BLAIR WITCH Blu-ray Review
It’s been 17 years since the footage from the three student filmmakers Heather Donahue, Mike Williams, and Joshua Leonard was found in the woods. Heather’s younger brother James has never given up hope that she may still be out there somewhere and some new footage that has been put online has reignited that hope. His friends Lisa, Ashley, and Peter agree to go to Burkittsville to meet the two that found the footage and find his sister. They also want to do a documentary about James and they load up the cameras, filming drones, and camping gear and head for The Black Hills.
BLAIR WITCH is directed by Adam Winged and written by Simon Barrett. The original directors Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sánchez were involved as producers on the film. They had a little input on the film because this is a true sequel to the original. A little more on that can be read on the interview with them here……
The movie has some of the same feel as the original but incorporates some better actors and a much bigger budget. All of the actors do a good job but the standout is Callie Hernandez. She conveys terror so well and I’m excited to see her in the upcoming ALIEN: COVENANT.
James Allen McCune – James Donahue
Callie Hernandez – Lisa Arlington
Brandon Scott – Peter Jones
Corbin Reid – Ashley Bennett
Wes Robinson – Lane
Valorie Curry – Talia
The video transfer is a 1080p AVC presentation that looks pretty good. There are two video qualities that can be seen here: one is the high quality digital cameras that the larger group uses and the older DV recordings that the locals use. They even make mention that the DV is older and loses some of the resolution that the newer equipment has. You can see the nice contrasting in the video and there are some nice blacks in there. You can see the grittiness as the movie progresses with the characters faces getting dirty. They do accomplish exactly what they want with the video.
The audio is a Dolby Atmos mix that defaults to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix. This is one of those films that really utilizes the entire sound field to create a tone that carries through the length of the movie. The woods seem to come alive when there are both sounds close and in the distance. You also get that claustrophobic feel when the characters are running through the darkness and the foliage is brushing against them. The bass is heavy when the moaning trees crack and bellow as well as during the heavy lighting storm. The strength of the mix surprised me and is in the plus column from Lionsgate.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-Audio Commentary: with Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett.
-Neverending Night: The Making of Blair Witch: This is a making of with many parts including interviews and behind the scenes info about the film.
-House of Horrors: Exploring the Set: This is a look at the set they made for the end of the movie.
2 disc set w/ 1 Blu-ray and 1 DVD
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Overall, I liked the feel of the film and enjoyed watching it. Being a fan of the original, I caught a lot of the nods to it that the writer and director put into into the film and expand on the mythos. There are some jump scares and moments of immersion which is something you want in a horror film. The Blu-ray looks good but the sound is incredible. The bonus features are also strong and they give some good insight about the film. Overall, this is worth checking out but I know that fans won’t be disappointed.