I’D REALLY LOVE to get Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s school of thought on the aftermath of this movies release.
Fans and critics alike didn’t warm to the film and because of this, Blair Witch is deemed a failure.
The big question really though is did the movie fall victim to the Blair Witch curse?
The premise was to take a look into what the Blair Witch mythology brought to the screens back in 1999 by Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick with The Blair Witch Project, a film that sent shock waves through the horror movie scene and the cinema industry with its bold choice of storytelling through found footage.
Found footage was a medium which at the time hadn’t been as widely explored, unlike today where it seems like everyone under the sun has attempted it, with nowhere near the success.
Is this over-saturation of the sun-genre partly to blame?
Yes – I’m looking at you Paranormal Activity.
Despite this, Wingard and Barrett chose to explore and set the Blair Witch 18 years after the original (and rightfully ignoring Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, which I think everyone can agree was a complete dud).
There are elements within the movie that feels a little disjointed with the timelines a little, but hey, that’s one of the anomalies within this universe that you could use your BS around, with the Witch’s strange effect on time and space.
So, it’s easy to forgive this little quibble and give in to the suspension of disbelief.
The filmmakers also try to throw in all the latest mod-cons to make it feel more like a bunch of present day kids venturing into the woods, armed with drones and the like.
But it does feel a little forced, especially as for me, it treads a little too closely to the original to make it stand apart from its predecessor.
Perhaps by viewing the original movie and being so affected by it, my observations and responses to Blair Witch are automatically going to be tainted.
It would be interesting to chat with someone who hasn’t seen The Blair Witch Project and therefore not been consumed or tainted by the hyperbole that surrounded that film and get their take on it.
There’s no doubt that Wingard and Barrett had set themselves a difficult challenge to undertake.
It was a bold move and falls in line with the kind of filmmakers that they are and have proven to be, with rightful praise thrown their way for previous films they have released.
A notable element in my mind that did stand out and raised the worthiness of the film came towards the climax with a knowing nod to the story of Lot.
By this time it really does feel like the current survivors are trying to escape from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Ultimately though, the film does miss the mark in establishing the same kind of hysteria that hit our screens back in 1999.
So does Blair Witch fall foul of the supposed curse? Maybe.
Should we commend Wingard and Barrett for doing what filmmakers should be doing? Making bold decisions to challenge themselves and their craft? Absolutely.
It may be a hiccup in their career so far, but I for one can’t wait to see what they deliver next and delve into their vision once more.
– Paul Farrell