Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blair Witch Review

Blair Witch Review
Roger Ebert once said around the time "Star Wars: Episode One" came out something along the lines of "If you saw The Phantom Menace first, you'd probably think it was the best." We are always affected by what we see and most of all, when we see something. You may be blown away by something you saw recently, and you may not be a fan of something that came out a few years ago, but it may mean something to someone who lived through it. I am going to love to see how the next generation reacts to the Marvel movies, the new Star Wars movies, Ghostbusters, Star Trek and world-building movies. What will the movie landscape look like thirty years from now, and what will hold up that is coming out now?

Hollywood is obsessed with nostalgia right now, and we are constantly being bombarded by our favorite things from yesteryear. We are getting remakes we never thought we'd get, movies based off of comics, TV shows and even toys. It seemed like it was only a matter of time before we would get another movie in the "Blair Witch" franchise. I will never forget Fourth grade due to "The Blair Witch Project." Seems weird to think about right now, but "The Blair Witch Project" was revolutionary back in the day. I remember wanting to see it somehow, but there was not a single theater anywhere that would let underage children in. I had to wait for video, and it was certainly worth the wait when I saw it through an incognito manner (My source will go unnamed to protect and thank them.) The movie works for me because I saw it at the right time under the right circumstances. Before the found footage bubble burst, it was a glorious time and now everything "The Blair Witch Project" helped create is ruining the horror landscape.

So does that mean we make another "Blair Witch" movie? To create some kind of balance? I am not sure lightning can get caught in a bottle twice. I have seen "Blair Witch" the sequel to "The Blair Witch Project" and I have mixed feelings about it. There is some genuine creepiness created throughout the film. There are some images I will have trouble getting out of my mind as I climb into bed tonight. I think Adam Wingard is a highly affective horror director and its just not in him to make a sincerely bad movie. But with most found footage these days, "Blair Witch" really doesn't add up to much except a bunch of actors running and screaming at nothing. Sure, there is some more updated tech used in the movie, but in the world of Smart phones, it seems weird that group of people would get lost in the wilderness.

James Donahou (James Allen McClurre) is the brother of Heather Donahou, who was the victim of the first film. He decides he wants to venture into the woods to find answers on how his sister died. He is accompanied by Lisa (Callie Hernandez), Peter (Brandon Scott), Ashley (Corbin Reid), Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valia Curry). Of course, they see twigs shaped as people, get lost, can't find their way out and start hearing noises. It feels like a retread of the first film, except there is a huge been-there, done-that notion in the film. The film is too slick to generate the genuine unease the first film created. It does try very hard, but the old-school VHS muggy style of the first film helped the scares. Its tough to get super scared looking at High Definition images. The actors in this movie are your regular actors in these types of movies. They don't have to do much acting since they are just screaming at things we won't ever see ourselves.

The actors do try to make this count, and they do good work at times. Adam Wingard does everything to make this count. But this feels a little too close to the original, more like "Blair Witch Project" light. I will say this, hopefully Hollywood is starting to get the memo that nostalgia alone doesn't work, and that you need to have something to say before you merely just bring something back for the hell of it.


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