We recently rented Blair Witch from director Adam Wingard & writer Simon Barrett, as we really enjoyed their previous hits You’re Next and The Guest.
We missed this reboot at the cinema as also like the original 1999 film The Blair Witch Project, it is a found footage movie. It has to be our least favourite genre, when I saw the original, I threw up and it wasn’t until I saw another found footage movie, Open Water some years later, I connected it was because of the equivalent of getting motion sickness from the shaky camerawork.
I have since seen other found footage films since on the TV and they do work much better on a smaller screen, but I still don’t find them to be the best viewing experience.
Luckily, technology has moved on since 1999, and the Blair Witch is a much more stable viewing experience, yet the story mostly remains the same in this new telling!
The film follows James (James Allen McCune) who is the brother of Heather, the girl who went missing in the events of the 1999 original. He has found footage from those events and believes she is still alive and heads to Burkittsville to try and find her.
Joining him on the trip to the woods are his friends Peter (Brandon Scott) Ashley (Corbin Reid) and Lisa (Callie Hernandez) a local film student who wants to document everything.
James also reluctantly agrees to let 2 locals; Talia (Valorie Curry) & Lane (Wes Robinson) join them, due to them knowing useful information about the Witch and location in the forest where the original events took place.
What follows are lots of strange noises, shouting at each other, deceit and a real sense of foreboding as per the original, all ending up to a big climatic ending when our backpackers find the shack.
The film, originally known as The Woods and made in secrecy so no one would know it was a Blair Witch reboot, suffers in that it does not add much more to the story that has already been told.
That being said, it does show the advances we have made in technical equipment, unlike the original, they route find using GPS and not a map, and drones are used to scout ahead.
The film rattles along at a decent pace, considering it is just a group of people walking around the woods, with some genuine scares along the way. The film climax, being the highlight, as you genuinely get a feeling of isolation, as the scares intensify.
I certainly enjoyed it more than the original film (we shall not even mention Book of Shadows, the original Blair Witch 2 sequel, best avoided if I were you)
If you like the Blair Witch, found footage or scary movies, this film is definitely worth a watch and cements our belief that the Wingard/Barrett team are still ones to watch.
You can view the trailer as well as get involved in a 360 virtual experience here:
You can find the film at Amazon here:
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