“Blair Witch” sequel receives mixed reviews

Ever since I was little, I have always been a fan of horror movies. I used to fill my weekends by watching all of the classic horror films such as Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th among many others. The horror movies that have come out at the movies lately have not been able to compare to the classics in my opinion. When I heard about Blair Witch, I was immediately interested as I know the 1999 film, The Blair Witch Project, became one of the most successful independent films of all time after it received unexpected acclaim from critics.

The 2016 film that is currently in theaters is a direct sequel to the 1999 film and follows a group of students who venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland in search of one of the main characters’ sisters, Heather, who went into the same woods in The Blair Witch Project to investigate the local legend about a malevolent witch and subsequently never returned. One aspect of this film that may turn viewers off is the fact that it is a found footage film. This means that the movie looks like it is shot unprofessionally almost like a home movie. For this reason, I do not think the cinematography was excellent, but it did make the horrifying events that took place appear more real. I did also appreciate the fact that I got to see a 360-degree view at various points in the film that showed how massive the forest the group of people were in was. This was due to the fact that the group of students brought a drone into the woods with them that had a camera attached to it that was able to go up to about 100 meters in the air. I was really impressed by this innovative cinematography, as I have not seen it used in any other films.

The antagonist of the film is best described as a demonic presence rather than an actual witch. According to the legend, if you stare at her directly, you will die of fright so we never see an actual full shot of the infamous Blair Witch. This film definitely has many jump scares that will get your heart racing but at the same time, you almost know they are coming. The director, Adam Wingard, does a good job at capturing the fear and hysteria that the characters experience after they are unable to find their way out of the forest and as the evil presence begins to manifest itself. Overall, Blair Witch received a score of 37% according to Rotten Tomatoes with one viewer remarking, “It’s less a sequel or a “reboot” than a remake, but without the freshness of the stylistic and marketing hooks that made the first one so memorable.” Despite the criticism, this is still a film worth seeing if you are looking for a decent scary movie.   

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