Published on September 16th, 2016 | by Don Guillory0
When The Blair Witch Project released in 1999, it was surrounded with intrigue and mystery. It was a film that quickly gained momentum due to curiosity about the legend and a desire to determine if the story was true. 17 years later, The Blair Witch debuts where the premise is based on the desire by a group of friends to discover what happened to the original group that never returned from the woods when they sought out the witch.
This sequel to the original offers audiences the ability to reconnect with the sense of wonder that absorbed filmgoers during the summer of 99. Unfortunately, that curiosity and interest is quickly curbed as the film seems more like a remake and less of a sequel. The premise is that the SD cards, tapes, and video equipment are eventually found and pieced together in order to make the film that we are presented with in order to give us a “Point of View” experience as witnessed in films like the original. A true strength of the film is how the directors are able to incorporate the advances of technology from the first film and this version.
The story is relatively easy to follow as we watch the characters settle into their task to find evidence of the original group, but we don’t find ourselves connecting with them at any level. Early on there are moments that thrive on the discomfort that one would feel if put in the same circumstances but it quickly becomes contrived and, to a point, clichéd in the way that the story develops. As I continued watching the film, there was little that outright grabbed me or had me hoping that there would be some resolution. I didn’t care about the survival of any of the characters. The film fails in making audiences the least bit sympathetic towards the characters as they face their doom and uncertainty within the woods. Sadly, this film is a remake posing as a sequel.
Blair Witch, despite its faults, has enough suspenseful and tense moments that will have audiences looking over their shoulders, fearing the most random noises, and leave them with little desire to go anywhere near the woods.