Over 15 years after the original helped redefine horror, ‘The Blair Witch Project’ returns to theaters for its “official” sequel. Adam Wingrad’s ‘Blair Witch’ is now playing eveywhere. But should you see the anticipated sequel?
Over 15 years after the events of The Blair Witch Project, Heather’s brother, Mike, and his friends venture to the woods of Maryland investigating her disappearance. With strange occurrences beginning to happen, the crew beings believing the stories are true. The farther they get into the woods, the closer they get to the truth. With time running out, the group is getting closer to death than ever before. And if they don’t start watching out, the Maryland woods will be the least of their problems. Welcome to Blair Witch.
I’ve made it no secret my The Blair Witch Project love. Written and Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999’s indie-sensation chilled audiences and began breaking ground in its path to the horror history books. Born in the true infancy of the internet as we now know it, the film was reaching popularity most film only dreams to be. Made of a scarily scant $60,000, and eventually making a mind-blowing $140M domestically, not to mention $108M in foreign tickets, the film is one of the most successful pictures of all-time.
More from Horror Movies
- Godzilla Minus One makes the King of the Monsters terrifying again
- A Creature Was Stirring scares up yuletide frights
- Pig Killer (2023): A morally ambiguous dive into shock cinema
- Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls: Demonically fun times
- Tobin Bell stars in new horror movie The Cello
Therefore, when I found out Lionsgate was keeping a sequel a secret, I knew I’d be seeing the film – happy doesn’t do it justice when hearing the news. With only a month or two of waiting ahead, I began counting down the days like a convict eyeing a release date. Sadly, today I’d rather be the convict than the paying moviegoer..
So let’s all pack up our camping gear, set up a tent, and grab a handheld camera as I review Adam Wingard’s sleeping bag sequel, 2016’s Blair Witch.
Adam Wingard’s ‘Blair Witch’ One-Sheet- Courtesy of Lionsgate
There’s Something Evil Hiding In The Woods
I’ll start by saying this – I’ve hated very little films as much as I hate Wingard’s Blair Witch. I hate it so much, it’s almost too hard to even write about. While I desperately want to let you Soldiers of Springwood know about Blair Witch, my frustration from experiencing this filth has me thinking of ways to end it all.
I’ve long been a huge fan of Wingard’s work, The Guest (2014) and You’re Next (2011) being shining examples of what the filmmaker is capable of. With Blair Witch, Wingard’s craft substantially declines in quality. While it’s truly difficult to discuss the film in terms of camera-movement and composition, most shocking is Wingard’s lacking control over his story.
For starters, the character’s inhabiting Blair Witch are some of the most inauthentic and convoluted I’ve ever seen. Character reactions and decisions are often in no way congruent with what’s came before. This causes intended scares becoming detached experiences for the audience.
SOMEONE HAS DIED EVERYWHERE AT SOME POINT. THAT DOESN’T MEAN EVERY INCH OF THE PLANET IS HAUNTED-PETER
When making a found-footage film, where the rhythms and and conventions of standard filmmaking are absent, character and plot-pacing are paramount. Sadly, one minute Mike is worrying about finding his sister, and the other, he’s cutting up with Peter about the absurdity of the Blair Witch actually being real. At one point a character says “I can’t stay here anymore?”- they were only there one night.
Also, Blair Witch is more confused about who its main player is than an adopted child attempting to pick their biological parents from a lineup. While Blair Witch’s protagonist is clearly intended to be Mike (James Allen McCune), brother of original Blair Witch Project’s Heather, the film often forgets him and focuses on Lisa Arlington (Callie Hernandez). It’s seemingly done, I assume, because she’s female and horror’s insistence on female protagonists (usually for good reason).
Lastly, there’s the frantically insulting ending. While I won’t go into specifics, the finale of Blair Witch is overblown and ridicules. In fact, the film’s climax forces Hernandez to over-act the scripts finer absurdities. There’s a single moment at the end which was causing me to laugh in disgust. I’ve never seen such a patronizing moment in film…I want my money back or be taken by that wood-dwelling witch so I can forget this crap.
Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch in one of the most insulting and disgustingly poor sequels in the history of horror. It’s a failing film seemingly made by someone not fully digesting the original’s brilliance. Instead of becoming its own entity, Blair Witch apes the 1999 film, attempting to mine the classic for chills and thrills. Avoid this at all costs, and here’s hoping Wingard’s Death Note is a welcoming return from the filmmaker.
THE GRADE: F- (is that even possible?)
Check out my video review below, courtesy of our YouTube page:
Seeing Blair Witch this weekend? Anticipating an enjoyable experience? Let the other Maryland camper know what you think in the comment section below.