REVIEW – No amount of magic could save ‘Blair Witch’

If you’ve seen the first movie, you’ve basically seen this one, too.

My heart is broken.

No, not because I had the s#it scared out of me at the Wednesday late-night screening of Blair Witch (or, for those of you who might be wondering when this bombshell dropped – that film previously called The Woods).

It’s because I was looking forward to this new film, and was hoping it’d live up to all the hype it’d received at Comic Con. It was back in July when movie fanatics and cinephiles started losing their minds. Every conversation I had with fellow movie connoisseurs went something like, “dude! Did you hear about the new Blair Witch sequel?! I can’t wait!” What made it worse were the TV spots: I wanted September to hurry up and get here, because of the claims that’d pop up during the commercials from other reviewers.

But, here we are: it’s September, I’ve seen the film – and it sucks.

It should have been a red flag for me when James (James Allen McCune) said he wanted to go back into the woods where his sister, Heather Donahue had gone missing. Even if you do the math, lazily, it’s been nearly twenty-something years – but maybe something supernatural allowed her to survive. I don’t know. Flanked by his friend Lisa (Callie Hernandez), childhood friend Peter (Bradley Scott) and Peter’s girlfriend, Ashley (Corbin Reid) you know at least one person is going to die, with a grand total of four going on this trip.

Burkittsville (previously called Blair) locals Talia (Valorie Curry) and Lane (Wes Robinson) invite themselves along for the ride, because they feel like they have a duty to help our heroes.

How sweet.

That’s when things start to get lame – no, not story-wise – but for the viewer.

First off, everything is hard to follow. I get there’s a time and place for suspending one’s realm of possibilities, but this film took it a little too far. About halfway through the film, the movie is suddenly at night for the entire time. What?

We also spent WAY too much time rehashing what the Blair Witch is. Next.

Everything was predictable: from the scares, to the death scenes, nothing was creepy or chilly. They were just natural steps to get to the end of the film. I will admit there were two parts (I’m pretty sure both involved maggots) that grossed me out, but that’s just because I don’t like maggots and blood (and if you do, then…you have that to look forward to). I didn’t enjoy anyone’s performance in this film, which is a shame, because I really like Valorie Curry (she was in The Following, and was fantastic), but even she should know her limits.

I honestly thought this was going to top Don’t Breathe in the scares category. Throwing claims in there from a Bloody Disgusting reviewer to say that your film is a ‘new beginning’ for a horror genre is some pretty big talk. Unfortunately, Blair Witch doesn’t live up to it for me. You’re better off watching the first one again – for the build-up, the suspense, and the all-around horror package delivered back then.

For what it’s worth, this was filmed in the Sea-to-Sky corridor, so B.C. made some money back on it. Yay.

And, spoiler alert for those of you who are die-hard fans of the franchise: no, no one made any kind of reference to kicking a map.

It’s no Book of Shadows, but it still sucks.

One-and-a-half lost idiots out of five.

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