Blair Witch, the unexpected sequel to 1999’s love-it or hate-it horror phenomenon is as unnecessary, occasionally enjoyable and largely mediocre as 99% of horror follow-ups. That it was made in secret by pair of, so-far, quite talented fellas (Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett of You’re Next and The Guest) is more an interesting note than a sign of quality.
The woods of Burkitsville, Maryland once again have twenty-something wannabe documentarians enter its unending sprawl. This time, however, the legend still hangs in the air. Where in The Blair Witch Project the locals of a middle of nowhere town talked about the mysterious happenings of the surrounding wilderness as if it was a story from the area’s founding fathers, here the peculiar disappearance of those from the original movie uncomfortably lingers. The – far – younger brother of Heather, she of the runny nose who led the trio of Project, still ponders if big-sis is out there. He is James (James Allen McCune), and he’s recently come across some new footage that appears to be filmed in the same don’t-go-in-that-fucking-house where Heather was last seen howling in terror. Thus, James, three buddies and the pair that found this new tape go back into the depths of Burkitsville to find the truth.
The truth is entirely what you’d expect. Noises in the night. Walking in circles. Those awesome wooden stick-figures. There is new stuff too. Wingard and Barrett double-down on weirdness, coming up with an inventive manner for our protagonists to struggles in their never-ending attempt to find where the damn car is parked. Yet, what’s there remains familiar to the point of tedious. Sure there’s fresh tech, allowing a larger variety of camera angles. A drone too. That drone goes up, looks at lots of trees, and then goes down, before being a part of one of the all-time dumb character decisions I can recall.
Like the parade of Halloween movies, Paranormal Activity pics or the like, Blair Witch 2016 is thoroughly alright. As something to watch on AMC in four years while carving pumpkins, it will do. Beyond that, this is a letdown that will be remembered by few, if any.