Luckily for us his friend Lisa has decided to make a documentary about it and with two other friends in tow they set out into the woods to find the mysterious house where the first movie concluded filming everything as they go. And thus we set out on a retreading of the original story updated for the modern age and with an actual budget, complete with an opening text screen telling us that like the first this film was assembled from footage found abandoned out in the woods, so we know the trip doesn’t go too happily for our campers.
Technically this is a sequel to 'The Blair Witch Project' but from a practical standpoint it’s a remake. We’re following basically all the same plot points but with real money involved and some actual special effects. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the original Blair Witch Project, perhaps more so as a concept than a movie, though I think the movie itself still holds up. At the time I was completely consumed by the never before seen viral online marketing campaign (I was a computer kid), I rushed out to see the movie and loved it, I even own all the video games (that’s right, there’s more than one Blair Witch Project video game).
Firstly, despite the modern day update of all the equipment we’re not really seeing anything new. They have a drone camera but it spends most of the movie crashed in a tree, which was a somewhat disappointing waste. In addition, 'Blair Witch' is a little more cinematic in its shot composition whilst still retaining the raw feel, but more than once we find ourselves caught in the full rawness of characters shaking the camera all over whilst something it would have been really nice to see happens just out of shot. Or a camera is set up to record something and you can sort of sense something spooky that’s about to happen and you tense up in anticipation, but then it doesn’t happen. Which is weird.
The lip service connection to the original really is meaningless but there’s nothing inherently wrong with that and I understand why they did it. They needed an excuse to get the cast out in the woods without the need for much, or indeed any, explanation required. In that regard this varies from the original, there’s no need for all the complex world building mythos that the original had we’re just straight into the woods for scary shenanigans.
Unfortunately it was at this point that I realised there were no stakes, we were just marking time till the film could end. This wasn’t a problem in the original because it was so unique but we’ve seen the “idiots go wrecklessly into scary place, idiots never seen again” movie a dozen or more times now and I’m not sure we needed to see it again. Like I say, this is a movie for a new audience, not a seasoned one. Having said that there is a very nice twist at the end that is made even better
because the movie doesn’t make a big deal out of it and I liked that very much.
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