Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Blair Witch - The scoop and digest

Ruggero Deodato's hugely controversial 1980 classic Cannibal Holocaust is documented as being the first found footage film.

However, The Blair Witch Project popularised the genre.

2010 psychological horror YellowBrickRoad shares similarities of desperate fear.

Many forget merry jaunt was inspired by serial killer 'documentary' The Last Broadcast.

Reminding ourselves of 1999 original's blurb:

"In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary.

A year later their footage was found."

Taking place in 2014, Adam 'You're Next' Wingard completely ignores cash-hungry sequel Book of Shadows and regular collaborator Simon Barrett pens screenplay.

James Allen McCune - James
Brandon Scott - Peter
Callie Hernandez - Lisa
Corbin Reid - Ashley
Valorie Curry - Talia
Wes Robinson - Lane

YouTube video convinces Heather's no longer kid brother James that sister's still alive and ropes in friends to help.

Uploaders Darknet666 (Lane) and Talia agree to show them where videotape was found, providing they can tag along.

During ill-advised search of Maryland's Black Hills Forest, Ashley cuts foot open and tape was found near lightning struck tree.

As campfire sizzles sausages, exposition of Blair Bitch Elly Kedward is spilled.

Legend has it that for taking blood of children, suspected witch was tied to a tree and left to die from exposure.

Lane pipes up and states she was actually racked high in the sky.

Those responsible couldn't find body and presumed she'd been eaten by animals.

Steamrolling on.

After finding stick figurines hanging outside, Lane and Talia admit they faked occasion, but are adamant curse is real.

Not so fab four walk for hours, only to end up back at original campsite.

Ashley contracts a fever and foot injury worsens, forcing another night's stay.

Now or thereabouts, we've seen the last of sunlight.

Peter is 'attacked' by a fallen tree and James responds to scream king, but...

Lane and Talia reappear at campsite, with the former claiming they've been walking around for days.

Talia stays but Lane goes.

The following 'morning', larger figures are discovered and Ashley naturally accuses Talia of playing silly buggers.

Taila notices clump of hair attached to wooden figure and Ashley breaks it, along with Talia in the process.

Camera and ground violently rumbles, separating the group.

Ashley takes a peek at wound and removes object embedded in leg.

Blanking out obvious pain, she scales tree to recover crashed drone but is knocked down and dragged away by something.

James and Lisa suddenly stumble across Rustin Parr's cabin and James sees 'Heather'.

Once inside, house cheats by seemingly altering state.

Lisa is compelled to gatecrash party when strange looking creature emerges from woods.

She stumbles across now hobo Lane and stabs geezer in self-defence.

We assume light penetrating dilapidated hovel represents time dilation.

It's just... (shakes head).

Reunited with James, he concludes they'll be fine as long as eye contact isn't established.

As Nazis open the Ark:

"Marion, don't look at it.  Shut your eyes, Marion.  Don't look at it, no matter what happens!"

Just saying.

Heather's voice tricks him into ignoring own advice and bites the big one.

Lisa cannot prevent the inevitable and is killed off-screen, as camera cuts to black.

I was so up for this, but excitement was derailed part way through.

Apart from applying a few new twists, meat of original is essentially rehashed.

This is a sequel, not a remake, so here's an idea - make your own bastard movie.

I'm surprised we didn't get close up of runny nose and nobody argued about a map.

For fake jump scares alone, this must be a world record, as said trope surely exceeds double figures.

Ha ha ha!

Performances aren't disgraceful, but characters are devoid of personality.

You could sum this up in one sentence.

Bunch of annoying 20-somethings reacting to loud noises.

According to Barrett, long-limbed freak isn't the 'Blair Witch'.  It's Elly Kedward, composed of branches.

WHAT?

As the rest don't, why does McCune's character share actor's Christian name?

Strange.

I'm sure franchise will continue and hopefully the next will move in more surprising ways.

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