Male and Female
Yes! Finally! The one sequel that we all have been waiting for! I just knew that the story of the Blair Witch would be just the right type of story to continue as a franchise! This is exactly what the world needs!
Had you there for a minute, didn’t I? I’m pretty sure nobody was honestly expecting a sequel to The Blair Witch Project simply called Blair Witch to actually be good. No, just as you may have predicted, this third addition to the franchise is nothing more than a joyless copycat of the original as well as every other low-budget horror movie made these days.
The plot is just about as original as any Average Joe could come up with under ten seconds of watching the first movie. Blair Witch is about some guy who wants to find his sister who was lost while filming the Blair Witch Project. By sister, I mean Heather from the first movie.
Now, pop quiz: If the Blair Witch Project was claimed to have been filmed in October 1994, and this film here is claimed to have been filmed in May 2014, how old then would that make those original filmmakers be today? Is it…
A) Early to mid-40s
B) Early 20s like the characters in this movie
C) I don’t care that much, let’s just get this screenplay finished
The answer is… you guessed it! It’s option A! And she has a younger brother who’s like twenty or something! Unbelievable! Now that Heather’s younger brother is out on this quest to find his sister in the woods, he has two obvious sources of moral support. Now what might that support be? Is it…
A) The moral guidance of higher authority professionals
B) Uninteresting one-dimensional friends with no distinguishable characteristics
C) An unreliable drone and a set of amateurish earpiece camera equipment
D) B and C
The answer is… D. Whew. I almost thought I would have a reason to care for a second. After these kids set out on Operation: Find Heather, they step into territory that says, “No entry after nightfall,” a sign we never saw for some odd reason in the first movie. Then their trek into the wilderness faces interruptions by nauseating editing that only shows details as insignificant as a tent zipper opening. Everything I see is everything they filmed over this period of time, and with all the eye-gauging motion the point-of-view technology makes, I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie caused drone and DSLR sales to plummet.
There are a tiny handful of thrills that work in what they successfully capture five percent of the time, like the buckets of puss that flood out of a girl’s injured leg, or the damage done on each of their terrified faces over time, or the relatively compelling performance of the purple-haired Valorie Curry (The Following, House of Lies), but anything beyond that is of small supply.
Speaking of small, do you remember in the original movie, when the townsfolk talk about how the Blair Witch supposedly took children away with her into the woods in the 1940s? Well, nothing about that to be found here in the sequel! Nope, instead of expanding upon what made the first movie a hit, this one overuses unnecessary jump scares to create tension in an already tensionless cash-in by wannabee filmmakers.
So now, one last question and then I’m done. Why was a nostalgic call back like Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens such a success? Was it…
A) There were big special effects and loud noises
B) People actually knew what Star Wars was
C) It gave a hoot about the original
D) It was a well-made movie
E) The crew was actually passionate about the movie they were making
I think you can figure out the answer from here. And even more so, it gives an answer as to why Blair Witch will not be the mass success that director Adam Wingard somehow thought this would become.
Why was this movie made? If you asked what my thought was on this, I would say that the reason why an unneeded sequel to The Blair Witch Project got the greenlight was simply to gain greater success for filmmakers who want to find greater attention with the crowd. Film is such an infuriatingly competitive industry, that it can feel near impossible to get your name out there. If a filmmaker would be willing to try literally every trick in the bag to get noticed, imagine what similar ways a child with autism could try to get noticed within a crowd.
The pressure to getting noticed for something always begins as far back as grade school. Back then, kids are known for doing that one special thing in class. One could be known as the “guitar kid,” one could be known as the “baseball kid,” one could be known as the “class clown,” as for myself, from third to sixth grade, I was the “drawing kid.” All the kids in my class were always amazed by my ability to draw, especially with my talents in any art projects. Then middle school came, and naturally, I got lost in a much bigger crowd where all students had to fit into a certain clique. From seventh to ninth grade, I was one of those loners who belonged in no particular clique. In fact, I had honestly no friends at all. By tenth to twelfth grade, I was one of the “theater kids.” This sounds like it would have been great for me, but it wasn’t all that: there were still cliques within cliques, and I was still seen as a little too strange and a little too antisocial to be considered “one of them.” I feel it was more because of my efforts to try and “become” one of them.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #50: Their Words Can Come Out Wrong.
My tactics to getting noticed in a school of over a thousand students included making the same types of jokes everyone else was making, which for the most part were not exactly PG-rated. My social skills were at a bit of a low point for me in these years, an awkward stage where I wanted to be social but didn’t understand the rules.
Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome, Lesson #54: Having “Fun” Can Require Maximum Effort.
If you ask me, the best time to earn public attention from a large crowd is any time after high school. In the teen years, there is an expectation that you have to belong to some social circle and never cross paths to another. You have to get noticed by being the best at what everyone in your social circle does. But after high school, whether in college or in the workplace, you are in an environment where everyone has the same unique interests as you, and they’re not afraid of making new friends and acquaintances of different backgrounds. While getting a social start in high school through social groups is always a great way to start at making friends of similar interests…
Six-Word Lessons for Dads with Autistic Kids, Lesson #53: Encourage Involvement In Social Groups.
In the long run, it takes more of you simply being yourself to get noticed in a crowd. We can already tell by Hollywood that filmmakers screaming for attention are doing more harm than good in earning attention, so in the same way, anyone with autism can apply this same philosophy.
- If you have to try and do something out of your league to earn the respect or friendship of somebody, then they are not worth the trouble. Whether you’re autistic or not, you should strive for friendships that accept you specifically for who you are.
- If you are a parent who wants to help your autistic teenager feel more included in high school friendships, teach him/her that it’s okay to have different friendships from different social groups. Remember that when high school is over, those clique barriers will disappear.
- Go ahead and make friendships with people of similar interests, but don’t limit it to one circle of friends in a single clique. Opening yourself up to further potential friendships, including those with savants, will in turn make you more open-minded and overall more satisfied with yourself.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see reviewed, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Bishop, Bryan. The writer and director of Blair Witch explain what killed the original found footage series. The Verge. Vox Media, 15 Sept 2016. Web. <http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/15/12922466/blair-witch-adam-wingard-simon-barrett-interview-tiff-2016>.
Blair Witch. Lionsgate, Web. <http://www.blairwitch.com/>.
Cruz, Armando Dela. ADAM WINGARD’S ‘THE WOODS’ IS ACTUALLY A SECRET ‘BLAIR WITCH’ PROJECT. Digital image. Film Police. 23 Jul 2016. Web. <http://www.filmpolicereviews.com/news/blair-witch-project-sequel>.