BLAIR WITCH (2016)
The first two Blair Witch movies were pleasant surprises. The second one more so as I didn’t expect much at all..yet thought it was great. Enter BLAIR WITCH, the third movie in the franchise. While deciding to go without the “3” in the title must be the trendy thing to do nowadays, nonetheless it is a true sequel to the first outing. The main character, James, is the brother of Heather who was last seen in the final moments of footage from part 1. The events of part 2 are completely ignored. What’s interesting about this movie is it was filmed as a secret sequel. It had a different working title and even early promotional material called it The Woods. After a packed screening at Comic Con 2016 where attendees still thought they were going to watch The Woods, it was unveiled at the last second this was indeed a Blair Witch film and then promo materials were switched over that day. Pretty genius. Anyway, the movie gets high marks for having that connective tissue to previous movies which makes it feel like a true sequel. We get your usual paranoia, sinister happenings, and crazy time loops that one might expect. James sets out in the woods with some others to try and unravel the mystery of what happened to his sister as he believes she’s still alive. Where the film falters slightly is some of the events that happen are just a bit too supernatural for my liking. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but in relation to the first two where you believe those events could’ve actually happened, this one reaches a bit higher for the absurd which takes you out of the immersion…even just a bit. Combine that with an ending that leaves too much open for interpretation (those lights?), and we get a decent surprise sequel that ultimately could’ve dialed a couple things back. Check it out if you’re a fan of the franchise overall, but you might leave not feeling as…bewitched as you’d hope.
SLASH SCENE: When those twigs bend…
SLASH SCORE: 3/5