Seventeen years after the events of The Blair Witch Project comes it’s true sequel Blair Witch. Directed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest) the film follows a group of friends who head into the daunting Black Hills Forest in search of answers from the disappearance of those three college students all those years ago.
After a new video surfaces online claiming to be found footage from the Black Hills Forest, James, the younger brother of Heather Donahue who went missing in 1999 sets out on a hike to prove she might still be alive. James brings friends Lisa, Ashley and Peter along with him to document the trip, with Lisa looking to make it into a documentary herself. Their first port of call is meeting with the people who found the new footage, Lane and Talia. The couple offer to show the group where they found the recordings, but only if they take them along as well. After reluctantly agreeing, the group set out in search of answers, but find something much more terrifying.
The Blair Witch Project will forever be part of a rare club that forever changed the landscape of the horror genre, and films on release. It’s a remarkably high standard and one Blair Witch struggles to match. The start of the film is a bit of a write-off. It retreads too many steps from the original and is slow in delivering any fear or danger to proceedings. Too much time is spent showing off new shiny recording equipment, establishing characters and waiting for things to go bump in the night. Unfortunately when something does go bump, it tends to be the generic jump up behind you scare that every character has a seriously bad habit of doing to their friends. Why does nobody ever tell a friend they’re behind them? Seriously?
That being said Adam Wingard delivers an exciting night-time finale that effectively uses creepy set design and frenetic movement to it’s advantage. There are a couple of nice additions to the Blair Witch mythos, and what happens when you’re foolish enough to go trundling into the Black Hills Forest. However it’s nothing you ain’t seen before or really that surprising, and come the credit roll is very much like too little too late.
There might be seventeen years separating the two films, but no evolution. Blair Witch is just more of the same you got from it’s predecessor, with a couple new developments thrown in. It’s a real shame considering the wonderfully creative efforts from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett on past collaborations but Blair Witch is just decent, nothing more, nothing less. Though if you’ve never seen The Blair Witch Project you could find yourself in for a treat.