Cinematically, “Blair Witch” unfortunately falls flat akin to recent found footage movies (“Paranormal Activity 5”), a genre that is growing old and tired on audiences. It’s ironic how this film’s predecessor, “The Blair Witch Project,” is the one that started the found footage genre on a high point.
The first film was critically acclaimed for its simplicity and terrifying performances that made the movie what it is. But if a film titled “The Blair Witch Project” doesn’t show its titular witch at all, what shook audiences so much? Well, it all goes back to the art of not revealing a whole lot to the public, so they can use their imagination to figure out what’s happening.
Surprisingly, the movie was marketed as a real-life documentary of the final moments of friends who went to search for a mysterious creature in the woods. This, of course, created a greater sense of curiosity among the audience, who wanted to know whether or not it was real.
However, there were a lot of people who didn’t think the original movie was great when it came out, because nothing happens. You never once get a glimpse of the witch. Their argument states that the movie is simply a bunch of bad actors running around talking and screaming. This may not be the case for “Blair Witch,” since there are moments of levity and laughter throughout the movie and glimpses of the witch that are sure to freak a plethora of movie-goers.
Was the witch what I thought it would be? Well, considering the mythology around which these movies were created, it surprised me how unimaginative the design of the creature was (read: a naked Slender Man). But, this won’t matter to modern audiences since they feed off wanting to see more of what’s on-screen, rather than using their imagination to figure out what’s off-screen.
If watched precisely, there are a lot of similarities between “The Blair Witch Project” and its successor, which makes the latter seem like a low-key reboot of the original.
Do you need to see the original to understand this movie? Not at all. In fact, the last minutes of the previous film are shown in this film when the characters are explaining its plot.
The plot centers around the little brother of the girl from the first film, trying to find answers in the woods for her sister’s disappearance with the help of friends and two wannabe YouTubers. Following the same thread of casting unknown actors as the main characters, not all of the performances work with the tone of the movie.