Blair Witch Review

Blair Witch is a 2016 found footage psychological horror film directed by Adam Wingard, starring James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, and Valorie Curry.  Set as a direct sequel to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, the film follows a group of college students and their local guides who venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance years ago of Heather Donahue.


Positives:

  • Good performances by the main cast
  • Great use of practical effects
  • Decent story
  • Maintains tense atmosphere
  • Likable characters

Negatives:

  • Lots of pointless jump scares

Plot:  The film does feature a decent story where the twist gradually unravel.  The plot does make sense, the group actually have a solid reason for being in the forest.  The story is dull in the beginning but as the story goes it becomes more exciting and suspenseful.  It does feel like a direct sequel to the The Blair Witch Project. (3 out of 5)

Characters: The characters for the most part are likable.  The main protagonists are James (McCune), Peter (Scott), Ashley (Reid), and Lisa (Hernandez), and they have a good dynamic.  James goes into the woods searching for his sister.  He is probably the most relatable of characters as this is personal for him.  There is Peter and Ashley who friends who go to support James.  Then there is Lisa who is assisting James who is a film student planning to make a documentary based on James’ search.  She is probably the most unnecessary of the characters because she doesn’t have an emotional attachment. Lane (Robinson) and Talia (Curry) are characters that don’t feel like they are necessary but at the same time the film isn’t hurt from their presence. (4 out of 5)

Cast:  Good performances by the cast.  The main cast includes James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, and Valorie Curry. (3 out of 5)

Visuals: Visually the film works as a found footage.  The great use of practical effects and limited use of cgi does a great job of maintaining suspense.  The fact that there is limited or no direct sight of the witch works well at creating an stronger presence. The forest environment does leave a very isolated feel to the film. Wingard does showcase a good use of the camera work, making many of the suspenseful sequences effective.  (4 out of 5)

Score: There is a terrific use of the  sound effects.  There is a great use of the sound effects that gives a certain authentic feel.  The sequences in the forest as well as in the house make these sequences feel very intense which adds depth to the suspense. (4 out of 5)

Writing:  The writing is pretty good and does manage to build a solid story.  The dialogue does feel authentic. There are a lot of jump scares especially in the first half of the film that feel unnecessary. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Blair Witch is an actually a pretty good film.  Although some of the characters could’ve had a stronger motivation for their presence in the film, the characters are likable, the story is engaging, the use of practical of good, and there is a high level of suspense.  Blair Witch gets 4 out of 5.

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