‘Blair Witch’ follows same plot as original film

by MATT MOLINAR//Opinion Editor

Twenty seven years after the original film, rumors of a possible remake had lovers of horror films anticipating “The Blair Witch.”

In 1999, The Blair Witch Project left audiences wondering what on Earth happened to three students filming a documentary in the woods about a legend known as the Blair Witch. The “mocumentary” takes place in the forest of the Black Hills, close to Burkittsville, Maryland. Unfortunately, the characters were not able to escape the forest and died.

This movie left a very memorable impression on me. I remember thinking about the Blair Witch for months after watching it as a child. This film inspired shows such as “Siberia,” and the latest season of “American Horror Story.” This led me to believe that the sequel would be a wildly entertaining film. However, I found myself leaving the theater full of disappointment.

The film follows students working on another documentary. One of the group members, James, played by James Allen McCune, lost his sister, who was one of the members of the group from the first film. James gathers his friends, Lisa, Ashley and Peter, for a hike into the Black Hills with a variety of modern video recording equipment. Anything you can find in the video aisle at the store was brought into the woods, including a drone.

Before venturing into the woods, the group meets with two people who found the original film in the woods. Lane, played by Wes Robinson, and Talia, played by Valorie Curry, join the group after hearing about their intent for going back into the woods.

The first major mistake occurs not even one minute after the group enters the woods, as Ashley slips on a stone in a creek and cuts her foot, leaving a wound on the bottom of her foot. Throughout the film, every time you hear a cracking noise, (and I mean every single time,) Ashley screams and is limping throughout the rest of the film.

After finding a place to sleep for the night, the group decides to check on Ashley’s dirty, bandaged foot. Accompanied with gross squishy noises and puss, the bandage is unwrapped, leaving the horrifyingly disgusting image of a deep stab wound leaking green liquid. When Ashley asks how her foot looks, James tells her it looks wonderful and nothing is wrong. This is where I first noticed that the script was beginning to look a bit unhinged.

The group goes to sleep and is awaken by loud noises, branches snapping, and shaking tents. After checking on each other, the group discovers that Lane has gone missing, though they later find him in the woods just wandering around.

When the group wakes up, it is 7 a.m. and the sky is still dark, leaving the group in a panic, except for Ashley, who at this point has become loopy from her infected foot.

The group discovers stick figures that were seen in the original film as the symbol of the Blair Witch. However, they find out that Lane and Talia crafted the figures in an innocent attempt to get the group more serious about finding out about the Blair Witch.

After finding out that they have been walking in circles, the group rules out Lane and Talia in a very awkward exchange about being drugged in the middle of the night. The acting in this scene was so awkward. I couldn’t tell whether Lane and Talia had drugged the group because they were speaking with sarcasm, which did not make any sense in the script.

After splitting up, more things go wrong and the group becomes separated, leaving poor Ashley and her gross foot trying to find a way out of the pitch black forest with nothing but a GoPro and a limp. She eventually finds a drone that Lisa ends up getting stuck in a tree. She climbs the tree to get the drone and falls out of the tree.

After following almost the exact same ending as the original film, with poor acting, the Blair Witch is finally revealed in about one frame as Lisa and James are running up the stairs. However, I feel as if the image of the witch should remain unseen. That’s what keeps the mystery going. If the characters in the film are not allowed to see her because they will turn into stone, then neither should I.

Overall, I believe that the film was a beautiful representation of what the Blair Witch Project would look like in 2016. The acting was just a little bit too awkward. The fact that the story followed almost the exact same plot as the original was also disappointing.

I give The Blair Witch 2 stars out of 5.

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