After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his sister's experiences in the demonic woods of the Blair Witch, James and a group of friends head to the forest in search of his lost sibling.
This film was originally promoted under the faux-title ‘The Woods’ until closer to its release when it was revealed to be a Blair Witch sequel, and more accurately, the third movie in the franchise - but we won’t go into that. As a fan of the original, I have to admit, I was excited to see it, but in a landscape of prequels, sequels and re-boots, many of which have been less-than-adequate, I had to limit my expectations and not expect the world from it.
The film is set 17 years after the original and follows James Donahue as he tries to track down his sister Heather, who he believes may still be alive. He is accompanied by two friends, two locals of Burktittsville and documentary filmmaker. The party of six head then into the woods and do their best to survive all that follows.
This film took me by surprise in the same way the latest Paranormal Activity film did, in that they show you everything. There’s no more wondering what the Paranormal Activity looks like – it’s there on the screen in front of you. The same applies to this film, you actually get to see the Blair Witch multiple times, and all the affects she has on the setting around her. Both originals of these films left that to your imagination, it was implied rather than shown to you directly, and whether that works for the better is totally up to the viewer.
As far as performances go, the supporting cast did really well. The likes of Callie Hernandez (La La Land), who has an effortless, genuine demeanour and Wes Robinson, who plays one of the crazy locals, both carried the film through to the end. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of Wes in the future.
My biggest gripe, and I can’t ignore this, would be sound quality. Not that it’s poor or of a low standard, but that it’s just too good – I call it ‘Michael Bay Sound Mixing’. The audio from these young people’s cheap consumer cameras, as they trudge around through the forest, is so good, you’d expect to see Michael Bay and Optimus Prime appear at any moment. It was distractedly good. At only one point do we hear genuine audio from a dated, handheld camera, as one of the characters is being pursued by the witch, and it’s by far the most engaging moment in the movie.
The film puts a lot of effort in but leaves little impact. Worth a watch if you’re in the mood for a few scares.
Releases: 15th September 2016
Duration: 89 minutes
Duration: 89 minutes
Starring: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid
Director: Adam Wingard (Films)
Originally promoted under the faux-title The Woods. Was then revealed as the third Blair Witch movie at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con.
Director Adam Wingard stated that, while the first film is about being lost in the woods, this film is about being chased.
The first 25 seconds of the teaser trailer hearkens back to the opening of The Shining, Adam Wingard's favorite movie of all time.
It has been sixteen years since the last sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch, was released.
In preperation of another Blair Witch movie, Burkittsville officials took down most of the "Welcome to Burkittsville" signs, after many were stolen following the release of the first and second movies.
3rd entry in the Blair Witch series following Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in 2000.
As reported by director Adam Wingard, the camera used to film A Horrible Way to Die (one of the many previous collaborations between him and screenwriter Simon Barrett) was the same one of this film's characters uses throughout the film.
This new version of Blair Witch (2016) was in the filming process for five years before anybody even knew it was happening. When director Adam Wingard announced it only a few months ago it literally took the whole world by storm.