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2/5/17

BLAIR WITCH - REVIEW


Because found-footage surprise hit The Blair Witch Project was made for peanuts back in 1999 and made a ridiculous amount of money at the box-office, it was inevitable that a remake would happen at some point. Finally, in 2016 we got Blair Witch, a sequel/reboot looking to revamp the franchise.

Like with most modern horror remakes, this is a thinly veiled reboot dressed up like a sequel but there's really nothing about it that directly connects Blair Witch from the original except for the fact that one of the characters is the brother of the girl from the first movie but it's not like we ever see her so it might as well have been a completely unrelated bunch entering the creepy woods many years later. Amusingly, none of the people involved in this new expedition appear to have learned anything from previous events making these guys far dumber than the last ones. James (James Allen McCune) is the brother looking for his sister even though he doesn't seem too concerned about her until the very end, Lisa (Callie Hernandez) is his girlfriend, Peter (Brandon Scott) is the most annoying friend in the world and Ashley (Corbin Reid) is Peter's girlfriend who suffers the most inconsistent leg wound ever. They are guided into the woods by two locals who, for some reason, they treat like crap.

Blair Witch suffers from similar issues that modern horror remakes like Evil Dead or Texas Chainsaw Massacre do including a cast of instantly dislikable characters, clunky writing and over-the-top "scares". The first hour of the film is basically worthless as it offers nothing interesting and is simply a retread of the first movie. The sound design is awful throughout as every fart the forest takes is captured at its absolute loudest, twisted ankles sound like broken bones and digital "beeps" from the cameras are used as jump scares, which doesn't work. The found-footage gimmick is far less convincing than in the original film and the drone the characters bring along has no payoff whatsoever. The last half hour has some spooky moments and there are some good ideas here and there but the film goes on for far too long and it's hard to care about any of those characters, even when they enter the infamously creepy house at the end.

While one of the less terrible horror reboots, Blair Witch is still not as effective as the original film. Smarter sequels using the weirder ideas this movie introduces could be fun, however. It should keep less demanding horror fans satisfied but there's certainly plenty of room for improvement.

Underwhelming.

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