Yesterday a few of our JHB and CT readers were treated to an early screening of the Blair Witch film. Thanks to Times Media Films, we hosted our first ever press screening alongside the guys from themovies.co.za. “Is it scary? Is it worth watching? Is it better than the awful sequel?” These are a few of the questions answered by our film critics – you.
It was a night of scares and screams for most people who attended the early screenings of Blair Witch in Ster-Kinekor Sandton and Cavendish last night. Our guests were treated to some popcorn, cooldrink and goosebumps – what other ingredients do you need for horror fun?
Personally, I’m hoping that in the next film they manage to send five professional cameramen into the woods (‘cos damn, these people need to learn about tripods). The filming style is shakey, noisey and very in your face. If that sounds like your cup of tea for a night out, it seems like you’re not alone.
We enjoyed the movie a lot. It was really scary! I had such a fright a few times that I drenched my husband in popcorn. The soundtrack was excellently chosen! It made the movie even better! I prefer this one to the first Blair Witch. The camera work worked on my senses and made me sit on the edge of my seat! – Mrs. L. Nel
Blair Witch definitely caught me by surprise, started off like a doccie and then BOOM I was covering myself with my scarf in the dark. I dunno how comfortable I am about walking in the woods now. – Nadia Swartbooi
It was much better than part one and two. It had lots of jump out of your seat moments and good build up to the scares. The direction of the movie was great. – Lynne Stoffberg
I felt that the movie was a huge disappointment. It lacked a proper storyline, it wasn’t really scary, just a lot of blurred images and a lot of loud screaming. I really expected more from the movie. – Andrea Aroomoogam
I had some good laughs with the crowd of people and that was awesome. The movie was great. I was watching through my fingers trying to shield my face (not sure from what :) ) My favorite part was the fact that I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. It left me on the edge of my seat. So thank you so much for the experience! – Lize Du Plooy
I absolutely loved it. It was so scary at times that even my husband screamed. They could have changed the end a bit. My kind of a movie. Thank you so much for a great date night for me and hubby. Think he has purple marks all over his leg from me holding on to him. Excellent movie. – Thea Lennox
The movie met our expectations. It had us sitting at the edge of our seats. We would definitely recommend it to friends and family. – Mulalo Nefale
It was great to see a movie with first person camera views that actually work well. The build-up at the beginning of the film took a while but once nightfall came, it became interestingly scary. The sound effects just added to the scary moments which I really enjoyed. The final scenes were definitely the most intense and left me wanting more. All in all, it’s not the best scary movie to come out this year, but it was still really enjoyable nonetheless. – Nicky
I could unfortunately not make the screening due to unforeseen circumstances but sent my cousin and aunt to watch it (lovers of horrors). They said the acting was much better than the original movie…could have been better though…the horrific parts were scary does creep you out a bit. – Fazlen Isaacs
Although I’m not necessarily a fan of the found footage subgenre, which has produced many steaming piles of low-budget shite, this film is certainly one of the better specimens. I would recommend to anyone who, like me, was a fan of The Blair Witch Project (1999) – let’s not even talk about Book of Shadows – and I’m really glad I took the time to watch the first film the night before watching Blair Witch, because it helped all the little references pop out, which were hidden everywhere from props to dialogue. The filmmakers have a clear appreciation for the mythology that’s built up around the eponymous witch and wanted to give the audience a few more intimate peeks into her world, and they manage deftly to do so without ruining the mystique that the first film depended on so heavily. The actors’ performances were not brilliant, nor was there anything new about the film, but ultimately it was a fun romp in the woods that had a good balance of frights, atmospheric tension and gore. The filmmakers lead the audience slowly down the spiral of insanity that begins at the edge of the forest and climaxes inside the abandoned house, alternatingly coaxing your curious gaze into the darkness and chasing you screeching through the trees. Personally, I really enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t a fan of the first film. – Inge Papp
Blair Witch was an exciting experience regardless of what he though we’ll see. Definitely canceling my October camping trip after watching this! – Thamsanqa Sithole
It was like Jurassic Park, but with invisible dinosaurs. Just a bunch of loud noises and people being eaten by unseen pterodactyls (witches). Great event, but I didn’t enjoy the film at all. It’s just not scary! – Dr. Naidoo
Despite falling into a couple of genre traps & being a little dependent on jump-scares, it was better than expected & offered a great amount of tension and a fantastic climax, complete with one of the scariest old houses in recent memory and claustrophobia. Definitely worth a watch! – Nic Gonzalez
I quite enjoyed Blair Witch. The storyline was good, yet typical of most horror movies, but what I enjoyed most was that the way it was shot makes you feel as if you were there, feeling lost and scared with the characters– Luke Coller
I thoroughly enjoyed it as it really had me jumping in my seat. For me the movie was more inline with the original with lots of scare factors. The camera glitches was a bit much on the eyes but other then that it was good. – Clive Geldenhuys
Yeah, thought it was a decent film. First half followed the classic horror tropes, then things kicked in gear in the second half. Obviously, (ommit) at the end (ommit) was scary as hell! – Mat
Blair Witch keeps the elements that made the original a horror classic. Evolving the story by adding new layers of trepidation, allowing the viewer to gain insight into the blair witch herself. A Depiction of humans dealing with physical and mental exhaustion, while facing absolute fear. A haunting chapter that adds to the blair witch story, one that will stay with you. – Andrew
Even years after the original Blair Witch Project this movie will leave you with even more questions than answers. Many popcorn-throwing moments but nothing that will make you sleep with the lights on. Worth the watch though if you are a die-hard horror fan.– Liza Smith
Haunting new direction for the series and a thrilling new take on the original in the same breath. With great sound design and a chilling atmosphere, Blair Witch was a rollercoaster of terror that never let up.– Alex Andipatin
Blair Witch gives us exactly what we expected from a sequel set a few years after the original. The same story line with new toys and fresh faces, with a few twist and a scary scene here and there. For the most part very predictable, but entertaining and still worth a watch if you enjoyed the first movie!– Quinton Dos Santos
I have to admit, were it not for you guys I would not have bothered to let my eye-holes be molested by this motion picture. But! I am glad I watched it. Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned scare to ease the constipation. Sure, it relies on sensory deprivation (the dark, first person camera view) and yet overload (the loud as f**k sound)… I shared a few shrieks and subsequent LOLz with my cinema neighbour. Really liked the nifty gadgets in there! The ear camera and drone were a nice “with-it” touch. Thank you wonderful people of the Fortress from the bottom of my dark heart for letting me view it :)– Vanessa B
Thanks to everyone who attended and made the screening a special night of fun.
Photography by Cindy Harley
The film opens in cinemas on Fri 23 September 2016.
A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.