Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the woods, the “Blair Witch” is back.
It returns with a sequel that tries so hard to be innovative and fresh, but really, is just a rehash of the original.
In 1999, “The Blair Witch Project” fooled a lot of people into thinking the woods of Burkittsvile, Maryland, were haunted by a malicious spirit that killed anyone who spent the night. Seventeen years later, normally innovative filmmakers are trying to convince us of the exact same thing.
This time around James (James Allen McCune) thinks his sister Heather — one of the three young people that disappeared in the original movie — is still alive, so he persuades his friends Peter (Brandon Scott), Ashley (Corbin Reid) and Lisa (Callie Hernandez) to follow him into the woods of Burkitsville. They go armed with the latest video technology to capture every second of their mission. Once there, they meet up with locals Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valorie Curry), who seem to have a better handle on the Blair Witch legend.
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Over the next 70 minutes, these kids basically do the same stupid things young people normally do in horror movies to ensure they’re easily picked off by the evil they’re trying to document.
The brainchild of Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard, the indie writer-director team that produced far more innovative thrillers like “The Guest” and “You’re Next,” this movie takes the “shaky cam syndrome” to the ultimate extreme. Splicing together footage from various cameras (including a drone), the result is a movie that is almost unwatchable.
The difference between the original found-footage conceit of having the first batch of victims filmed by their own single camera (as was the case in the first movie), and the decision to have multiple cameras spliced together, explains why “Blair Witch” fails so badly. It also might explain that motion sickness you’re probably feeling.
An even bigger crime is that “Blair Witch” isn’t particularly scary, maybe because it’s hard to take any of it seriously when it’s just treading so much similar ground as the first movie.
Watch the New Trailer for Secret 'Blair Witch' Sequel
With nothing new to add to the “Blair Witch” mythos, this is one found footage movie that should have been left lost in the woods.Send a Letter to the Editor