Horror Case Files: Blair Witch (2016)

Blair Witch

It is the 4th annual Horror Case Files! If you never heard of the Blair Witch franchise, it’s a movie that pioneered the found footage horror genre in 1999 with the Blair Witch Project. The marketing was so efficient that it had people fooled that this event actually happened, to the point where people started sending sympathy cards to the actor’s parents. I was one of those fools, fooled into believing and saw this in the theaters. A cash sequel and 17 years later, we get a new sequel with Adam Wingard in the director’s chair. Now, I was a big fan of Wingard’s You’re Next, and was excited to see what he would bring to the table.

Don’t know what Horror Case Files is? Every October there is a mini review on a horror movie every day of that month. It’s a great time waster at work and you might find some hidden gems, or avoid some hot messes. Horror Case Files reveal the background story, kill count, most creative kill, the killer(s), and what happened to the killer(s). WARNING! SPOILERS if you continue.

Story

James, the young brother of Heather from the first film sees a YouTube video of her in a cabin. He gathers his friends and goes off into the woods hoping to find her.

Kill Count

6 people possibly (2 we don’t see die on camera, it’s just implied)

Nudity

None

Most Creative Kill

Body snapped in half

The Killer(s)

The history of the Blair Witch can be a complicated one, so I’ll try to keep it short. Elly Kedward who was accused of witchcraft in the 18th century was executed. Fast forward to the 1940s, a man name Rustin Parr killed children in his cabin. The cabin was burned down after Rustin turned himself in and claimed that the witch told him to do all the murders. There were sightings of the Blair Witch, people claiming she is half human and half beast, or that her feet doesn’t touch the ground.

What Happened to the Killer(s)

The Blair Witch manipulates the forest and people, with the body count start to rise. The main focus goes to James and his friend Lisa who arrive at the supposedly burnt down cabin. James hear his sister’s voice (the audience does not hear this) and gets lost in a maze of rooms and hallways. Lisa runs into a grizzled Lane (the person who uploaded the video that might have James’s sister on the footage) who says that she looks like the same, implying he’s been in the cabin for who knows how long. Lane throws Lisa down a hole, yelling that he needs to obey what the witch tells him. Lisa crawls through a tunnel and runs into Lane again, killing him in self defense. She runs through the cabin which is revealed that it was Lisa in the footage, not Heather. She and James are reunited in the attic of the cabin. Believing in a urban myth, that if they don’t look at the witch, she can’t kill them, so they face the corner of the room. James seems to be talking to his sister (the audience does not hear the sister), and turns around, in which he gets nabbed, implying the witch took him. Lisa tries to escape the cabin by using a video camera to help her navigate. She spots a woman beast like creature with long limbs standing in her path (it is confirmed that this is not the Blair Witch). The camera goes back to Lisa’s face who hears James voice (the audience does not hear this) and turns around. She is grabbed off camera and the recording device hits the floor.

blair-witch-pic1

Horror Case Files Verdict
This got terrible reviews, didn’t fair so well at the box office, and even had people walk out of the theater during my viewing. It’s been said that it is just a rehash of the first film. I agree with it to a point. Yes, the setup could have been differently and without the false jump scares, yet the last 20 minutes,it tells you this is what you have been waiting for…hold the hell on. It is one of the most intense 20 minutes I’ve seen and think I actually held my breathe in a couple of scenes. The sad thing is that people who don’t know about the backstory of the Blair Witch will not fully appreciate with what is done with this film. The Blair Witch expands the mythology and opens up new conversations about the franchise. There are many people going in deep conversation about explaining their theories about what this film introduces on Reddit.

– The Blair Witch can alter time and space in the forrest
– With that being said, did the events of the first film happen the same time as this one?
– Was it Lane that did those things to the 3 people in The Blair Witch Project?
– If the creepy thing that Lisa saw wasn’t the Blair Witch, was it Heather?
– Was the bright light in the attic, the Blair Witch advancing time?

For people that know the background of the Blair mythology, I recommend this a watch in the theaters. The sound effects in a surround sound theater is the most optimal way to watch it. The many false scares and setup that resembles the same beats of the original is what’s holding it back for a higher score.

Random Info I got from this File:
    • Never go into the woods with strangers
    • Don’t mess with trinkets that are made of someone’s hair
    • Drones are useless in a forest
File Status: 8 out of 10
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Roach
Roach
Graphic designer by day, and movie blogger whenever I can. Been watching films in the 80s and never lost the love for it. Started Movie Case Files in 2012, and kept writing random reviews ever since. Besides movies, I like watching UFC, collecting retro video games, spending time with the wife, and bacon.

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