BLAIR WITCH (2016) Movie Review
Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." (NLT)
Blair Witch is a terrifying and thrilling sequel to The Blair Witch Project (1999). While the original film introduces an evil and mysterious villain, it leaves so much to be desired. The audience sees and hears none of the hikers' experiences in the Black Hills Forest, a cursed patch of land that the witch's spirit supposedly haunts and the location of a disturbing number of terrifying legends.
No supernatural event occur on camera leaving footage filled with nothing but 81 minutes of three people walking, talking, and screaming. Many things could have happened off screen, including a fascinating theory that the two boys murder the girl themselves. The possibility of an evil witch is less likely.
Blair Witch, on the other hand, serves as the terrifying story that The Blair Witch Project should have been. Many more supernatural events occur on camera, thus it makes the concept of a supernatural villain more believable. The technology is improved. The hikers hear unnatural sounds at night. They sustain serious injuries. Deaths occur on camera. Monsters appear on camera. Indeed, Blair Witch takes to a whole new level the story that The Blair Witch Project begins. The legend is finally believable.
The unspoken comparison between the two films is the witch's most effective tool.
She lures her victims to the woods.
The mythical "found footage" always magically surfaces depicting the downfall of the Blair Witch's victims. Most people, especially the frightened locals, know better than to wander into the cursed woods. Therefore, the witch must resort to extreme methods, including holding her victims hostage. Heather's body from the Blair Witch Project is never found giving her loved ones hope that she is alive. This is why her brother James finds the motivation to enter the woods to save her.
1 Peter 5:8: "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (NLT)
She disorientates them, so they become lost.
GPS, cell phones, and digital cameras were not an option in the 90's. Therefore, a mere map is easier to destroy than our modern technology. What good are GPS and cell phone, however, without reception? Without extensive knowledge of the area, no amount of technology will help them. Lost is lost. Especially in the dark.
Psalm 25:16: "Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress." (NLT)
She turns her victims against each other, so they abandon each other.
Her most important tool is conflict. In both films the cameras depict an abnormal amount of conflict in each group. These conflicts are uncharacteristic and unnecessary. Granted, the hopelessness of being lost and the stress from possibly dying from exposure, starvation, or injury is enough to agitate the soundest of minds. Whatever the cause, rifts occur and people find themselves alone.
Ephesians 4:3: “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace." (NLT)
Lost, alone, and vulnerable. This is the witch's most ideal time to attack.
Must like the Black Hills Forest, the world is a disorienting and harsh place. It is filled with danger where predators lurk. People make terrible mistakes and wander where they shouldn't wander. People also suffer conflict and alienation. They suffer injury. Without guidance, they become hopelessly lost and meet their eventual downfall.
There is only one ray of hope in this dark and hopeless world. Jesus Christ. His salvation brings hope. Scripture brings guidance. Fellowship brings harmony and support. His grace brings comfort. Otherwise, destruction is inevitable.
Isaiah 41:10: Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (NLT)