Blair Witch

"Good"

Blair Witch Review


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.

The actors have little to do but get increasingly hysterical. But the earlier scenes have a cool naturalism in their drunken antics and snappy banter. Then when the loud sound effects kick in, there's just a lot of running and screaming, with Hernandez required to go far beyond the call. Her tunnel set-piece is the scariest scene in the film, because it plays on claustrophobia rather than fear of something unseen.

For the rest of the movie, director Adam Wingard (The Guest) merely jolts the audience with sudden crashes and growling music, plus a few glimpses of nasty figures lurking in the shadows. His most intriguing idea is to include a camera drone to get some fantastic aerial shots, although he abandons the idea quickly. Indeed, the entire film feels like an attempt to breathe life into a tired genre. It's not a great movie, but fans will love it.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Blair Witch:



Blair Witch

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th September 2016

Distributed by: Vertigo Entertainment

Production compaines: Lionsgate

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 8

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Keith Calder, Roy Lee, Steven Schneider, Jessica Wu

Starring: Corbin Reid as Ashley, Wes Robinson as Lane, as Talia, James Allen McCune as James, Callie Hernandez as Lisa, as Peter

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.