“Just pretend 1999 didn’t occur and you’ll be satisfied.”- me

Image result for blair witch poster

So the team behind this movie was crafty in promoting it. Just over a month ago, they rolled out a limited teaser and called it The Woods. And then they pulled the curtains back to inform us that this was, in fact, the next Blair Witch installment. The trend to bring back fantastic movies from two decades continues.  It can be a hit (good morning, Jurassic World) or a miss (tell ya’ mom I said “hey,” Independence Day: Resurgence). The sad reveal is that this, too, is a miss. Let me shower you with reasons why this is actually a good horror flick, though!

If you imagine Blair Witch Project was never created, this movie is top-shelf.  It paces very well, and carries a sense of dread- making you wonder just what all the fuss is about regarding this alleged witch.  The sound effects they use are remarkable, leaving the imagination to truly wonder wtf that noize izzzz!  Quality of film has become technically enhanced in this day and age, so we say goodbye to grainy screens- wondering if something was a shadow or a tree- and ahoy! to being able to see a bit beyond the flashlights and even above and beyond (literally- eye roll emoji) with the help of a drone.

*Spoilers ahead!*

 

The buildup has not been worth it in a while with horror movies. But the last 25 minutes made this movie great for me.  They show the witch the perfect length of time without overdoing it (a la Mama) and making the movie still scary if you re-watch it. Her appearance makes sense, given her history of being hanged and weighed down with rocks as the stories say. I. LOVE. IT! Also, this movie introduced new powers and realms of the witch with time warps.  It seems silly, but in retrospect, this adds more logistics to the concept of the movie concerning the house not being found, losing their way in the woods, and control of day and night.

 

*Spoilers be gone now.*

The pitfalls of this movie seemingly outweigh the positives, however. Yes, the pace of the movie is great, but it replicated the original movie. This leads anyone who saw the first movie down the path of knowing exactly what to expect.  In terms of originality, then, Blair Witch comes out empty-pocketed. Additionally, characterization, while still just a horror movie, is tossed aside and forces us to ultimately not care what happens to them. The plot and drive of Blair Witch is forced when it didn’t have to be. The main character finds a Youtube video of found footage in the woods that he thinks might be his sister from the first installment….. right?? Let that simmer. So, almost two decades later, he wants to go look for her because he feels she may still be alive…decades later….in the woods….alone….naked…(wishful thinking). I’m just saying, they could have made this movie take place months later after the original, but noooooooooOOOOooOOoO, THEY HAD TO USE A DRONE!

C+

“Original, fun, and dynamic: the opposite of its predecessor.”- me, with my ID4 flag and cap, and a bucket of popcorn in my lap while I wear a frown

WHY!? The original gave us a unique (for its time) story, cutting-edge (for its time) special effects, and provided us with a satisfying ending that did not need a sequel. So, what…..20 years later and some writers pen together a script: “So, the aliens wait 20 years because it’s been 20 years. And maybe…..20 years of Earth preparing…..20 years…..20 years. 20. Two zero.” We get it. Good Jesus.  And I blame the writers for this, not the director, Roland Emmerich. Now don’t be mistaken, this director is known for his disaster movies that lack in characterization, but they’re still fun to watch (Godzilla (1998 version), The Day After Tomorrow, 2012). But none of these movies ever need a sequel.  This was a disaster movie that was a genuine disaster.

I was raised on Independence Day when it came out….20 years ago (eye roll).  So I went into this movie with a hint of bias, low expectations, and IBS.  I came out even less satisfied. The action scenes were so forced, and that was supposed to be the meat of this movie.  The final action scene with the mother alien tramping around like a T-Rex after a school bus in the desert really made me feel like I was watching Jurassic Glactic . Ultimately, the action scenes didn’t seem to last long, yet this movie seemed to drag.  They were good special effects, of course. But it takes a bit more that that. Otherwise, throw this shit onto a 2-night special event on NBC.  You need a decent plot, or you’re just going to smell like a Sharknado movie. The characters in this movie had me rooting for them to get killed. I didn’t understand the point in bringing back Vivica A Fox’s character. And the fact that I was looking forward to this movie being over made me sad because the original was so great. Consider me a child that was sitting on the stoop, waiting for dad to pick him up for the weekend, only to have his kooky uncle to pick him up instead.

C-