Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Return of the Vehmic rune 2 - 'Blair Witch' (2016) movie review

Just like other recent remakes, such as 'Evil Dead', 'Blair Witch' didn't come close to living up to the original. Despite the low budget of the original, there were many interesting curiosities about it; how it was made, the small park location, the "movie tourists" in Burkittsville, Maryland, etc. This remake was really much like any low budget horror film set in the woods. 

Of course, my main interest here is the portrayal of what I call the "Vehmic rune." The symbol was again shown as an evil symbol, which it was not, with a clear tie to a negative spirit of Witchery (Neopagans never get a break!). One observation was that the Vehmic/Blair Witch symbols used here, made from small branches and twine, appeared more artistic and powerful. The only other observation I can make was the symbol on one movie ad (see image to the left) was placed inside of a circle/wreath... the symbol of nature, such as with a Pentacle.

This movie was actually a sequel more than a remake, although I don't know if it was a continuation of the original (1999) or of 'Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000). It makes little difference, as this was really a movie to watch in the dark to get scared. That's fine, but that's what it is. The fictional "huge" "Black Hills Forest" of Maryland, was actually filmed in British Columbia here. It appeared to be perhaps a tree farm with many thin woods, but it was plenty dark and scary at night.

The brother of the young woman from one of the earlier films sets out to find the still yet undiscovered "hidden house" (shown in film footage) in the Black Hills Forest in order to discover what really happened to her. He brings along three friends and a couple who had taken some footage of the house as guides if I recall. Apparently the house is like a "ghost ship." The group seems well equipped, all carrying walkie talkies, and bringing along a drone; none of which ended up offering much help.

After one of the guides initially staged some of the symbols in their camp at night, some very unexplained happenings began (sleeping in until 2 PM or walking in circles). This is just about the point where I have to warn of a spoiler alert. The Blair Witch entity here attacked in more the manner that the demonic spirit from the two original Evil Dead films attacked.... and there were many sudden jolting scenes. The concept was that the entire film was from footage later found at the scene, and of course every person was using both a camera and flashlight at all times.. but we had to have a movie, right?

At about the halfway point of the film, there was like an endless night where it was apparently still dark when their time showed it to be morning. I won't give away the ending, but it does present mostly non-stop danger, action, and violence during about the last thirty minutes. During this time, the "real" paranormal Blair Witch symbols begin to show up around them, with more frightening happenings revolving around them which I won't give away here. The film only runs ninety minutes.

Coincidentally, right after I watched it, there was an episode of 'American Supernatural' on The Weather Channel which featured a ghost legend from the this-time-real "Black Woods Road" in Maine. I recall other "black woods" or "black hills" from other regional folklore, which I would guess may be the source of the idea behind the Blair Witch films.


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