Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Blair Witch

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After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.

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Cast

James Allen McCune – James Donahue

Callie Hernandez – Lisa

Brandon Scott – Peter

Corbin Reid – Ashley

Wes Robinson – Lane

Valorie Curry – Talia

2016 Toronto International Film Festival - "Blair Witch" Premiere - Arrivals

 

He’s Sorry Too

“I’m so.. sorry”.
The famous phrase from The Blair Witch Project as Heather holds the camera to her face and shakily apologises for bringing herself and her friends into the woods.

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Repeated again by her (is he though?) brother, when he too discovers he shouldn’t have fucked with something people shouldn’t fuck with.
Fuck it.
My first thought was that the producer made sure James uttered these words so that, mirroring Heather from the original, he sounded like her – therefore convincing the audience he actually was her brother. Same traits, same family. But the relation was left to guess work as James and his friends went running round the forests, with no appearance whatsoever of Heather – or was there?..

Blair Witch was honestly one of the worst ‘sequels’ I have ever seen. It was bland. Tame. Not very scary. Not much substance. And at times, boring. And everything in the movie happened all in one go. Strange noises, injuries, arguments, confusion, all seem to happen in one lengthy take which don’t make this movie overly gripping; just an obvious attempt at recreating one of the world’s first found footage horror flicks – and failing.
I wanted it to be good, I really did. But it just wasn’t scary enough. There were a few moments which made me jump a little but the rest of it was predictable crap.

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One or two of the characters didn’t help either by being incredibly stupid at times. Lisa (Hernandez) doesn’t help, by screaming “why is it still dark outside?!” upon waking up at a daytime hour. Given the fact sinister events have already started happening, plus the fact she and her friends all knew about the Blair Witch stories and experiences people have had, I couldn’t fathom why she was so surprised. Pretentious stuff.

Blair Witch seemed rushed. Like a taster film, a short warm-up feature being screened before a main feature began. If watched the other way round, it could make a good double act; Blair Witch – leading into The Blair Witch Project. Because the first one is nothing more than a few jumps. An extremely disappointing show.

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Tunnel Vision

If you’ve seen the trailer for Blair Witch, you’ve no doubt seen the clip where a muddy-faced girl crawls through a narrow opening – a tunnel.
I geared up for this bit, preparing to be scared shitless at the claustrophobic attack.

..which never happened as the girl shuffled nicely through the tunnel, came out the other end, and found herself in a different different part of the house she had discovered the tunnel underneath. There is literally 1-2 minutes of her struggling to fit through it with a panicked look on her face, and then she pops out -and the scene changes.

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I folded my arms. This wasn’t going well. And given the very loud noises suggesting something was coming up behind her, I at least expected her to get dragged backwards or attacked from above.
Nothing.
So I waited for something – anything else.

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Haunted House and Helpful Crew
***CONTAINS SPOILER***

Towards the end of the movie, James and Lisa discover the house that Heather discovered in The Blair Witch Project. He enters it with the hope of finally finding his sister.

..which does not happen.

I was really anticipating the appearance of Heather. Could you imagine if the woman from 1999 emerged from out of the shadows? Not only would it round off the plot perfectly but it would have also been an epic movie character return; almost a novelty to have her back in the place where she disappeared those years ago. Instead, viewers get James running around the house hysterically chasing a random figure (clearly a member of the production crew dressed in shabby clothing), whilst screaming, “HEATHER!” many times.
Round and round he goes, trying to get hold of whoever it is he’s chasing.

“come on, come on..” I thought.

*slamming door*

“come on.. come on..” I thought.

*mattress on a floor*

“come on. Come. On” I thought.

*stairs*

“OH FOR FUCK SAKE, COME ON!” I thought.

*scene shifts to outside the house, where Lisa stands waiting in the rain*

I blinked.

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This ending scene was a complete disappointment. Its sheer lack of intrigue brought the whole movie crashing down spectacularly. Poorly executed, it was painfully obvious that the random figures appearing out of nowhere (both inside the house and out) were just one or two members of the crew who happened to be on a cigarette break and fancied having a bit of fun.
Someone – dressed in white – pops out from behind a tree as Lisa screams. I didn’t even flinch. And the person running around slamming doors inside the house was just pointless. But then in the final few moments, a massive bright white light bursts through the windows of the house and shines upon James and Lisa..

..which resembled the glow of when a car pulls up outside your house with its lights on full blast.
Obviously a vehicle of one of the crew.

I honestly couldn’t stand anymore of this, and was grateful the movie was about to end. On a positive though, Blair Witch was like a very good amateur horror flick made by a bunch of 17-year-old college students. So it wins on that scale.

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What Went Right

Unlike the original movie The Blair Witch Project, this lot take walkie talkies, cell phones and even a hovering drone into the woods; tools for survival and keeping track of where people are. So on the scale of communication this movie gets top marks for the realistic approach, and it adds a good air of tension whenever one of the tools fucks up.

Another good element is the James-Heather plot. Although it didn’t turn out the way I anticipated, creating a third movie (yes, third – does anyone even remember The Book of Shadows?) whose lead protagonist is the brother of the first movie’s lead protagonist was a genius move. In Blair Witch, James even explains he was four years old when his sister went missing – and that he was part of the search team who scanned the forests trying to find her, etc. It all fits nicely and is feasible.

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Blair Witch.
Don’t bother. Seriously. It’s a total waste of time if you enjoyed the original movie. Yes the plot links, but the scares are scarse. If this movie was a porn flick, I’d be flacid – with no chance of becoming fully erect. It’s just not that effective.

Oh, and the part of the movie involving time travel.. What on god’s earth?!

Didn’t mention that did I.
So you’re just going to have to sit through it now to find out what I mean.
Ha!

 

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2016 by .
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