Thursday, 13 July 2017

Blair Witch (2016)

"The Sun is not coming up!"

I wasn't expecting to like this film. I really wasn't. After all, both The Blair Witch Project and its somewhat unloved sequel are quite good but hardly seminal films and the law of diminishing returns did not seem to bore well. So I was surprised to find myself watching a fairly standard but well-scripted and directed found footage movie which, again, will grace no "Best of" lists but is rather good and, arguably, superior to its two predecessors.

It help that one of the protagonists, James, is the younger brother of Heather from the first film, and that we are restricted to a small cast of two sympathetic couples and another couple who are somewhat dodgy, a dynamic that works. The storytelling beats and plot structure are formulaic but done well, and there is just enough characterisation. No new ground is broken here but it's a solid example of the genre which the first film popularised.

It's nice to get the modern touches such as social media and drones, and to get some more historical backstory for the Witch. Best of all though is the interestingly directed final sequence in the house. An unexpectedly good sequel, then, which doesn't try to be clever but delivers exactly what is wanted.

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