Hey guys here we are! The third annual 31 Days of Horror series of blog posts that I absolutely did NOT forget to do the last few days of last year.
Sorry I’m so lazy and absent-minded. I really try not to be.
Anyway I just want to take this first day and talk about the new Blair Witch.
I need to add that there will be SPOILERS. It’s very important that, if you haven’t seen the original Blair Witch Project or the new Blair Witch, that you stop reading now. If you haven’t seen Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, that doesn’t matter because I’m not going to talk about it. This is just the original and the newest one that came out a few weeks ago. Month ago. Whatever.
You have been warned
What I’m going to do is talk about why it’s totally OK that the new Blair Witch is very similar to the original. So, for that I need to spend some time talking about the original.
The original Blair Witch Project is considered a horror classic. I’m a big fan. The concept is that these guys go into the woods. They’re trying to film a local legend. Weird things start happening in the woods, and they’re eventually picked off one-by-one. They go to a house, insane shit happens. Guy stands in corner. Movie ends. That’s it. A lot of screaming.
The new one is basically the same concept, except they have what they claim is the original Blair Witch video that the brother (grown-up) of the woman from the original wants to go into the woods and find her. So now the new one is more inherently supernatural than the original. The original definitely has some paranormal events, but you never directly see anything happening that is “supernatural.” In the new film, it’s very clear that something not normal is happening.
You see some type of monster (that is apparently not the actual witch, according to filmmakers Simon Barrett And Adam Wingard), you see the tents flying, a girl gets bent backwards in half by some type of voodoo.
In the new one, weird things happen to these kids in the woods who are trying to find the people who did this originally, who hunted for the blair witch. Weird things happen, they die one-by-one, until they’re drawn by a witch, standing a corner, and then are killed. It’s almost the exact same movie, but with more coherence, more detail, more clear messages, you know what’s happening, whereas in the original you didn’t know any of this.
The reason I think it’s OK that this is basically just the same movie, but elaborated, is because it goes in with the message of the franchise, which is: everyone who tries to find her ends up in the house, stood in the corner, and killed. So it makes sense that the exact same thing happens to the second group of people as what happened to the first group of people, because of the lore established in at least the first entry of the franchise.
That’s what I think is so cool about the new one. The exact same thing happens because that’s what will happen every single time. People are going to go try to fight this black magic and you’re going to lose, get put in the corner, and killed. Every time. The new movie is literally just cementing the message of the first movie, but in a clearer and more concrete, albeit less mysterious, way. Some people may think that’s a problem, that this movie doesn’t do a lot new. I think it does, I think it does exactly as much new shit as it needs to do. It brings in new technology to a pre-existing formula to cement the message of the original.
As I said previously, the new one takes a lot of the mystery out of the original. Is there a witch? What exactly is happening? In the new one, we don’t quite know the answers, but we know SOME eldritch horror is going on in the woods. Is it a witch? Apparently we don’t know. I think that’s good. You can’t reproduce the same level of wonder and mystery that the first one pulled off. It wouldn’t be possible, simply because the first one exists. This movie acts as an answer to the first movies questions. Not a FULL answer. But yes, something supernatural is happening. Yes, there is some kind of creature in these woods. That’s why I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have the same general events happening. That’s why I loved the new Blair Witch. I have a few little nitpicks with the new one, but they aren’t important. Loved the new body horror stuff, loved the tunnel scene.
The new Blair Witch is right about exactly what I wanted it to be, and I do not agree with almost any of the criticisms laid out by critics or viewers. I would absolutely see it again.