The movie starts out with some shaky footage of someone running around a house with a camera. Everything is moving so fast and loud noises are coming at you from every angle that all you want to do is pull out your phone and look at porn because you’re already pissed off. Turns out that the video is just some kid watching a clip on YouTube but you don’t care about that because the kid is a straight up shithead. From this point, everything else that happens in the movie can be summed up in three points.
• Loud noises
• People jumping in front of the camera
It’s as if Hollywood took the original Blair Witch Project and said “How can we make this film more shitty?” and a bunch of fifty year old executives said “Let’s do everything the original film did, but LOUDER’ and everyone else in the room nodded because they’re all out of ideas. Then they Googled “what makes a film scary” and just did whatever was on the first results page.
I don’t even know what the plot of this film was because I was too pissed off to care. Every twenty seconds, the camera would suddenly turn and something would be right there in your face as if to say “Gotcha! I bet you were so scared!”, which brings me to the point of this review: there is nothing more irritating than jump scares. This is something which modern directors don’t understand about scariness: jump scares do not “scare”, they startle. There’s a difference.
The hardest man in the world will be startled by a jump scare. Mr T, a man who could punch the Blair Witch herself to death would be startled. A jump scare is a substitute for good writing. If tension building and psychological subtleties are the gourmet of horror, then jump scares are the equivalent of the McDonalds you get at 2am on the way home from some fat bird you’ve just ploughed’s house. They’re cheap, easy and require nothing in the way of build up. You can literally put a jump scare at any point in the entire film and it will startle you. It’s like your idiot friend who has nothing to say because he’s boring, so he just repeats things he’s seen on memes.
Here are some films which are widely regarded as some of the best horror films ever made:
• The Shining (1980)
• Halloween (1978)
• The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
• The Exorcist (1973)
• Hellraiser (1987)
• Suspiria (1977)
Thinking off the top of my head, I can name very little jump scares in any of these films, yet they are still regarded as classics forty years on. I’m sure there are a few scattered throughout all of the films, but none immediately spring to mind (don’t email me complaining that I missed some. I know I did. Shut up). In fact, I’m trying to think of a time when a jump scare was warranted, and the only scene which comes to mind is not even in a horror movie. There is a scene in The Dark Knight in which the Mayor is looking out his across the city, and BAM! A dead body hits the window and makes you jump a mile. This is perfect because it’s changing the tone suddenly from mundane to chaos. It advances the plot and lets you know that shit just got real. It isn’t there to say ‘gotcha!’, it’s there to move shit forward while altering the mood and upping the pace of the movie.
Anway, after some kids get lost in the woods, Blair Witch is basically a remake of everything which happened in the Blair Witch Project, just with an emo and a black guy instead of three white kids. Everything that you’ve already seen happens again, and it ends ‘ambiguously’ because apparently that’s supposed to make it more ‘real’, when in actual fact it’s just laziness on a part of the writers. If I’m watching a film, why would I want to make up my own ending? If I’m doing that, why don’t I just make up the beginning and middle too? I don’t want two thirds of a story, I want a whole one. Fuck Hollywood, fuck the Blair Witch, and most of all fuck you.
Long story short; this film is bullshit.