There’s no denying The Blair Witch Project‘s impact on the horror genre and movies itself. The film brought the ‘Found Footage’ style of indie and foreign filmmakers to the mainstream and created one of the greatest viral marketing campaigns of all time with people actually questioning if these events and footage were real. The film cost nothing to make and grossed $140 million domestically which ushered in more cheap versions of this brand of filmmaking which yield high profit results for smaller studios. The Blair Witch Project made its mark on the record books, but the movie itself is quite corny and doesn’t hold the test of time. The acting is terrible, there’s not much payoff at the end and for the most part its three dummies lost in the woods.
Now 17 years later the franchise has come back to life and looking to improve on the previous content which is ripe with potential in Blair Witch. Much like The Force Awakens and Jurassic World, Blair Witch goes with the honor your past while creating something fresh to build on formula. James (James Allen McCune) heads into the eerie woods with some friends and a couple of backwoods Maryland locals looking for answers as to what happened to his sister Heather Donahue who appeared in the original footage. Of course the crew finds something evil lurking in the forest and the shaky cam chaos commences.
Blair Witch does a good job of keeping its original roots for fans of the first film allowing them to connect with this new take on the spooky story. The problem is filmmaker Adam Wingard sticks too much to the original script. The format and shooting style doesn’t change much from last time except for adding a few more characters including two yokels who only confuse the story further. The potential was there to create something wild and intense building off the original story, but Blair Witch goes through the same motions again with just a few extra dummies walking in circles this time around.
This new film experience has the same problem that haunted the original. For the most part of Blair Witch‘s under 90 minute running time nothing happens. Mostly its people aimlessly hiking in the Black Hills and hearing noises in the dark. The action does pick up in the uncomfortable climax that manages to keep you on the edge of your seat, but once again the audience is left with zero closure and too many questions after it takes almost 75 minutes for Blair Witch to find its groove. The lack of answers just adds to this first person shooter mess full of bad acting where you won’t just be asking “Hey, who’s holding the camera?”, but “Who cares?”.
Overall, I give Blair Witch 1.5 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell