An amateur camera crew heads into the Burkittsville woods to find
the Blair Witch, as well as one of her victims who may be alive.
Blair Witch (2016)
Directed by Adam Wingard
Written by Simon Barrett
Starring James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez,
Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry
Sequel to 2000's Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
I wasn't the biggest fan of the original Blair Witch Project, but I'll admit that it was a huge success that revolutionized the horror genre. It wasn't just a movie. People believed it. The marketing campaign was genius, even going so far as to put up real "Missing Persons" posters featuring the cast. I want to point this out because once people figured out that it was just a movie, all the credibility for the franchise went right out the window and despite the filmmaking talent of Adam Wingard, it hasn't gained any of it back with this attempted revitalization. The new and improved Blair Witch is just that; the exact same film with a facelift. Only this time, we get to see the Witch herself, but she looks suspiciously like Mama.
In several respects, this layered sequel does improve on a lot of the first film's faults. The camera work is better, the characters are more developed, and the ending is significantly better. Unfortunately, a lot of these improvements create more questions, especially the several dozen introduced in the third act. I won't spoil it for you horror buffs out there, but suffice it to say it's creepy but confusing. I almost think this film would've been better if they'd kept the fake premise and steered it away from the Blair Witch hype train.
I won't rag on the performances. Nobody's here looking for next year's Best Actor. The Blair Witch franchise is one that can't seem to recapture the success of the original no matter how many sequels it churns out. This one came close, but I guess it irked many fans that it was almost a shot for shot remake of the first movie, just with an extended ending. Horror is a fickle genre, more so that most. It's hard to scare, but even harder when your film has a legacy to live up to.