to the mythology of the Blair Witch.

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Director: Adam Wingard

Writer: Simon Barrett

Budget: $5 million
Run Time: 89 minutes

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20 years after the disappearance of his sister in the original film, James is alerted to some footage online supposedly found in the same woods she disappeared in. The film opens with this footage but it’s suddenly paused by James who sees a woman with a resemblance to Heather. Luckily for us his friend Lisa wants to make a documentary as James and his other mates Peter and Ashley head to meet the person who posted the footage.

It’s clear that the two people who posted the video online are a bit messed up. They agree to show them where they found the tape and they all head off to camp in the Black Hills Forest in Maryland, like that’s going to end well!

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The same stuff that happens in the first film, odd noises coming from nowhere, stick dolls appearing in the middle of the night tied to the trees around their tents, stones being stacked, even the parts where they ended up walking round in a circle when trying to leave, time not making sense.

Eventually they stumble on the house that they believe Heather and the Blair Witch are inside of. James runs straight in and this bring probably the only real creepy bit in the film as he explores the house with Lisa looking for his sister. It all leads to a final, well I wouldn’t say battle but they have to try something odd to escape.

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Lisa runs into more trouble than James does inside the house and her being chased is a pretty decent scene. However overall I felt the film just recycled the things that worked in the first movie but did them much worse.

The Good

  • It obviously has had a much bigger budget than the first film so looks a lot crisper but does that take away from the atmosphere they were trying to create?
  • The actors all play their parts pretty well especially Callie Hernandez as Lisa and James Allen McCune as James.
  • The ending scene is reasonably creepy.
  • I’ll always love the mythology surrounding the Blair Witch, it’s built up well that the town knows somethings wrong in the woods.

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The Bad

  • Apart from the ending nearly all the creepy bits that create a horror film atmosphere were used in the first film. So it’s just a case of we’ve seen this all before but done much better.
  • There are large parts of this film that drag, it only has a run time of 89 minutes but it felt like 2 hours+.
  • You can tell that some characters were added as cannon fodder and nothing else.

I was massively disappointed with this film, if it was released a few years after the original film it may have worked but the mediocre sequel they released destroyed this franchise. The film dragged and featured no new horror elements instead choosing to recycle what made the original so damn good. If you’re a fan of found footage you may find this film interesting but if you’re not a fan of that genre then you’ll most likely not enjoy this one!

Overall Rating – 4.5/10

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3 thoughts on “Blair Witch (2016) Review

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