Mixed Reviews Greet New Blair Witch Film

Adam Wingard’s new Blair Witch sequel/reboot is garnering mixed reviews as the film debuts this weekend for anxious fans of the original Blair Witch Project.   The film currently sits at 38% on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes and has steadily declined throughout the week.  The film originally sat at 53% positive on Wednesday but as more reviews poured in, the film experienced a steep drop.

Positive reviews such as Michael Gingold of Time Out indicate that Blair Witch is a return to form after the low rated 2000 sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. Gingold explains that “The you-are-there vérité techniques that gave the 1999 horror movie such a frightening immediacy have passed into cliché, and there’s no way today’s audiences would fall for the original marketing campaign’s “It really happened!” pitch. So it’s something of a small miracle that the 17-years-later Blair Witch, essentially a sequel-as-remake (ignore 2000’sBook of Shadows: Blair Witch 2), emerges as satisfying in its own right and pretty damn scary.”

Unfortunately for fans, the vast majority of critics disagree with Gingold’s assessment.  Most critics such as James Berardinelli of ReelViews cite the film for overuse of now tired techniques that the first film originated.   Berardinelli writes in his review that “It’s an interesting thought-piece to speculate whether this movie might have worked better had it replaced The Book of Shadows as the first sequel since it’s similar in many ways to the original. But this is 2016 and not 2000 and the horror genre has moved on. Found footage has evolved from being edgy and interesting to being an overused joke. Jump scares (which Blair Witch relies on too often) have become the province of the lazy filmmaker. Perhaps for someone who never saw The Blair Witch Project, this might represent an adequate scary movie. But for those who have seen Myrick and Sanchez’s calling card, regardless of whether they loved it or hated it, Blair Witch will seem more like a pale homage than a new chapter to the saga. ”

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone goes even further saying that the “Belated “official” sequel to 1999 hit updates technology but repeats the original’s shocks – only much louder and lamer.”

Perhaps most troubling of all for the new film is that fact that the audience score is also under 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Traditionally, the audience score (which is calculated based on the percentage of users who rate a film 3.5 or higher out of 5 stars on the site) is much higher than the critics average, but Blair Witch clocks in at a lower than average 47%.

Blair Witch brought in roughly $765,000 during Thursday previews and it remains to be seen how the film will do at this weekend’s box office.  Check back on Sunday for a full box office report on the Horror News Network.


Nick Banks
Nick Banks
Nick joined the website in 2015. His lifelong love of comics and horror began with Universal Monsters and the Incredible Hulk. He has fond memories of going to Waldbaum’s supermarket with his mother and being rewarded with a 3-pack of sealed comics. It’s been all downhill from there… Since those early days, his life has been immersed in four color action and scares on the silver screen.

Similar Articles


Latest News

Daria Nicolodi–‘Suspiria’ Co-Writer, Actress–Passes Away

Daria Nicolodi--who wrote the classic 1977 horror film Suspiria with her offscreen partner Dario Argento and also starred in several of his genre films--has passed away...

Will Epic ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Battle Go To A Streamer?

The monster knock-down-drag-out all horror fans have been salivating for may skip the big screen and instead appear on a streamer--or it may show...

Eli Roth’s Crypt TV Begins Production On ‘Chhori’

Eli Roth’s Crypt TV, in association with Blumhouse, has added more players to the cast of its Hindi horror film Chhori. Mita Vashisht, Rajesh...

‘Dark Shadows’ Scribe Malcolm Marmorstein Passes Away

Malcolm Marmorstein--a major player in the success of the 1960s horror soap opera Dark Shadows--passed away this week at the age of 92. Marmorstein--who also had big-screen...

‘The Reef’ Director Plunging Ahead With Plans For Sequel

Just in time for swimming season next year, filmmaker Andrew Traucki plans to make you very afraid to go into the water. Sporting the unsettling...

Newsletter Sign-Up

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our bi-monthly newsletter consists of the latest horror news and CT HorrorFest happenings.

Site Sponsors