Blair Witch Review: 7 Ups And 3 Downs

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Blair Witch Ups Downs

The original Blair Witch Project may no longer be quite lauded as a horror classic (even if it probably should), but its impact on film culture is indelible: it's the Psycho of found footage and the "is it real?" marketing became a template for viral campaigns in the internet age. That's quite a legacy; a belated follow-up could be the Mad Max: Fury Road of horror and still have comparatively little impact. And that's if you can get past the cynicism about doing a late-in-the-day sequel anyway.

This combined fear is likely the cause for the film's big marketing gambit - it spent most of its life under the title The Woods, only revealed to be part of an existing franchise at Comic-Con in July. That gave, if only for a fleeting moment, Blair Witch as much hype as it's predecessor; people got interested in the film based on its own merits, so when they slapped the brand on it the reaction was excitement rather than cynicism.

Of course, hype tactics, especially one so big as this, are primarily there to get bums in seats. Keeping them there on the edge is another matter.

So, does Blair Witch succeed or is it just like all the other resurrected horror icons? Thankfully, it's the former. Like most strong directors going into the bosom of a franchise there's some feeling of restriction to Adam Wingard's latest, but pure terror still works its way through the trees (along with some sly social commentary). Here's seven Ups and three Downs from Blair Witch.


Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.