Blair Witch surprised everyone with it's mere existence. "The Woods" from Adam Wingard (V/H/S, The ABC's of Death)was expected to be another entry in the over crowded found footage genre. In reality it was a stealth sequel to 1999's massively popular "The Blair Witch Project". Blair Witch packs no punches and gets right to story, opening with a minor refresher of the original film. The film makers just expect you know the whole story and go from there so. The original film centered on 3 documentary film makers who ventured into the woods to uncover the story of the Blair Witch. All 3 of them disappeared and one of them, Heather's brother decides to set out to find her all these years later. Not sure why 17 years later, he thinks she is still alive living in the forest living on nuts and berries but just go with it folks.
James (The Walking Dead's James Allen McCune) sets out with his friends, who we know will al just be fodder for the film's titular title character. The group visit the people who found the footage the previous crew shot in the original, to get a better idea on the location to search. Of course, horror formula dictates these fodder must join the crew on their search because, it's cool and it's a horror film.
All of the characters in the film follow the same horror typecasting so there isn't anything new here. Written by frequent Adam Wingard collaborator Simon Barrett (Your Next, The Guest), Blair Witch is not a bad film it just isn't a great film. It lies somewhere in between. The original film left a lot of questions, the sequel answers 'some' of these questions but unfortunately leaves more new questions behind. Is it possible there will be yet another sequel? probably if this one makes a profit, sure why not.
One by one, as the film progresses the characters are picked off in new, imaginative ways by a mysterious creature. We never did get to see it in the original, we do here but it's underwhelming and kind of stupid. That's not to say 'Blair Witch' fails, it doesn't. There are plenty of scares to be had and, it's a nice change of pace to have an actual adult 'R' rated horror film from a big studio. Wingard crafts a fine piece of horror cinema it just doesn't do anything new or original and found footage is a stale genre. See it for the scares.
Blair Witch Rated C
Directed by Adam Wingard
Written by Simon Barrett
Produced by Jess Calder, Keith Calder
James Allen McCune - James
Callie Hernandez - Lisa Arlington
Corbin Reid - Ashley
Brandon Scott - Peter
Wes Robinson - Lane
Valorie Curry - Talia
Blair With opens nationally September 16th