Blair Witch – Movie Review
James – James Allen McCune
Lisa Arlington – Callie Hernandez
Ashley – Corbin Reid
Peter – Brandon Scott
Lane – Wes Robinson
Talia – Valerie Curry
After hearing that the movie filming under the name of ‘The Woods’ was really Blair Witch, I was very excited to see it. I loved The Blair Witch Project and I even love it’s sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. Despite it’s generally poor reception Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 was a decent enough follow-up to The Blair Witch Project. It certainly would have left a better legacy than the confused mess that is Blair Witch.
It starts out bland and goes downhill from there. The characterizations vary between flat and outright annoying. In a bizarre stroke of laziness the character of Lisa is the only one to even be given a last name. There will probably be unmarked spoilers from here on in because Blair Witch is so confusing that I’m not even sure what would be a spoiler and what would not be.
They take all of the mythology from The Blair Witch Project and instead of building on it they strip it, make their own and throw the rest out of the window. Much to the detriment of the movie. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 at least tried to make a different statement but kept the core mythology intact.
Every cliche from every found footage horror movie is certainly on full display here. Annoying personalities that clash? Check. Stupid decisions at every turn? Check. These are common tropes in horror but Blair Witch ratchets them up to eleven.
The one thing Blair Witch manages to avoid is the eventual found footage argument about why they keep filming. They get around that by using earcams (that stay remarkably hair-free). Of course that leaves them plenty of time to argue over even stupider stuff. Like their drone. It’s established early on that it’s useless but when it becomes stuck in a tree it’s the end of the world.
The camera work is so jerky and choppy that through the second half of Blair Witch it becomes practically incomprehensible. Presumably scary things happen but they go by so quickly that it’s hard to even make out what happened. I have a feeling that they intended to use the drone footage more than they actually did. If it was cut, my guess would be because it made theater goers ill. I don’t usually have a problem with motion sickness and the drone shots made me a bit queasy. I’d be curious to know if anyone else had a problem with it.
A ‘creature’ appears near the end but it’s unclear from the movie whether or not it is the Blair Witch or not. I have heard that on the commentary the directors claim that it is not the Blair Witch and that the clues are in the movie. If anyone figures it out, please let me know. I’m not watching it again to find out. All I could tell from it was that it looked rather like a skinny, mossy Ent.
If you want a good found footage horror I’d go back to The Blair Witch Project. It at least had some effort and creativity behind it. Hell, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 for all of it’s faults is great cinema next to the convoluted mess that is Blair Witch.
I’m not even going to dignify it with a skull.