Dec 202016
 

Blair Witch wasn’t a complete misfire of a horror film and as found footage movies go, it’s at least tolerable and features an amiable young cast, however thanks to an overabundant usage of sound design and clichéd jump scares, this doesn’t live up to the potential. Good news is, it is better than Book of Shadows so… it has that going for it.

 

 

Blair Witch
(2016)

Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Lionsgate | R – 89 min. – $39.99 | January 3, 2017

Date Published: 12/20/2016 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Adam Wingard
Writer(s): Simon Barrett (written by)
Cast: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Valorie Curry, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary, Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 45.2 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


THE MOVIE — 2.75/5


Plot Synopsis: A group of college students — James (JAMES ALLEN MCCUNE), Lisa (CALLIE HERNANDEZ), Ashley (CORBIN REID) and Peter (BRANDON SCOTT) — venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of their friend’s sister, who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals (WES ROBINSON, VALORIE CURRY) offers to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

Quick Hit Review: There’s good news and bad news. The good is we finally got a proper follow-up to the worldwide phenomenon nabbing $248 million on a mere $60k budget. It also propelled an onslaught on the “found footage” subgenre to the point where I have grown incredibly tired of them, in conjunction with poorly written stories and one-dimensional characters. And that’s the bad. It’s a thin story, thinner characters though compared with some of the others in the subgenre, this is a masterpiece.

So, now with Blair Witch we go back to the Black Hills Forest and frankly, I couldn’t have cared less. While director Adam Wingard, pairing up again with writer Simon Barrett following You’re Next and The Guest, technically sets up some really frightening scenes, was ultimately undone thanks to an overbearing sound design and a few absurd jump scares early on to mask the slow pacing setting up the locale and character motivations, mainly James’s obsession with finding his missing sister.

Ultimately Blair Witch doesn’t quite distinguish itself from others in the horror/found footage genre with a story filled with trope after trope and some cheap thrills in place of genuine scares. I guess compared with others that have come before, not to mention the atrocious Book of Shadows sequel, this is a successful follow up and perhaps fans will get something out of it. For me, it’s ultimately forgettable in spite of a cast that does the best with the material given.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside are a DVD Copy and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary – Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett sit down for an enjoyable enough track exploring different aspects of bringing this sequel to life set 16 (or so) years after the original. I may not be the biggest fan of Wingard’s films but he does record personable commentary tracks.

Never Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch (1:46:38; HD) is an extensive 6-part featurette covering a variety of topics from the story, casting, location shooting, editing and more. Now this is what ‘making-of’ features should be. Whether you like the movie or not, it’s a great behind-the-scenes look.

House of Horrors: Exploring the Set (15:50; HD) takes viewers inside the house which was built on a sound stage and special attention to detail.

PreviewsThe Blair Witch Project, 31, The Witch, Knock Knock, The Monster

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Blair Witch crackles and tumbles onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. This was a bit of a chore to judge as this is supposed to be amateur looking footage with shaky-cam work done but when the image stabilized in spots, I found the detail to be excellent and sharp looking. Colors as you would imagine isn’t the best but that’s in keeping with the genre but darker shots look fairly stark so it’s a nice looking transfer.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


The disc comes with a strong and very robust Dolby Atmos track and as much as I despised the cheap tricks using sound design, it at least manifested very well making use of every available channel. The bulk of the dialogue does take place via the center speaker but ambient noises blare through the others; there’s one scene that really shows the track off when a character is laying in his tent and there’s a gigantic crash happening nearby. And the finale in the house helps heightened the fear a creaky, abandoned and haunted house possesses.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, Blair Witch wasn’t a complete misfire of a horror film and as found footage movies go, it’s at least tolerable and features an amiable young cast, however thanks to an overabundant usage of sound design and clichéd jump scares, this doesn’t live up to the potential. Good news is, it is better than Book of Shadows so… it has that going for it. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate offers great to excellent video and audio transfers and a good selection of bonus material highlighted by a feature-length making-of documentary.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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