Seventeen years ago, The Blair Witch Project was all that anyone was talking about. When the quintessential “found-footage” film hit theatres in the summer of 1999, filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez struck cinematic gold, broke box office records, and effectively caught lightning in a bottle in this story of would-be documentarians heading out into the Black Hills forest near Burkittsville, Maryland to investigate the legends of the Blair Witch that supposedly haunted the area. This film was so successful for a few reasons, but most notably because of its insanely high level of believability. This was during the early days of the internet, long before social media was really a thing, where having waves of information hurled at you on a daily basis wasn’t commonplace, and going online wasn’t even really part of the daily routine for most people. The truth was there, but was easy to not see back then, and a huge number of people absolutely didn’t.
Even bigger than that was the fact that The Blair Witch Project didn’t look like any other films anyone had seen. It was all shot on home video cameras, looked extremely amatuer, and its relatively unknown actors looked like average, regular, everyday people rather than Hollywood types. Absolutely everything about this film made suspension of disbelief very, very easy.
(image courtesy of Lionsgate)
Fast forward to 2016, and Blair Witch – the third installment, and first true sequel (we won’t even get into the meta-sequel Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, beyond merely mentioning that it happened) in the series, is almost exactly the opposite of everything that made the original such a success.
WARNING: this review may contain minor spoilers, as it’s nearly impossible to properly review this film without mentioning some of them. We are fairly confident that you dear readers already basically know what’s going to happen here anyway, but just in case you’re worried for some reason, here’s your spoiler warning as a kindness.
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