Blair Witch

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Not to be confused with The Blair Witch Project.

Blair Witch 2016 poster.png

Blair Witch is a 2016 American found footage psychological horror film directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett. It is a direct sequel to The Blair Witch Project and stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson and Valorie Curry. The film follows a group of college students and their local guides who venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance years ago of Heather Donahue, the sister of one of the characters. Initially, the film's connection to the Blair Witch franchise was kept secret, with the film having been shot under the fake title, The Woods.

It screened at San Diego Comic-Con on July 22, 2016 and premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, before being theatrically released in the United States on September 16 by Lionsgate. It received mixed to negative reviews from critics and was a box office disappointment.


A young man and his friends venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mystery surrounding his missing sister. Many believe her disappearance 17 years earlier is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when two locals act as guides through the dark and winding woods. As the night wears on, a visit from a menacing presence soon makes them realize that the legend is all too real, and more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

Why It Sucks

  1. Weak story and plot.
  2. Laughable dialogue.
  3. It's basically like Don't Breathe, but even more poorly made.
  4. The film is almost a complete rehash of the original 1999 film.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Both critics and fans agree that it's better than Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.
  2. There's also some genuinely scary scenes this time around.


Blair Witch has received mixed to negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 36%, based on 156 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Blair Witch doles out a handful of effective scares, but aside from a few new twists, it mainly offers a belated rehash of the original – and far more memorable – first film."

On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100, based on 40 critics. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D+" on an A+ to F scale. According to Entertainment Weekly's Joey Nolfi, while Blair Witch is generally regarded as an improvement over Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, "moviegoers and film journalists essentially told [Blair Witch] to stand in the corner...critical reviews and audience exit polling...are still some of the worst of any 2016 release thus far."

Michael Roffman of Consequence of Sound wrote that "Nothing [about the film] is scary, nothing is remotely disturbing, and there’s this boring familiarity to the proceedings, namely because it’s more or less a beat-by-beat remake of the original." The Hollywood Reporter's Leslie Felperin criticized the film, commenting that it is "a dull retread rather than a full-on reinvention," enlarging the cast numbers this time but sticking to the same basic beats. Scott Tobias of GQ felt that the makers of Blair Witch made a poor decision by making the film less subtle than the original. Thomas Simpson of the Rock River Times said that the film "lacks any real scares" and that, after watching it, "you shouldn’t have any issues turning the light off at night." The New York Post's Kyle Smith condemned the film by saying that "the take-away from Blair Witch is not terror, but sorrow," and gave it 1.5 stars out of 4.

Josh Kurp of Uproxx gave the film a mixed review, saying "Blair Witch is scary, but it lacks surprise, and without surprise, you’re left with a bunch of kind-of annoying people shakily filming themselves wandering the woods and reacting to loud noises." Mark Kermode gave the film three out of five stars in a review for The Guardian, calling it "efficient if unadventurous." Vanity Fair's Jordan Hoffman felt that the film was inferior to You're Next, a previous film by Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, and said Blair Witch's "jump-scares [will] make for a fun night at the movies, but it’s like chomping on White Castle hamburgers—when this creative team has previously served us a prime rib."

Conversely, IGN reviewer Chris Tilly declared that Blair Witch is "so good it'll make you forget that Book of Shadows ever happened." Mark Eccleston of Glamour wrote that the film has "genuine, jarring scares...and an unsettling late surprise that makes it well worth popping to you nearest multiplex to have the holy crap scared out of you." Bloody Disgusting's Brad Miska gave the film a positive review, commenting: "Blair Witch is that game-changer horror fans desperately have been waiting for."