BLAIR WITCH Movie Review by The Commander


1/2 (out of 4 stars)
The year was 1999.  Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez wrote and co-directed The Blair Witch Project, a movie about three film students who travel into a Maryland forest to film a documentary trying to locate the legend of the Blair Witch.  They vanish, leaving only their footage behind.  The film cost an astonishing low price of $60,000 and was purchased by Artisan Entertainment for $1 million.  It opened wide, which did a staggering $140 million domestic box office and $108 million foreign for a total of $248 million.  It was the biggest grossing percentage (4,143%) over any film ever made. 
The film was unique in that it employed only handheld cameras and didn’t focus on the actors, but on their point of view.  What they saw is what the audience saw.  The motion was unsteady, shaky, very grainy, lots of ground shots, etc.  It didn't look as good as films that are shot today with a smart phone.  Young audiences found it scary, as they imagineD themselves taking the actor’s places.   

That film spunoff the 2000 movie, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, that cost $15 million, which barely broke even.  Now Lionsgate (the company that had acquired Artisan Entertainment), decided to greenlight a new version of the franchise, simply titled:  Blair Witch.  They lowered the production budget to $5 million, hoping to see if lightning strikes twice at the box office almost 20 years later.  Unfortunately, they didn't learn their lesson from the remake of 2000. 
An original idea is just that.  Trying to replicate it almost never works, because the uniqueness has worn off.  That's why there aren't any more “pet rocks”, “beanie babies”, “baby on board” signs, or other such items, since the “been there, done that” has already run its course. 
I knew what to expect upon seeing this film, and it turns out my hunch was right.  In today's film technology, this film isn't worth the digital imprint it was recorded on.  The unsteady handheld camera, the dark and grainy images, the poor sound, and the foolish immature storyline, just doesn't play to the level of intelligence of today's audiences.  If you were a true Blair Witch fanatic, you may want to see this film for old time’s sake.  Other than that, there's absolutely no reason to waste your time or money on this “dreck,” unless you like looking at floors, dirt, trees, black skies, and anything else they dreamed up to make this film interesting.  However, if you really are a fanatic, may I suggest you make your own trek into the forest and see if you can find the Blair Witch, for yourself.  Bring your smart phone.  You can create your own movie, which will likely be much better than this one.