“Blair Witch” is directed by Adam Wingard and stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reed, and Brandon Scott. The film takes place twenty years after 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project”, and is about a group of college students who enter the Black Hills Forest in search of one of their sisters who disappeared in these woods long ago.
I was actually quite a fan of “The Blair Witch Project”, I think it feels very real throughout and creates tension successfully, so I was excited to see what Adam Wingard could inject into this franchise. At the least, hopefully, this film can succeed more than the previous sequel, “Book of Shadows”, that holds a lovely 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The performances from all the members of this cast are pretty solid, with each person in the group playing their character well throughout. The four friends all are believable as friends, and they have great chemistry together. James Allen McCune and Callie Hernandez were my two favorites from the group, as I thought they showed the widest and most solid range of emotions in the whole cast.
I enjoyed that this movie went with the found footage feel just like the original, as I think the style works for a film like this. Only seeing quick glimpses adds to the tension for me, and the shaky perspective really allows the unknown to stay unknown longer, and I think it all leads to a scarier movie than if it was filmed with a steady cam.
There are some plot elements here and there that I really enjoyed, especially with the two characters they meet before the trip, but it is the conclusion that I will remember about this movie, and that’s because it is truly terrifying. The ending sequence, no spoilers, is exactly what I wanted, and the entire sequence had me on the edge of my seat in total awe, with chills running down my spine.
I don’t like making comparisons to previous films so much, but “The Blair Witch Project” is truly one of a kind because of it’s sense of realism and the excellent care it took to make a film look like an actual failed documentary. This movie, however, never really feels real, whether it was in some character decisions or in the way that it’s made. Both films may be found footage, but “Blair Witch” never really feels as realistic as I wanted it to.
The biggest problem that this movie has is with its delivery of scares, and that’s because most of this film is a jump scare frenzy. I can take a few jumps here and there to pay off the tension, but it’s just silly how often this movie relies on cheap jumps of characters coming into the frame or from obnoxiously loud screams. I can’t say that this movie lacks tension, it has quite a bit of it, but I want that to pay off with something spectacular, not just a stupid pop-up.
This film brings in some very cool ideas involving the abilities of this witch, and I know that this is supposed to be realistic, so not every question can be answered. However, there are many things involving this witch that come into play, and it left me a bit confused, and the plot feeling a little messy.
“Blair Witch” is a mildly successful horror film that has solid performances, some great ideas, and one hell of an ending. I think that the first couple acts have their moments, but they rely way too heavily on jump scares and not enough on building suspense. Still, I enjoyed watching “Blair Witch”, even if it didn’t live up to all of my expectations.
Are you excited for “Blair Witch”? Comment below with what you think.