It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created the found-footage craze. Since then, filmmakers have tried pretty much every variation on the approach, with only a few properly great movies along the way (Cloverfield, Chronicle, REC). Now a new group of filmmakers have taken on the original with this sequel, which immediately starts violating the rules of the genre using editing, impossible camera angles, a complex sound mix and even a background score. As a result, it's better than most shaky-cam films, including the original.
The connection is James (James Allen McCune), whose sister was the central figure in the original collection of tapes found in the woods where the town of Blair once stood. Now at university, he decides to investigate her disappearance, enlisting his film-school friend Lisa (Callie Hernandez) to document his search. Accompanied by his best pal Peter (Brandon Scott) and Peter's girlfriend Ashley (Corbin Reid), they head into the creepy forest, with local redneck meth-heads Lane and Talia (Wes Robinson and Valorie Curry) as their guides. Of course, they instantly get lost, and freaky things start happening as time and space seem to bend.
Because this is actually a proper film and not, as claimed, a collection of random video snippets, it has a lot more focus than the original movie. There's a carefully structured plot, characters with some sense of history and an escalation of the horror as the supernatural menace grows. On the other hand, everything that happens feels utterly pointless, an empty exercise in making the audience jump using loud noises rather than anything truly frightening. But sometimes that's all you want from a movie like this.
Continue reading: Blair Witch Review
Since the disappearance of their daughter, the Donahue family haven't been able to mourn the loss of Heather. Heather always chased interesting stories and when she had some of her fellow film students decide to shoot a documentary on the famous Blair Witch, they take a road trip to Burkittsville, Maryland to research the case as much as possible.
Blair was renamed Burkittsville and the majority of its residents want to leave the history of Blair well alone. The kids learn various tragic stories about former residents and their gruesome murders and they all seem to be connected to an old story about Elly Kedward, a woman who was executed for being a witch in the 18th century, since then people have claimed to have been possessed by her spirit.
As the group camp out in the forest looking for a new lead and that's the last time the townsfolk here from the film students.
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Doc is lifelong criminal who goes to meet his best friend Val when he leaves prison following a long sentence, but little does Val know that his crime companion has been forced to kill him by his crook boss Hirsch. It doesn't take him long to realise, however, with Doc's sheepish presence constantly giving him away. The pair decide to enjoy themselves in the only ways they know how; theft, drugs and alcohol, before the time comes when Doc has to do the deed to save his own life. As the time draws nearer, he pleads with Hirsch for mercy, unwilling to shoot dead his best and only friend while Val repents for his sins in confession for the first time in 60 years in a bid to make his peace with God before he dies.
This crime comedy highlights friendship, unbreakable promises and sin as the main themes played out by a star-studded main cast. It has been directed by the Oscar winning actor Fisher Stevens in his second feature film after his 'Just a Kiss', and written by Noah Haidle in his first full length feature film and Dave Weasel his first ever feature film. It is set for release in the US on January 11th 2013.
Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis, Katheryn Winnick, Vanessa Ferlito, Addison Timlin, Bill Burr, Rick Gomez, Weronika Rosati, Eric Etebari, Courtney Galiano, Yorgo Constantine & Brandon Scott.
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