Blair Witch

Critics Consensus

Blair Witch doles out a handful of effective scares, but aside from a few new twists, it mainly offers a belated rehash of the original -- and far more memorable -- first film.

37%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 210

31%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,729
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Movie Info

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James' sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. 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. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

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Critic Reviews for Blair Witch

All Critics (210) | Top Critics (38)

  • If you're scared of twigs this movie will have you urinating in the aisles.

    Sep 22, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Blair Witch follows the original's beats so precisely that at times it seems the film is more eager to elicit memories of its predecessor than to stand on its own at all.

    Sep 19, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Barrett and Wingard slavishly reprise the beats of the original movie and suffer gravely by comparison.

    Sep 17, 2016 | Full Review…

    Jeffrey Bloomer

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • Emerges as satisfying in its own right and pretty damn scary.

    Sep 16, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Despite being equipped with hi-tech GoPro-style cameras and GPS, as well as a drone, the investigators lose their grip almost immediately, but it's an hour before any frights ensue, and those are mostly jump-scares.

    Sep 16, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Belated "official" sequel to 1999 hit updates technology but repeats the original's shocks - only much louder and lamer

    Sep 16, 2016 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Blair Witch

  • Sep 24, 2017
    The direct sequel to the horror hit from the late 90s (not counting that odd quasi-part-2) follows the original's footsteps very closely. For a while that works, and again there are some decent scares thanks to sound effects. But then you feel things get more and more repetitive and you find yourself caring less and less about the characters. There are a few new ideas once we get to the house (again, for the finale) but it's dragged out way too long and ultimately pretty predictable, since all found footage movies end the same way. The movie also makes a big mistake the original didn't make: They show the monster.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2017
    More disappointing that anything else. Wingard wisely embraces the fact that these characters would use new technology like drones to film and there are a few tense sequences but for the most part the horror has no weight. Whatever complaints or problems people have with the original "Blair Witch", you always shared the characters dread.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2017
    I doubt anyone knows about this, but The Blair Witch Project was one of the first disappointments in my younger days as a film fanatic. Back in the day, I thought it was a terrible movie simply because it didn't live up to the hype. I realize that that's not fair. Hype is a personal thing, if you get excited for a movie and it doesn't end up living to that standard, then that's your fault. But, you also have to remember that I was 11 at the time the original movie came out. What the fuck would I have known? Honestly, I've wanted to go back to the movie for some time now, even though I know it might probably not even be a good movie anyway. Found footage, as much as people like to malign the entire genre, has come a long way since the Blair Witch Project. I doubt that the original Blair Witch Project could match up to today's top-quality films in the subgenre. The thing about the original BWP was the fact that there was a mystery surrounding the movie leading up to the release. Some people actually believed this to be a real thing that actually happened and the footage you saw was real. Yes, really. But it had intrigue behind it and that intrigue got people to the theaters and made it one of the most successful independent movies of all time. It made $250 million on a $60,000 budget. I don't even know what the return percentage is on that, but it's fucking astronomical. And there's no denying that BWP was an influential movie for the entire subgenre of found footage, even though I feel the genre really got massively popular after the release of Paranormal Activity in 2007. Part of that I think is the fact that the movie was so disappointing and the sequel was so bad that people wanted to stay away from that style, to avoid the obvious comparisons. Anyway, with that pointless backstory out of the way, what did I think about this movie? I know I rated the original BWP on here, but it should be disregarded since I want to watch it again before I re-review it. But if we're comparing the ratings, technically speaking, I thought this movie was better than the original BWP. And it's not even like that's saying that this is a good movie. I though that with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, director and screenwriter respectively, on board that this movie actually had hope of being really good. Adam and Simon are the people behind VHS 1 and 2 (anthology films that they only directed one segment on), You're Next and The Guest. These are all really good movies, so they clearly have some talent for horror and subverting the tropes usually associated with the genre. So, really, out of everybody they could have picked, Adam and Simon really were the best of the bunch. And even they couldn't save this movie. Perhaps that's a little strong, because there's large parts of the movie that I actually did enjoy. But there's also parts of the movie that feel pretty much exactly like the original movie. That's even the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes. I assume that Adam and Simon really didn't have to follow any sort of guidelines with this movie. It's not like this is a fucking Marvel property, where Marvel's people want their vision of the movie and not the filmmakers' one. Look at Edgar Wright and Ant-Man for an example of this. And that's fine, they're protective of their IP, as they should be. But, again, that's not the case with Blair Witch. The name was pretty much all but dead by the time the sequel came out. And that was why I believe that the movie should have kept some of the same elements, for sure, like the found footage style, but it should have also told a new story, with new people and motivations. The fact of the matter is that even with that, it might have still similar to the original. But I think that Adam and Simon are talented enough to have found a way to create a new story using the same Blair Witch legend that pays tribute to the original film without copying it. And I'm not even saying that this is a carbon copy of the original, though the ending is literally the same with the exception of there being no person in the corner. But the fact of the matter is that this movie being a direct sequel pretty much made it so that fans of the original, at least, or even people who watched the original flick, would be reminded of that. I'm not saying there aren't some themes unique to this movie, like the whole cyclical nature of what's going on here being the biggest and the fact that you actually get to see small glimpses of the witch this time, instead of it all being left to the imagination. In spite of those newer elements, though, the narrative feels a bit convoluted. I don't wanna say it doesn't make sense, but it's not necessarily that easy to follow. Which isn't the type of thing that a horror movie, of this ilk, should strive for. That made it very difficult to care for any of the characters, since I couldn't really invest in their story. Their personalities are a little on the bland side. The movie relies on a lot of the found footage cliches, like the shaky camera, camera glitches, etc, etc. They don't annoy me as they do in other films, but I know people who will absolutely hate those parts. I thought that with the advancements in technology since the original's release, it would lead to some pretty cool scenes. Outside of using a drone, though, there's not much. They don't even do that much with the drone itself. It's pretty much useless when it comes to adding a different twist to the normal found footage visual elements. I did like the third act very much, which feels so disconnected from the rest of what you see that it just feels like it was taken from a superior flick. This is where the cyclical nature of things. There's also some sci-fi themes which are strange to see, but they're not overbearing to the point of annoyance. They play with perceptions of time and how some characters seem to have spent far much more time being trapped in the forest than others. It's strange, but it is there. The acting is fine, nothing to write about. Perhaps that's because the film is nothing to write about, but I just wasn't impressed. None of the characters were really all that likable anyway. All in all, yea, I wasn't too thrilled with this movie. Again, it's got some elements that I like, mostly to do with the third act. But it's adherence to the film that it directly follows detracted from the overall experience and the ability they had to tell a new and different story. Not a bad movie in the slightest, it's just average at best.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2016
    Even if the use of the camera is a lot more organic and natural than in the first movie (and in so many other found footage films), this unoriginal rehash feels unnecessary and is not only a waste of time thanks to its effective, anguishing third act (kudos to the production design).
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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