Blair Witch (15)

Seventeen years since three students disappeared in Burkittsville woods, the Blair Witch is back to cause havoc once again.

Unable to get over the loss of his sister seventeen years before, James (James Allen McCune) and a group of his friends return to the woods of Burkittsville, Maryland to investigate the legendary witch that haunts it.

If you’re old enough to remember The Blair Witch Project you’ll know that it was compiled of recovered documentary footage. I mean it’s hard to forget that oh-so snotty close up. Grot. When some unseen footage of his sister is posted online James wastes no time in setting off on a rescue mission.

This time around the teens have advanced technology at their disposal. The age-old camcorders are gone; instead the group have ear cams and a DJI Phantom 2 to capture any spooky goings on. The Snapchatting, Insta-wankers add two local hippies to the ragtag crew in hopes of locating James’ sister. But the new age hipsters end up being more hassle than they’re worth so soon enough the group bin them off.

Not long after the woods get hella creepy and shit starts to get real pretty fast. One by one the teens split up, like that even hurt anyone right?

As his friends become victims of the Blair Witch one after the other old Jimbo is still more interested in finding his sister than saving them from an agonising death. What a great bloke! Props to his friend skills. This is the kind of guy that’s gonna bail on you at the last moment when you’ve already spent the last 30 minutes putting on some slap and squeezing yourself into something so tight that you resemble a slab of salami wrapped in cling film.

Let’s hope his sister is still alive otherwise James has just acted like a selfish arse for nothing.

Blair Witch relies heavily on an invisible baddie, but a flesh and bones villain isn’t the only thing that the sequel is lacking. It isn’t scary. In fact I laughed at a lot of moments when I should have been terrified. So what went wrong? In short the timing is off and the acting is dire.

Then there’s the inclusion of the technology. My fiancé is a proud owner of a DJI Phantom 2 and I can tell you point blank that a lot of the scenes that include the drone are utter bullshit. Why use an advanced piece of tech and then use crane footage instead of the high-res video the drone produces? Also the battery life of the battery is 15 minutes tops. In the movie that bad boy is running for days. Okay so that’s me just being an uber geek, but still it took me out of the moment.

Blair Witch is a nightmarish horror for all the wrong reasons. The actors are so irritating that I was quite relieved when they met their sticky end. You know you’ve screwed up when the audience is revelling in the demise of your main characters rather than rooting for them.

If you go down to the woods today you’re going to be really disappointed. The Blair Witch Project wasn’t scary and neither is its sequel. Expect to be terrified and you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re after a Scary Movie “Oh no you didn’t” type horror, then go ahead.

By Ruth Walker
★★☆☆☆

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