REVIEW: BLAIR WITCH (2016)

CAST

James Allen McCune (Snitch)
Callie Hernandez (Alien: Covenant)
Corbin Reid (How To Get Away With Murder)
Brandon Scott (Wreck-It Ralph)
Wes Robinson (Roadies)
Valarie Curry (Veronica Mars)

In 2014, James Donahue finds a video containing a supposed image of his sister Heather who disappeared in 1994 near Burkittsville while investigating the legend of the Blair Witch. Believing she is still alive, he heads into the woods, accompanied by friends Peter Jones, Ashley Bennett, and film student Lisa Arlington, who wants to film the search for a documentary. Locals Talia and Lane join them.
Upon setting up camp for the night, Lane and Talia discuss the disappearance of Heather’s film crew, and other mysterious occurrences, which they ascribe to the Blair Witch. After hearing noises during the night, the group awakens to find strange stick figures hanging from the trees. Unnerved, they elect to leave. Lisa notices twine in Lane’s backpack and both he and Talia are banished after admitting to creating the figures. After hours of walking, the four arrive back at their original campsite, having gone in circles. Lisa pilots a drone to obtain their location, but it malfunctions. Ashley becomes sick due to a wound on her foot, forcing the group to camp again. Peter is chased by an unknown entity, gets wounded, and disappears.

During the night, Lane and Talia emerge, claiming they have been wandering around the forest for five days without a sunrise. Believing that he is hallucinating, Lane runs off. The next morning, James and Lisa are stunned to find that it is still dark outside and discover larger stick figures. Talia sees clumps of her hair tied to one of the figures. Ashley accuses Talia of crafting them and snaps the figure in half; Talia is then snapped in half. An unseen force lifts their tent and the ensuing panic separates the group. Ashley finds the drone and climbs a tree to recover it but falls and is pulled off-screen by an unseen force.

A rainstorm ensues as Lisa and James stumble across Rustin Parr’s cabin. James seemingly spots his sister upstairs, enters the house and sees Peter standing in the corner. He soon realizes that something is chasing him and barricades himself. Lisa spots a ghoul and runs into the basement. She finds an aged and hostile Lane who traps her in an underground tunnel. Lisa escapes and is forced to stab and kill Lane when he attacks her. Chased by the entity, Lisa runs up to the attic with Lane’s camcorder creating the paradox that lured them all to the woods. She reunites with James and they try to barricade the door. James tells Lisa to face the corner of the room and desperately apologizes to her for their fate before the ghoul enters. James is tricked into turning around, believing that he hears Heather’s voice, and is attacked out of sight. Lisa uses Lane’s camcorder to view what is behind her and begins walking backwards. However, hearing James’s apology again, she turns too, and is attacked.A much more faithful sequel than ‘Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2’. It feels like the next logical step in the Blair Witch story, with clever use of modern filming technology. It takes the horrifying ideas in the first one and expands upon them, but without going too far like a lot of horror sequels do.

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