“Blair Witch” (2016). Directed by Adam Wingard. Starring James Allan McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott, Wes Robinson, and Valorie Curry. James Donahue drags his friends back to the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to see if he can find his long-lost sister, Heather. They document their progress for a student film project, and soon find that the legends are true. The woods are haunted, and they may not make it out of there alive.
Lisa Arlington (Callie Hernandez) asks James (James Allan McCune) if she can make a documentary of his trip to the Black Hills Forest where his sister, Heather, disappeared over a decade ago. He agrees, and shows her the recent footage of what appears to be Heather running through the infamous Rustin Parr House, screaming at the top of her lungs.
James tells Lisa that he got into contact with the person that uploaded the video, and that they have agreed to meet up with them, and show them where exactly in the woods they found the DV tapes that the video came from.
So he takes with them his life long best buddy Peter (Brandon Scott) and his girlfriend Ashley (Corbin Reid) and off they go to meet this random YouTube video uploader and Black Hills Forest explorer. Turns out that they aren’t exactly what the group was expecting, the young guy and his girlfriend Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valorie Curry) are a bit…off. And they will only take the group into the woods IF they agree to let them come along and tape their expedition.
Not long after they enter the woods, things start to go wrong. It’s subtle at first, and slowly picks up the pace as things get stranger, and more sinister as the day goes on.
“Blair Witch” is one scare piled on another, and another, and another until the chilling, hair-raising ending. A relentless pace that reminded me a little of the breakneck frenetic scares of the original [REC] movie. (If you haven’t seen [REC], I highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic Spanish found footage film about a zombie outbreak in an apartment complex. It’s claustrophobic and intense!)
I loved “Blair Witch.” It’s the movie that they wanted to make the first time around, but didn’t have the budget for it. I’m serious. It’s that freaking good. Fantastic acting, great locations, and the sound design was absolutely phenomenal. It’s the sounds that make it so scary, and they were spot on in Every. Single. Scene. This movie is tight paced, intensely scary, and a very unique take on what a witch can do in the woods.
They added to the Witch Mythos, gave the audience more rules on how she operates, and gives us a way to try to survive an encounter with her that works, but not every time. It’s a risky undertaking, looking for that witch in the woods. I don’t recommend it.
I knew, once the crew passed the river that Mike threw the map into in the “Blair Witch Project”, that they were in deep trouble. And I was right.
“Blair Witch” does not disappoint. It is a solid found footage horror film. All of the characters are there for a reason. There isn’t a single extraneous scene or meaningless conversation in the entire thing. That means that you NEED to pay attention, because everything that is shown and everything that the characters say to each other is super important and will come up later on in the film.
The plot is an intricate spiral that turns in on itself, much how the characters start to lose their minds and become extremely paranoid and lash out at each other.
There’s a great sequence near the end that is absolutely claustrophobic that I found utterly terrifying. It was reminiscent of the same feeling that the wonderful movie “The Descent,” stirs in me whenever I watch it.
When the Blair Witch calls you out to her woods, will you go?
There is an immense pay off in this one folks. I can’t recommend it enough to people. Go see “Blair Witch!” Go now! Well? What are you waiting for?
Go see it and find yourself never wanting to go camping ever again. Unless you’re like me and you know that the worst thing in the woods isn’t the foliage that can animate and attack you at any given turn, it’s the people.