Upon first hearing about the release of this film, it was under the guise of the pseudonym titled, THE WOODS. From the bits that I had seen, I was very intrigued and was looking forward to its release. Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett make a great creative duo, having loved such movies as THE GUEST, YOU’RE NEXT, V/H/S, (etc); naturally, my interest for this film was nothing short of being peaked. Once it had gone public that this new film would have a different title and be a direct sequel to the 1999 found footage film, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, I wasn’t any less excited for its arrival.
Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett, BLAIR WITCH follows James Donahue (James Allen McCune) and his friends who venture deep into the Black Hills Forest in hopes to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of his sister Heather, who set out to uncover the lore of the Blair Witch years ago. While documenting their journey, the group begins to experience strange happenings, leading them into terrifying scenarios that bare grave results. Each character begins to experience their own personal hell as they venture deeper into the legend that surrounds this deadly folklore.
It is no secret that I am naturally drawn to survivalist films, especially when it involves the forest as the enclosure. BLAIR WITCH provides the audience with the sense of dread that comes with being lost, feeling hopeless, and fearing for you life and state of mind. All of these feelings slowly set in through the plot’s progression, steadily dropping each one to the pit of your stomach as tensions rise. Every element delivers itself nicely through Wingard’s directing approach in achieving this desired tonality: you as the audience feel trapped and frozen within this dark timeframe in which the characters have immersed themselves.
While employing a great cast alongside unnerving situations, and with a splash of nostalgic homage to the original film, BLAIR WITCH will entertain its audience up until it’s intense finale. Found footage style of filmmaking is not for everyone, but for those that enjoy it, you will have a great time getting lost within this spooky atmosphere. While viewing this movie, I found it entertaining to fall back into the warm resurgence that was attached to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, mixed with the new additions that came with this sequel. I’m definitely looking forward to adding BLAIR WITCH to my list of movies to rewatch in the future.