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Blair Witch


Stars: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbin Reid, Valorie Curry, Wes Robinson

Director: Adam Wingard

Once more into the woods, dear friends, once more... This time, our doomed witchhunters are armed with the latest gizmos (this being set 15 years on from the first film), including a high-flying drone camera. And much good will it all do them, as anyone familiar with this 'found footage'-style horror film will figure out.

James (McCune), the brother of Heather from the original Blair Witch Project, decides to lead a group of friends into the deep woods of Maryland's Black Hills to look for his long-missing sister and the house no one has ever been able to find...with predictable results.

After going round in circles and carrying one of the group, who has an injured foot with a life of its own, the group, progressively depleted, finds itself trapped in what seems like eternal night.

Waking up at 2pm, the survivors are confronted by their erstwhile 'guides' (Curry, Robinson), who tell them they've been in the woods not for 24 hours, but five days.

This is one of the few original touches in an otherwise familiar scenario, which more or less re-treads elements from the original film in slightly more modern terms, as the (very busy) witch moves in with lots of gloops and gleeps on the soundtrack - the real star of the film - to despatch our remaining cast members, after they discover the legendary house.

Half-seen 'things' are occasionally glimpsed in the found footage, and this will certainly frighten the easily scared, while sturdier aficionados will enjoy the occasional giggle to relieve the head-splitting effect of the hand-held images. As the inevitable lone female at the end, Hernandez does a really creditable job of expressing overwhelming fear, even if it seems to involve a bit of a cheat with a camera that can't belong to any of the group..

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Technicolor.
90 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 13 Sep 2016