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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Exploitation > Sequel > Remake > Blair Witch (2016/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)

Blair Witch (2016/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: B Film: C

The latest attempt at resurrecting The Blair Witch Project as some kind of franchise series (after the failed sequel Book of Shadows (2000) that nobody wants to mention they have sat through) is a giant oxymoron onto itself. This one aims to be a found footage film, just as the first in the series did, but instead ends up a cleanly shot and obviously edited piece.

For instance, many scenes have overlapping dialogue from shot to shot - which is an obvious sign that what we are looking at isn't 'raw footage' and yet half of the scenes with main characters involve them holding a camera or wearing a camera. Sadly, the science behind the filmmaking of the thing is the least of the film's worries as it suffers from poor acting and a recycle of the first film's imagery and story that it doesn't really bring anything we haven't already seen to the table. Still, you have to hand it to Lionsgate, they made a $40 Million profit off this little experiment (the film reportedly only cost $5 Million to produce and grossed $45.2 Million nationwide in 2016).

An obviously filthy rich teenage girl named Lisa (Callie Hernandez) who has every camera and accessory you can think of decides to help James (James Allen McCune) unravel the mystery of his missing sister - who died looking for the Blair Witch in the spooky Maryland woods many years ago. Armed with a couple other attractive friends (Corbin Reid, Valorie Curry, Wes Robinson, and Brandon Scott), they end up going to the spot where James' sister went missing and soon find out that the legends are real.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the film looks and sounds pretty fantastic for the format and features a Dolby Atmos track (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 48kHz, 24-Bit core) that is pretty impressive to go with it. No doubt that the film looks and sounds as good as it can on Blu-ray disc. In some respects, the film looks and sounds a bit too good considering that the original was shot more effectively using lesser equipment.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 DVD with a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is weaker in all respects, but will do for the format.

Special Features:

Audio Commentary with Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett

Never Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch (6-Part Documentary)

"Primal Fear: Story Origins"

"Ambiguous Loss: The Cast"

"P.O.V.: On Location"

"Trapped in the Time Loop: Editing"

"Distorted Reality: Music and Sound Design"

"The Reveal"

"House of Horrors: Exploring the Set" featurette

I found the new Blair Witch film to be a bit of snooze, with a long build up only to take us places that we've already been. Unless you're a diehard fan of the original, you're not going to lose much sleep over missing this one.

- James Lockhart



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