Blair Witch - Second Verse Same as the First
| I know The Blair Witch is actually the third movie in the Blair Witch franchise. The second film was such a horrible, mess of a film (offensive, terribly plotted, boring) that it's just easier to forget it. And the film makers have too. They have picked up where the story from the first film left off and let us go from there as if 2 never happened. Unfortunately, this sequel fails in different ways from the previous sequel.
In this case what went wrong is that they made exactly the same movie as the first film. It starts out the same with the characters being similar (only it's the brother of the first film's star this time), then the same things happen in the middle, and the ending is JUST THE SAME!!! Yes, I just sat through the same movie I saw in 1999. I could have pulled my copy from my shelf and watched it cause this Blair Witch just plots the same course as the first and puts a (almost) new name on it.
The film doesn't advance a story or mythos. It doesn't expand on what occurred before. It doesn't redefine the experience (as in, for example, the way the new Annie film told the same story but updated it for newer audiences). It does nothing, NOTHING, but retell the same story.
What made The Blair Witch Project work in 1999 was that it was fresh. It took a campfire ghost story and told it with a clever new idea. Found footage films weren't a thing back then. This blew that up and made it mainstream (for better or for worse). It was fresh. The film's less is more style with a creepy ending was entertaining and scary. It was not what anyone was expecting. Why this doesn't work in The Blair Witch in 2016 is that we've seen it all before. Because the film makers just do a paint by numbers copy of the original instead of telling us another fresh chapter, finding a new way to tell the story, or advance the mythology of this world further, none of it feels fresh, exciting, or scary. Adding GPS (which just magically doesn't work anyway) and drones does not add a new dimension to the old tale.
It dawned on me about half way through that I wasn't going to see anything new here. I held out hope the ending wouldn't be just the same as the ending of the first movie. It was. I remember walking out of The Blair Witch Project feeling creeped out, and feeling like I had just seen something fresh and new. I walked out of The Blair Witch wishing to have that feeling again.