Do We Really Need more Blair Witch Projects?

Some people are actually salivating over the idea of making another Blair Witch Project and are relying on the media, including Ryan Scott from MovieWeb, to spread the word and make it known that the Blair Witch Project is still very much a popular idea. The only problem is that, well, it isn’t. Even the original that so many people thought was so spooky and absolutely classic really wasn’t all that great, it was three young filmmakers that went out into the woods trying to make a documentary about the famed legend of the Blair Witch, and in doing so became lost, agitated, and were eventually counted as missing when the end credits began to roll. Some folks thought this was revolutionary while others thought that the camera work was sloppy enough to give a person motion sickness just from watching, and that part at least is true. There was no real mystique to the whole Blair Witch since it relied so heavily on suspense that never went anywhere. Sure there were scary moments that were built up by the tension and the insane lighting that was provided by the handheld cameras that were used. A forest filled with stick men hanging from just about every branch would be terrifying but it would also leave a person wondering just who had been there and how in the world did they move about without being heard, hence the terror.

But beyond that it devolved very quickly into something that people either believed wholeheartedly or simply wrote off as another attempt at a movie that was ahead of its time and was looking to cash in on the fact that it was doing something that no one had ever done before. That might not have been too bad had it been the only one. But then of course came The Blair Witch Project 2: Book of Shadows, a movie that stepped away from the ‘found footage’ motif and instead decided to become a regular movie that could possibly entertain the audience in a much more traditional way. The effort was there, kind of, but the execution was nothing short of awful since it built up each scene without fail and then flopped the moment the action was supposed to take place. The movie kind of went for a darker, more sinister feel that really brought the power of the witch into play with more special effects that were being used to help bolster the story. What’s unfortunate is that it didn’t do much of anything other than to alienate even more viewers from the idea and send them looking for other forms of entertainment.

Then in 2016 came another attempt that was darker, grittier, and much more grimy than the first two and seemed to promise that it would deliver where the first two movies failed. There was more found footage work in this film but it also went back and forth between found footage and regular filming, making it seem like a hybrid of the other two in a way, but still much darker and a lot more updated. Sadly it still fell short, but it did come closer than the other two since it incorporated everything that had come before. It would almost seem that another two or three Blair Witch movies might finally allow someone to get it right, but it’s a fervent hope that such a thing doesn’t happen since the idea has been hammered to a pulp at this point and would need a serious miracle to come back and be the kind of movie that a lot of people initially thought it was. In short, we don’t really need another Blair Witch Project, but it would almost seem that we’re bound to get one since there’s always going to be an idea that will come from something like this, the desire to make something better and more detailed than the effort before. Unfortunately this is how movies are totally and utterly destroyed after a while.

If anything, the Blair Witch Project needs to be shelved and left alone for a while in order to give it some time to fully exit the consciousness of the audience so that they can at least have time to think about whether another version would be acceptable, or if it would be best just to leave it alone entirely. Thus far the movies haven’t done much of anything other than continue their slippery slide down the decline towards obscurity, hitting many different obstacles along the way, such as writers and producers that think they can correct its course and make something that people will enjoy. To be perfectly honest I wanted to like the last two movies, but despite forgiving a lot of cinema sins it just wasn’t possible to really accept that either one were bound to return The Blair Witch Project to its imagined glory.

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