It’s been 17 years since the release of the famous found footage movie The Blair Witch Project. The franchise returns today with the release of the direct sequel, Blair Witch. A group of college students travel into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to try to find answers about James’ sister, who disappeared and is believed to have some kind of connection to the legend of the Blair Witch.
Reviews for the horror movie are now online and we’ve collected some to help you decide if making the trip to the theater is worth your time and money.
An earlier sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, was released in 2000, but it was a box office flop.
“At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence,” reads a line from the movie’s description. “Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.”
For more on the critical reaction to Blair Witch, head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic. Also, we’ll report back with box office numbers in the days ahead.
- Film: Blair Witch
- Director: Adam Wingard
- Starring: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott
- Release Date: September 16
- Rating: R
New York Times
“It’s a lot of suffering with very little payoff. In 1999, The Blair Witch Project was a milestone of low-budget, found-footage horror. In the years since, technology has advanced, but the basic grammar of the genre remains the same. Unexpected sounds, sudden cuts, and things jumping into the frame are guaranteed to startle the audience. And Mr. Wingard does, from time to time, but without summoning the deeper dread or the sharper wit that might make this movie anything more than an elementary exercise.” — A.O Scott [Full review]
“Blair Witch is the Hollywoodication of a film that defied the industry, and it works because of the profound respect for the original that hides beneath camera work that’s too good and a cast that’s too attractive. It is slightly discouraging, though, that this is essentially the closest Hollywood could ever come to making something as odd and truly haunting as The Blair Witch Project.” — Kevin P. Sullivan [Full review]
“Every attempt at fright lands with a deadening thud. For shock value, Wingard and cowriter Simon Barrett simply repeat stuff from the original film, only this time louder, lamer, duller, and stupider. Scarier? That got lost in the woods with whatever you spent for a movie ticket.” — Peter Travers [Full review]
“Even with a bigger budget and more experienced directors, the new installment fails to re-create the spooky 1999 phenomenon.” — Scott Tobias [Full review]
“The ideal audience for Blair Witch is probably anyone who never saw The Blair Witch Project, but that’s not the best target demographic for a found footage horror movie. This new batch of unhappy campers might be more comfortable with taking selfies than their predecessors, but their wilderness survival skills certainly aren’t any better.” — Alonso Duralde [Full review]
“Maybe it’s unfair to hold a new Blair Witch to the standards of the old Blair Witch, an experiment very much of its early-web, pre-viral-video time. And yet like a lot of fan-servicing reboots, the film is so intent on reminding viewers of what it’s riffing on–of playing on their nostalgia for the property–that unflattering comparisons are inevitable. Blair Witch will make popcorn fly. But it won’t make anyone believe.” — A.A. Dowd [Full review]