(The Picket)– The original Blair Witch Project was a revolutionary film at its time, giving audiences an experience that seemed like a real student documentary film gone wrong. The concept was carried out so well that the internet spent months thinking the cast had truly gone missing. The concept set aside, the film left a bad taste in many traditional film fan’s mouths with shaky camera work, views of the ground, and a cast that spent half the movie shouting each other’s names through the woods and walking in circles.
With the sequel I could hope that the bad and motion-sickness-inducing camera work were behind us, sadly that is not what I got. The Blair Witch film follows the journey of a film crew just like the prior work, in this case, the film crew features a set of characters searching for answers about what happened to the previous film crew.
Characters include the disbelieving but supportive Peter, the I’m-only-here-because-my-boyfriend-is-here Ashely, student filmmaker Lisa and little-brother-to-disappeared-Heather-from movie-one James. James has made his life goal of finding Heather dead or alive for closure, he seems to think she’s alive. These four explorers are joined by a pair of locals, internet YouTube stereotypes, brother and sister duo Talia and Lane. You know everyone’s names because just like in the original they will not stop shouting them.
The film uses many horror movie standards: the group gets drunk while camping in the known-to-be-haunted woods. They repeatedly ignore warnings from the locals and from each other, of course resulting in the worst camping trip possible with a presumed high mortality rate.
While in many aspects this film is of better quality, we have professional camera equipment used for shaky shots and seeing the feet of our characters as they run. The quality of equipment and budget do not make up for a lack of originality and scare factor. The cast spends more time causing each other to scream than actually being scared by the ghost or monster in the woods.
The film also tries to make viewers nervous by breaking standard film traditions and having little background music, in fact, the only background music of note is featured in the vehicles intransigent and in one seizure-inducing nightclub scene early in the film. This seems to do the opposite of intended effect, making the film feel boring and the jump scares less jumpy with no jaws like music build up.
Overall unless you are an extreme Blair Witch fan from the original and really want to say you’ve seen them all, I do not feel this is worth the time and ticket price. I say flick this one to the side and go see a different movie for scare factor.
Jessica Sharpless is a reporter for The Picket and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org