Blair Witch (2016)
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Blair Witch (2016)

During the last few weeks, myself reviewing some remakes including such classics as ‘Ben-Hur’ and the Magnificent Seven ‘so when I received 2016 version of ‘Blair Witch,' I understandably it was just another reimagining. However, this trend had broken by the fact that this is a direct sequel to the 1999 original. While this is to some degree an unexpected twist the most, it still was unable be careful to the success of its predecessor. The original, ‘Blair Witch Project’ film launched cinema into the new millennium by providing directors with a new technique, found footage movie. The primary elements of this type of filmmaking are to make the movie appear to have to record the participants within the context of the story, purposely entailing overriding most of the professional and artistic instincts of the cinematographer and Director of Photography or Cinematographer. Images are jerky unsteady the subjects regularly being placed out of focus or pulled out of the frame. The constant problem with this technique is that the lighting is uneven, frequently all but missing, leaving me the screen and discernible darkness. Many audiences of found footage films experience vertigo and motion sickness while watching. Lamentably, this new extension of the story told in much the same fashion. The major difference is that this group of twentysomethings has access to almost 20 years of advanced technology allowing the cameras to be small enough to where providing an excuse for not dropping the camera as they run terrorized into the night. In the month as an archaeologist has a house motto, "do not disturb the ancient evil, you moron." After the loss of the burgeoning auteurs in the previous expedition, a follow-up is mounted going to the same remote location and a break in the same ancient evil. I have to assume that they have never heard of the axiom that defining insanity as doing the same thing expecting different results.

Technically, this is the third film in the Blair Witch franchise. Technically, the first sequel was ‘Book of Shadows - Blair Witch 2 (2000)’, over the Rotten Tomatoes index of only 13% the consensus of most cinephiles that the least said about this flick, the better. So for the sake of continuity many have entered into the unspoken agreement that this movie can be considered the actual direct sequel. At least, they made an attempt to extend the narrative familial relationship seamlessly. James Donahue (James Allen McCune), has been searching for his sister, Heather, ever since she disappeared in 1994 during her investigation of a local supernatural legend, the Blair Witch. It is all but gave up hope when in 2014 he discovered a photograph that contained an image that was undeniably his sister, proving she was still alive. Jane shares the news with his friends turning to them for help finding Heather bringing her back home. James enlists the assistance of his friends, Peter Jones (Brandon Scott), Ashley Bennett (Corbin Reid), also inviting Lisa Arlington (Callie Hernandez), a fellow student hoping to turn the expedition into a documentary to submit as a class project.

As they prepare for their search mission, Ashley familiarizes them with some of the technology they would be bringing with them. One of the most notable additions unavailable to the original group included earpiece communication devices. Equipped with cameras and GPS once placed in the wearer’s ear it will record everything a person sees as well as allowing them to know precisely where they are. Of course, the cameras are lighter and more efficient than the ones originally used in 1994. The digital storage has replaced film for or other recording media. Among the high-tech additions is a remote control, mounted drone capable of flying over treetop level to scout the area and help reconnoiter their position. James received the image of his sister from a website frequented by an individual calling himself Darknet 666’. He has agreed to meet James, and his friends relate the exact position where he found the image. When they get there, introducing James and his friends to Darknet 666 who was a young man named, Lane (Wes Robinson) and his lavender hair girlfriend, Talia (Valorie Curry). Several members of the cast might appear familiar having appeared in some popular television series. Mr. McCune has had recurring roles on both ‘Shameless’ and ‘The Walking Dead,' while Ms. Curry had a feature role in the Fox television thriller, ‘The Following.'

The original deal was that Lane would tell James and his friends the location of where the video was found. Just before the second part of time, Lane informed him that he would not give them the information because of the complexity of the area, you would have to show them requiring the personally accompany them. Reluctantly James and Lisa agree the next morning the all set out to the woods. The first day is uneventful, but as Lane points out, the curse of the witch does not come into effect until spending the night in the woods. During the night everyone is awakened by eerie sounds and after investigating the discovery from ballistic figures owned by twine from trees around the campsite. Right begins to overwhelm the explorers until Lisa notices the same twine suspending the figures is sticking out of Lane's backpack. This forces the pale locals to come clean and confess that they have never been in the woods before, did not find the most, making your documentary and wanted to spice things up for commercial appeal. Because those actions violated any degree of trust that potentially earned, the local disability dismissed and told to make their way back to the car.

The final act is almost indistinguishable from the original film that scared people running around in the dark screaming, shivering and staring straight into the camera with tears rolling down their dirt-stained faces as mucus from the nose. This particular moment comes in a duplication of the scene around about the main poster for the ‘Blair Witch Project.' In 1999 started on its reach becoming one of the most popular and annoying cinematic techniques. Many detractors of the formats have stated that people come to the movies for entertainment not to experience severe vertigo. This most recent offering of the genre mostly succeeds in churning the stomach and giving you a headache resulting from the period of overly dark scenes you can barely make out an image and when images are discernible having them jump around such an unnatural degree that you cannot get your bearings as to what is going on. I do admit that the acting is not as stiff and unnatural as the first movie at least this cast was able to turn in is somewhat believable performances. The twist of adding a pair of locals that deceive the principle group to get the jump on producing their film for commercial gain was bright if just a touch predictable. If you are still curious as to what occurred after the conclusion of the first movie, by all means, get a copy of this film, take a few Dramamine and enjoy.

bulletAudio Commentary with Director Adam Wingrad and Writer Simon Barrett
bulletHouse of Horrors: Exploring the Set
bulletNever Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch (6 Part Documentary)

Posted 01/09/2017

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