Se­quel all a bit of a Blair

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film - with Ju­lian Wright

EVEN though it is widely known that cu­rios­ity killed the cat, it has not de­terred peo­ple in movies from ven­tur­ing into haunted and cursed woods.

In 1999, through clever mar­ket­ing, au­di­ences were led to be­lieve three doc­u­men­tary film mak­ers went miss­ing in the Mary­land woods try­ing to un­cover the mys­tery of the lo­cal Blair Witch leg­end.

The footage pur­ported to be the doomed trio’s own as they kept the cam­era rolling while they en­coun­tered creepy stick fig­ures, mys­te­ri­ous piles of rocks and a pres­ence fol­low­ing them around, scar­ing the be­je­sus out of them.

In 2016, when never-be­for­e­seen footage sur­faces on Youtube, James (James Allen McCune), the brother of one of the miss­ing crew mem­bers, wants an­swers.

He gath­ers his three mates, in­clud­ing a doc­u­men­tary film maker, and the two lo­cal weirdos who found the long-lost tape, and ven­ture into the woods with ear­piece cam­eras, GPS, walkie talkies, mo­bile phones and a drone.

But is it enough to get them home safely when the Blair Witch is still lurk­ing?

Since the found film sub­genre emerged in the past 10 years, Blair Witch comes off a closer rel­a­tive to Para­nor­mal

Ac­tiv­ity than its own pre­de­ces­sor, with mod­ern equip­ment, sharp footage and well-timed jump scares re­plac­ing dark grainy footage and long, creepy takes.

There is more ef­fort put into jolt­ing the au­di­ence with pop into frame mo­ments and a dash of body hor­ror im­agery to keep the gore hounds sat­is­fied than try­ing to bur­row un­der the au­di­ence’s skin and be­ing psy­cho­log­i­cally trou­bling, like the orig­i­nal was.

The cli­mac­tic 20 min­utes play out like a car­ni­val ghost train ride, but when all is said and done there is lit­tle to set this apart from the ground-break­ing orig­i­nal, blur­ring the line be­tween se­quel and re­make.

Bran­don Scott, Corbin Reid, James Allen McCune, Valo­rie Curry and Wes Robin­son in Blair Witch.

James Allen McCune in Blair Witch.

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