Blair Witch is the direct follow up to the 1999 film (we are ignoring Blair Witch 2 here, and for good reason) which sees James, the little brother of Heather from Blair Witch Project on a mission to find evidence that his sister may still be alive. Finding an online video which claims to be from the Black Woods, James is convinced he sees his sister. Together with his film making buddies Lisa, Peter and Ashley, James heads to the Black Woods to find out the truth. Joined by two Locals the group set up camp in the woods and as you can imagine shit begins to go down.
Blair Witch is an odd one, it is a film which has taken a few days, and a series of conversations about the film to fellow horror fans, to settle in my head. Did I enjoy this film? or is it just another found footage was of space? I am going to lean more on the side of enjoy here. But this isn't to say I didn't think their were problems here, and to be honest if it wasn't for the final act I would have being more disappointed with them film than I was, and this is for one simple fact...This film progressed and evolved the mythology of the original and this made the film good. However there are so many issues littered around the film which could easily pull it in the other direction and will make you want to shout 'what you doing Wingard??' at the screen.
So lets start with the negatives of the film. To start with yeah this films like a total rehash of the first film, the journey to the town, the locals, the camping and the wooden stick figures. Even with the new tech it still feels like the same old again. The second thing is a huge gripe for me, and many other horror fans, and that is the jump scares. SO.MANY.JUMP SCARES! this ruined the film at points, I mean come on who in their right mind would creep up on a friend in the situation and go 'HEY' and how many times do we need to see it. All jump scares do is cheapen the horror, It makes loud noises into the scare factor, and this is another problem with the film and that is the fact it is basically loud noises though most it. When i say Loud noises I mean loud, so much so that it got annoying very fast.
However the film does have alot of plus notes. I love the expansion of the mythology, including the errie endless night. This is done very well in the scene when Lane and Talia reunite with the group and we find out they have been in the woods for 5 days longer than the group even though the arrived at the same time. The bending of time really messes with the minds of those involved and this adds intrigue into the film which leads to making the final act even more gripping. Could Heather be alive but trapped in an endless cycle of days and nights? James sure as hell is convinced that this could be the case. The scene with the Stick people and Talia (the second moment involving her) was very well done with out giving to much away. To be honest I thought Valorie Curry did an amazing job as Talia who added that innocence to the proceedings. But not everyone agreed with me on this one. The rest of the cast were fine, it is your usual horror fair but good god was the Ashley character annoying. Corbin Reid was seriously over acting at times but this is just a small personal gripe.
Overall I suppose yeah I enjoyed Blair Witch when all was said and done, and if you were a younger audience member who maybe hadn't seen the original Blair Witch Project then all of the gripes from us old school horror lovers won't really be an issue and really we need to review this film as a single entity so as a film it wasn't actually that bad all in all. Is it a rehash? for the most part yes but the closing act made this film good. I love the expansion of the house, the tunnel scene was tense as hell and the end moments were great, untill we get the usual camera drops to the floor ending. They is one problem I had which wasn't really to do with the film itself but more the trailer. The tunnel scenes is a tense moment as I said but it would have been much more scary if...I dunno it wasn't shown in full in the trailer.....it took the moment away and really half the big moments were shown in a trailer of some variety which is bloody annoying. So in closing Blair Witch is a good watch that will annoy some horror fans, but don't get pulled into the scariest film ever made crap because to be honest jumps scares don't equal scary.