Blair Witch

(2016)

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Title:
Blair Witch
Release Date:
15th September 2016
Runtime:
90 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Adam Wingard
Writers:
Simon Barrett
Languages:
N/A
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

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.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 36%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 39%
IMDb Rating 5.6

Casts

Brandon Scott as Peter
Callie Hernandez as Lisa Arlington
Corbin Reid as Ashley
Wes Robinson as Lane

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Paul Evans 23rd September, 2016

A true feast for scare lovers

I went to see this with reservations, after the first ten minutes I thought I was going to get what I'd expected, but as it opened up I was very surprised, a film full of real scares and some truly dark moments. The first film was very unique, and also full of scares, at least until French and Saunders spoofed it that is. This long overdue follow-up built on the successes of the first and even managed to take the franchise up a notch. I felt they did a great job at not going over the top, the fact that the witch wasn't fully observed was a great idea, it helped maintain a level of suspense and allow for more in the future. The acting was good, and some great special effects, particularly those scenes set in the house. The thing in the foot scene has us all squirming as if we hadn't enough scares to deal with. Some will argue I'm sure that there were the usual horror stereotypes, but aren't they the reason we all love the genre. The latter part of the film was truly relentless, a must for horror fans. 8/10

Reviewed by Nigel P 22nd September, 2016

Beware - spoilers follow ...

Back in 1999 we were all a lot younger. Then, the found-footage genre was virtually unknown, and 'The Blair Witch Project' all but introduced it to us. Meeting with critical acclaim and box office success upon its release (albeit helped by a carefully orchestrated internet build-up), it was a phenomena that spawned countless other found-footage productions of variable merit. Now 17 years later, does this second sequel emerge as Daddy to the genre, or is it just another shaky webcam outing? The answer is pretty much both – it would be grossly unfair to expect it to provide the same level of hype or impact as the original, and indeed it does not. But it is very enjoyable. James (James Allen McCune) leads an expedition into the legendary woods to locate Heather, his sister, who went missing in the original. Of the group, poor Ashley (Corbin Reid), more than most, has reason to regret her decision to partake in this venture. Her spreading foot wound provides the goriest moments this film has to offer, and yet ultimately, nothing really comes of this, other than to make us wince. Why does James wait 16 years before trying to find his sister, and what reason would he have to think that she is still alive and in the woodlands after all this time? He was 4 when she disappeared, so perhaps his parents insisted he waited until maturity hits him before he embarked on the mission, but a word explaining this would have been appreciated. The group are a fairly agreeable bunch – certainly they are fairly attractive, which is a concession for mainstream films now, but they are not the catwalk fodder we have been 'treated to' in other productions. And yet, where we got to know only three of them in the original, and they were all fairly strong characters, here there are more of them and naturally they have to share the screen time which means we care less about them as individuals. Perhaps Peter (Brandon Scott) stands out the most: initially heavily sceptical of the mission (and understandably, because local boy Lane's (Wes Robinson) sincerity is sometimes a little intense – although Peter is equally flawed in being so blatantly scorning of him) he nevertheless succumbs to growing fear. Of the original, the most effective element was knowing that each subsequent night the lost teens spent in the forest would provide terrors ever worse than before. Here, that is not an issue, because frighteningly, the night never ends, throwing the characters into disorientation. Something achieved very effectively here is their hopeless situation – for all they try and do to escape events, we know they may as well just lay down and die. The poor sods. Towards the end, once they find the abandoned building (that according to investigations, does not actually exist), everything is thrown at the production: the haunted house, disembodied screams, a thunderstorm and manic confusion. The subtlety that made the original so terrifying is sadly not in evidence here. Instead of the distant rustling in the trees and the possibility of human cries, everything is turned up to eleven – the creepy effects and the hysteria are all loud and all-surrounding. By the end, we are treated to some almost organic sounds suggesting the Blair Witch is all-encompassing, the house's corridors comprised of 'her' innards. This and the endless night scenario expands on the hallucinogenic supernatural events prevalent in the unfairly lamented 'Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows (2000'). Here, the climactic maelstrom is chaotic yet nicely frightening and leaves the story over for now but not disallowing the idea of a sequel. I hope we see one. This may be flawed, but it could have been one heck of a lot worse.

Reviewed by Shane Pealow 19th September, 2016

What makes a Horror movie scary.(spoilers)

I was and still am a huge fan of the first original 1999 film and when I saw the previews for this one it seemed the writing was sticking to the original's story which got me excited. The initial sequels back in the early 2000's were terrible which also made me go into this movie with doubts...but boy was I wrong. This movie is sticking to the roots of limited budget and total isolation which made the first such a great film. Both the original and this new Blair Witch have a unique realistic feel of total isolation which makes the film instantly creepy. There are 3 things which make this a perfect horror movie. 1."Build-up/Anticipation": This movie and also series has perfected building up their horror such as the likes of Alien, which follow the idea of only showing the "creature/evil entity" only a few times or if at all until the vary end and even in the end only show it a few times. This style makes it much more frightening as your uncertain of the whereabouts of it and also when it will appear next. The original 1999 version didn't even show a witch which still left people guessing on whether or not it was actually a witch or possibly something else like a crazy man or themselves turning on each other. But the 2016 version solidifies that it was in fact a witch and also that they were turning on each other in both the 1999 and 2016 groups. 2."Total Isolation": Being completely isolated with no one able to come across you or with no ability to send word for help in a dire situation is scary enough even if its not a horror movie, so its no coincidence that a movie based on people being lost in the woods would garner fear. The Black hills forest in the movie is isolated in two ways, one is the fear of the local population to venture in it due to its reputation, and two the witches curse on the woods keep small groups trapped by interfering with their navigation and manipulating time. 3."Helplessness": Being utterly helpless or giving up and excepting your situation is helpless is a bitter pill to swallow and will break many people, for example getting your leg trapped under a rock while hiking or being surrounded and besieged during war. This helplessness becomes more and more apparent as the movie goes on, some of the cast give up and serve the witch and others continue to fight till their deaths. You really see the horror of this helplessness when Lisa is in the tunnel trying to escape and gets stuck, this is a very good scene as she almost breaks down and gives up but keeps fighting. Other characters such as Lane and James give up entirely and serve the witch. Despite us the viewer cheering for Lisa or Heather in the two movies to finally make their way out of the forest it is hopeless and makes true that all who venture alone or in a small group into the Black hills forest will not make it out alive.

Reviewed by AdrenalinDragon 16th September, 2016

You can't win either way, Blair Witch

What were people expecting? The same movie as the original, or something extremely different? As for me, I thought Blair Witch was a pretty good modern take on the series. Is it perfect? No. Is it the same as the original? Well, they become quite tonally different halfway. In the second half, the new one tries something different at the cost of people moaning about it revealing too much now. I personally am glad the new Blair Witch is not exactly the same. I thought it was logical for the sequel to build up from its simplicity to something more intense. The last 20 minutes in particular was quite nerve-wracking, and the ending is no worse than what the original Blair Witch Project did. I think the problem is that when The Blair Witch Project came out, it was a groundbreaking low budget film that made its scariness effective though simplicity. The new Blair Witch didn't want to retread the "exact" same ground the entire time, so they tried to make the second half different to try and appease the people who found the first film boring as hell. The result is mixed on people saying it's too different from the original, or too similar to other found footage films. I think they got the balance just right here, and the characters for the majority of the time made reasonable decisions and had good equipment with them to justify all of the recording and situations they were in. If there's a significant flaw I can point out with it, then the "jump scares" were maybe done too much to the point where a character says to stop doing that. However, make no mistake, this movie is pretty terrifying. I still prefer the original though, but of all the found footage movies I've seen, Blair Witch has quite a significant amount of effort put into it. 7.5/10

Reviewed by kctx85 15th September, 2016

One of the most over-hyped letdowns of 2016.

So much for months of hype starting with The Woods trailer months ago which was eventually revealed to be this film. You want scary? You won't find it here unless you've never seen one of the Insiduous/Paranormal Activity/Conjuring clones to come out in the past 5 years. It uses the exact same scare tactics that made those films so successful, bringing nothing but a completely derivative experience to the table. This completely failed to capture anything that made the original such a disturbing experience. They replaced subtlety and dread with loud sound effects, jump scares, and video game glimpses of cliche figures. Did you see VHS? Did you handle it well? Congrats, you'll have zero problems sitting through Blair Witch. The first segment of VHS and the religious cult segment of part 2 are both scarier than the entirety of this film. The worst part is Wingard and his crew don't even attempt to bring any original story elements to the table. This is literally a rehash of the original story with more characters and a flying drone with updated cameras. And don't expect to have the experience enhanced by any of these. It's funny that even with the new expanses in technology they still couldn't make this thing more interesting than something that was filmed with 1999 equipment. This isn't a spiritual successor to The Blair Witch Project, it's a found footage jump scare film for millennials who loved VHS and Paranormal Activity. I'm stumped as to who this was even made for. Certainly not people who saw the original in 1999 like me. We're a little too old to fall for this shtick.