I’ve grown up with Horror movies. I can’t really explain why I love feeling scared so much, I just do. I’ve almost become conditioned to what Horror is. I can often predict where the scares are coming, point out classic Horror tactics and appreciate when things are done slightly differently. To get to that point, I’ve had to watch a lot of scary movies. There are only two that have actually had a lasting impact on me though. One of them is Paranormal Activity and the other is The Blair Witch Project.
I felt shaken after watching those 2 movies and ever since, when I’ve watched any Horror, those are the two I’ve compared it to. Well, now I have three.
Blair Witch is a sequel in every sense of the word. It takes a loving look back at its predecessor, fast forwards twenty years and takes things up a notch. That’s what every good sequel does but getting it right isn’t easy and we’ve seen many movies falter under their own weight.
To start with, Blair Witch removed that weight from its shoulders. Originally marketed as ‘The Woods’, it removed the weight of expectation until it was finished. No-one’s really had a chance to second guess it or analyse what context it might present. Rather, we’ve just had to strap ourselves in and watch what unfolds.
And my God do things unfold. As soon as our ensemble enters the woods, there’s a feeling of unease. Largely, it’s because we know what we’re letting ourselves in for but it’s also down to the fact that shit starts going down almost immediately. Where The Blair Witch Project built up suspense almost until its end, Blair Witch throws you straight in and you’re never given another second to relax. My heart was racing from start to finish and I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever felt as stressed coming out of a cinema.
There are moments that every other Horror movie would use to make you jump but not Blair Witch. Instead, it completely flips common techniques on their head, delivering an even greater sense of dread. That’s what Blair Witch does though. It defines what it wants to be rather than being defined by the genre.
The other thing that Blair Witch does really well is look at what it needed to be and subsequently changed things up from the original. The acting is much stronger, you see glimpses of things in the trees and there’s never a point where you catch yourself wondering if anything is actually going to happen. The things that worked well for Project wouldn’t have done the trick a second time around and the result is an utterly brilliant sequel.
Put it this way; you know you’ve watched an awesome Horror movie when you’re jumping hours later. I’ve been sat in the house for around an hour now and I’m jumping at every little sound. The air freshener has gone off twice and l just don’t know what to do through fear. I think I need a stiff drink.
5* - The legend continues and I’m seriously going to struggle sleeping tonight.