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MisterBibs
Jul 17, 2010

dolla dolla
bill y'all


Fun Shoe

CelticPredator posted:

There's no evidence that a bunch of hillbillies didn't gently caress with them either.

Yeah there is. Stuff happens in the first film that cannot be explained by an entirely unsupported hillbilly theory. Unless you're of the opinion that a bunch of people can build a house in the woods that a search party can't find, make compasses not work, or build piles of rocks outside campsites without waking people up (which even the filmmakers couldn't do, tacos tacos).

E: Not to mention the advertising special they did. The tapes were found in a location that was impossible to have been disturbed for centuries.

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Magic Hate Ball
May 6, 2007

ha ha ha!
you've already paid for this


Who cares?

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


i care for you, blair witch

MisterBibs
Jul 17, 2010

dolla dolla
bill y'all


Fun Shoe


There was criticisms that the first movie could've been something other than a witch... which isn't true.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 21 days!


MisterBibs posted:

There was criticisms that the first movie could've been something other than a witch... which isn't true.

Everything that the kids were subjected to in the first movie was literally the work of a small group of people dressed in camouflage.

MisterBibs
Jul 17, 2010

dolla dolla
bill y'all


Fun Shoe

SuperMechagodzilla posted:

Everything that the kids were subjected to in the first movie was literally the work of a small group of people dressed in camouflage.

Yup, a group of people dressed in camouflage who had to invent code words for the actors to ignore them and what they were doing, because it was impossible to do things without getting the actor's attentions.

As with all movies, the real crew were there to do the impossible things that the supernatural entity was doing. The real world doesn't have witches, but the movie universe did.

MisterBibs fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2016 around 07:32

Pirate Jet
May 2, 2010


The important part of TBWP isn't the question of "is the witch real!?" but the fact that her mere legend is tearing down the relationships between the friends. When Mike has a breakdown right before he goes missing, he's listing legitimate grievances he's had the entire time, it's just that only now is he finally pissed off enough to express them. There's a reason the ending ties directly into Rustin Parr's murder methods, who also presented the dubious excuse, in court of law, of "a witch made me do it." (In a literal sense, it's still not hard to imagine a bunch of 90's-suburbia-raised vloggers getting lost in the wilderness even with a compass and landmarks to help them.)

Blair Witch 2016 obviously takes a different approach. That doesn't make it inherently bad, but if that's what you valued about TBWP, then yeah, you might not be a fan.

CARL MARK FORCE IV
Sep 2, 2007

I took a walk. And threw up in an English garden.

Every dead documentarian is a cycle of spookiness ended

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 21 days!


MisterBibs posted:

Yup, a group of people dressed in camouflage who had to invent code words for the actors to ignore them and what they were doing, because it was impossible to do things without getting the actor's attentions.

Well it's good that you acknowledge the difference between actors and characters, but you haven't extended this thought to the camouflaged people - who themselves play the role of 'Unseen Assailants'. The onscreen actors pretend not to hear them, and the offscreen actors pretend not be heard.

Given that they are unseen, you might assume that these characters have magic powers or are the ghosts of a hundred dead children or something. But the truth is that you are filling in the blanks based on hearsay and patterns in sticks. That's the point of the film: that there are people out there, and their motives are unknowable to you. You may begin to imagine that there is a single intelligence in control of everything that transpires - but that's effectively a conspiracy theory.

Instead, the film tells you outright what its subject matter is: A serial killer. The coldest winter on record. The tragic death of a child. The local nutcase.... Relatively mundane things are distorted by patchy evidence and conflicting accounts. As Pirate Jet observed, Blair Witch Project is not about a witch. It is about a legend about a witch. Its form is its function: 20 hours of footage from two cameras, trimmed down and intercut by unseen editors to create a saleable narrative. This was the point of the four sequel films as well.

This new film is similar up to a point, but employs the fantastical conceit that the cameras are able to record the characters' hallucinations.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

So the movie was OK. No great shakes but not terrible.

One thing that really, really bothered me though were the several instances of footage that absolutely no one could have been shooting. Or, worse, WOULD have been shooting. There were many times when I said "Wait, who's filming this part and why?"

I guess the premise here is that it's not ALL found footage this time?

poptart_fairy
Apr 8, 2009

by R. Guyovich


BiggerBoat posted:

So the movie was OK. No great shakes but not terrible.

One thing that really, really bothered me though were the several instances of footage that absolutely no one could have been shooting. Or, worse, WOULD have been shooting. There were many times when I said "Wait, who's filming this part and why?"

I guess the premise here is that it's not ALL found footage this time?

Can you think of any examples off the top of your head? Everyone was wearing ear cams at least.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

poptart_fairy posted:

Can you think of any examples off the top of your head? Everyone was wearing ear cams at least.

Honestly, I can't but the times I noticed it it was pretty glaring. Maybe the ear cams explain it.

Trash Trick
Apr 17, 2014



Thundercracker posted:

I liked this movie better when it was named Grave Encounters 2. Just kidding. Grave Encounters 2 was a much better movie. I seriously wonder if Wingard actually even watched the original Blair Witch Project. It's like a 180 version of that for people with attention deficit disorder.

There's literally, I'm pretty sure, zero jump scares in the original and this movie is just full of dumb jump scares. And the Witch seems to have trained in a hyperbolic chamber for 20 years considering her subtle powers of misdirection in the original versus her leet hacking, telekinesis, and wall-running skills in this one.

I'm sorry if I come off a bit harsh, but the original Blair Witch's positive qualities aren't exactly hidden. Anyone watching it knows exactly what it was trying to do, and it largely succeeds. This one seems like they threw together all the biggest cliches of the last decade of found footage movies and slapped the Blair Witch title on it.

Grave Encounters 2 (a terrible movie) also did the time loop thing as well.

I agree with all of this post, except I love Grave Encounters 2.

The entire film was "Great ideas, terrible execution". All the big dumb random noises lost their impact when they had no context for the characters beyond 'Big dumb noise -> Run'. The film totally ignored the terror of the unseen that was so effectively captured in the first one.

None of the characters were developed and I found no reason to care for them. The editing kept giving the impression that we were watching a film rather than actual found footage.

By the end I was more curious about who had assembled and edited all the footage rather than what was actually going on on screen.

toiletbrush
May 17, 2010


MisterBibs posted:

Yeah there is. Stuff happens in the first film that cannot be explained by an entirely unsupported hillbilly theory. Unless you're of the opinion that a bunch of people can build a house in the woods that a search party can't find, make compasses not work, or build piles of rocks outside campsites without waking people up (which even the filmmakers couldn't do, tacos tacos).

E: Not to mention the advertising special they did. The tapes were found in a location that was impossible to have been disturbed for centuries.
That's still not unambiguously supernatural though, just unexplainable. I'm just disappointed you see the 'witch' etc in this because I tend to lose interest in horror films once visual supernatural stuff happens, because it's rarely ever scary and almost always dumb lookin. Plus I just find the mystery of things to be way spookier. To be fair though despite it being one of my fave films I kinda lose interest in Alien after the chest-burster scene for this reason. All personal taste though.

Mike N Eich
Jan 26, 2007

This might just be the year


The ear cams were great because they could somehow sense when you needed a more dramatic shot and would zoom in on their own

Trash Trick
Apr 17, 2014



There was even an ambient music soundtrack for some scenes, right?

poptart_fairy
Apr 8, 2009

by R. Guyovich


a cop posted:

There was even an ambient music soundtrack for some scenes, right?

I think it was always when the witch was doing her weird poo poo. Sort of a low, uncomfortable ambient music.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

a cop posted:

The entire film was "Great ideas, terrible execution". All the big dumb random noises lost their impact when they had no context for the characters beyond 'Big dumb noise -> Run'. The film totally ignored the terror of the unseen that was so effectively captured in the first one.

None of the characters were developed and I found no reason to care for them. The editing kept giving the impression that we were watching a film rather than actual found footage.


This pretty much sums up how I felt about it. Good review. I think I liked it more than you did overall but your criticism is spot on. Good point about the characters being almost interchangeable too. Also, everyone keeps mentioning the last half hour intense roller coaster ride but I actually felt the film ended rather abruptly.

Emissary666
Sep 6, 2010



As I live at home, can't drive, and have parents who think an anxiety condition can be solved by leaving the house, I had to see the movie with my mother. The only thing she keeps bringing up is Ashley (the black girl) and her foot/leg wound and how she thinks it went nowhere. She really wants to know what other people thought about it (probably because it was the only thing she kept her eyes even slightly open for)

Ehud
Sep 19, 2003



SuperMechagodzilla posted:

When the pink-haired girl is killed, it's ambiguous as to whether she was struck or not. That's the logic this film is working with: each individual event is only slightly exaggerated beyond plausibility. So, shoving a girl causes her spine to break. The footage at the start of the film is not just similar but identical. Noises are amplified, and so-on. And that has a cumulative effect.

I know you do your own thing or whatever, but you missed what happened in this scene. There was nothing ambiguous about it. She died because Ashley broke the totem that had her pink hair tied to it. That was confirmation that there is an actual witch with actual magical powers. The little figures made of sticks are voodoo dolls. Breaking the Talia voodoo doll = breaking her back in real life.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 21 days!


Ehud posted:

I know you do your own thing or whatever, but you missed what happened in this scene. There was nothing ambiguous about it. She died because Ashley broke the totem that had her pink hair tied to it. That was confirmation that there is an actual witch with actual magical powers. The little figures made of sticks are voodoo dolls. Breaking the Talia voodoo doll = breaking her back in real life.

No, I didn't miss that plot point. I'm talking about how it's filmed: as a mid shot, camera whipping around violently, characters lunging at eachother while screaming accusations, etc. While you can absolutely grab the blu-ray and go frame-by-frame to get a clear look at 'what really happened', the basic joke of the opening scene is that 'getting a better look' at the supernatural thing this way will actually distort your understanding of events and cause the narrative to make less sense.

Every effect in the film is deliberately ambiguous that way. Like people complain that the 'witch' makes loud screams, but those are animal noises: coyotes or foxes, and things of that sort. Why does the witch sound like some coyotes? Simply because it is just some coyotes - and they're causing the characters to freak out, to imagine that they hear human laughter.

The conceit of the film is that, in this mysterious Zone, your hallucinations become real. But that means, in order for these things to occur, you must first hallucinate. That's also why the witch can't hurt people who stay calm.

InfiniteZero
Sep 11, 2004

PINK GUITAR FIRE ROBOT



College Slice

Jst0rm posted:

plenty of people have seen it. Ill let them respond to that question. We got to let it go into the wild and what will be will be. These things live on their own.

Genre films typically open big and fall off a cliff with regards to box office, because fans are always ready to see new films and rush out that first weekend.

Jst0rm posted:

2nd place at the box office isnt so bad. 15 mill opening weekend world wide? I know money doesnt mean something is popular or good but yeah.

Don't Breathe did nearly $27M in its opening weekend. The Conjuring 2 did $40M. Lights Out did $21M.

Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows did $13M in its opening weekend 16 years ago and was considered a failure. Joel Berlinger appears to be having a fun time reminding the media about this right now.

For better or worse, I think Blair Witch as a franchise probably just died.

All this considered: box office doesn't determine if a film is good or bad. If you're going to consider box office though, trying to rationalize or explain the numbers away is probably just going to make you look foolish.

Jenny Angel
Oct 24, 2010

Out of Control
Hard to Regulate
Anything Goes!


Lipstick Apathy

InfiniteZero posted:

Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows did $13M in its opening weekend 16 years ago and was considered a failure

It also cost three times as much to make as Blair Witch, so

Like, it's very well possible that Blair Witch might kill the franchise because studios are more often than not gormless motherfuckers who have no idea what they're doing, but Blair Witch made three times its budget in one week. Any definition of commercial 'failure' that includes it is disconnected enough from reality to be pretty much useless

InfiniteZero
Sep 11, 2004

PINK GUITAR FIRE ROBOT



College Slice

Jenny Angel posted:

Like, it's very well possible that Blair Witch might kill the franchise because studios are more often than not gormless motherfuckers who have no idea what they're doing

This is the most relevant part. They were expecting numbers comparable or larger than what Don't Breathe, Lights Out, and the other summer horror films made. They didn't get it, therefore the swimming pool upgrades might be slowed and therefore Blair Witch as a property is hosed.

It would be fitting for Blair Witch to be cursed, so it all works out in the end. Hopefully this doesn't stick on Wingard.

Jenny Angel
Oct 24, 2010

Out of Control
Hard to Regulate
Anything Goes!


Lipstick Apathy

Yeah despite the obvious frustration in my post I don't actually really disagree with you, which is kinda the saddest part

InfiniteZero
Sep 11, 2004

PINK GUITAR FIRE ROBOT



College Slice

Jenny Angel posted:

Yeah despite the obvious frustration in my post I don't actually really disagree with you, which is kinda the saddest part

Have you watched the Good Bad Flicks episode about Book Of Shadows? It's really interesting how badly that film got hosed over by the studio. That video is blocked in Canada now but maybe you can find it on YouTube. Alternatively, Berlinger's director's commentary on the DVD outlines it all quite clearly (I'm still kind of shocked his commentary made it to release).

Long live the curse of the Blair Witch.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


a cop posted:

I agree with all of this post, except I love Grave Encounters 2.

Me too.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


The ending is one of my favorites in all of found footage.

e: Evidence's is up there too.

Ehud
Sep 19, 2003



SuperMechagodzilla posted:

No, I didn't miss that plot point. I'm talking about how it's filmed: as a mid shot, camera whipping around violently, characters lunging at eachother while screaming accusations, etc. While you can absolutely grab the blu-ray and go frame-by-frame to get a clear look at 'what really happened', the basic joke of the opening scene is that 'getting a better look' at the supernatural thing this way will actually distort your understanding of events and cause the narrative to make less sense.

Every effect in the film is deliberately ambiguous that way. Like people complain that the 'witch' makes loud screams, but those are animal noises: coyotes or foxes, and things of that sort. Why does the witch sound like some coyotes? Simply because it is just some coyotes - and they're causing the characters to freak out, to imagine that they hear human laughter.

The conceit of the film is that, in this mysterious Zone, your hallucinations become real. But that means, in order for these things to occur, you must first hallucinate. That's also why the witch can't hurt people who stay calm.


Your imagination is incredible

Stan Taylor
Oct 13, 2013

Touched Fuzzy, Got Dizzy

Heh. If you actually paid attention you'd have realized it was all a dream.

I'm all for reading into poo poo but man you are reaching.

My real secret theory: a witch did it.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

Ehud posted:

Your imagination is incredible

It's SMG. Ask him about SUBTEXT.

On second thought, don't do that. Dude watches movies with eyes and ears that aren't even human.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 21 days!


Stan Taylor posted:

My real secret theory: a witch did it.

Ok, so what is her motive.

Why is she using her virtual omnipotence to make coyote sounds & knock over tents, instead of simply becoming a millionaire.

For your reading to be stronger, it needs to be able to account for more textual evidence.

Yaws
Oct 22, 2013



Stan Taylor posted:

My real secret theory: a witch did it.

If it is a group of serial killers they're incredibly good at what they do. Like impossibly so.

Stan Taylor
Oct 13, 2013

Touched Fuzzy, Got Dizzy

SuperMechagodzilla posted:

Ok, so what is her motive.

Why is she using her virtual omnipotence to make coyote sounds & knock over tents, instead of simply becoming a millionaire.

For your reading to be stronger, it needs to be able to account for more textual evidence.

She doesn't like people cause they killed her. She wants to be alone. She is an unknowable force of evil born of the evil of man. It's spooky.

Take your pick.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

Stan Taylor posted:

She doesn't like people cause they killed her. She wants to be alone. She is an unknowable force of evil born of the evil of man. It's spooky.

Take your pick.

Yeah, but why doesn't she cash in on all that sweet, sweet Blair Witch merchandising? She should be hawking t-shirts and stick figure Christmas tree ornaments from a roadside kiosk with a hand painted sign. That's what your average witch would do.

Reminder that you're attempting to reasonably engage in discourse and debate with Supermechagodzilla. He thinks Terminator: Genysis is the greatest superhero/comic book movie of all time.

In fact, I take it back. Ask him about subtext. I think he majored in it or something. Dude can find subtext in a deodorant commercial and equate it to Beowulf or Hamlet and poo poo. He's insane.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 21 days!


Stan Taylor posted:

She doesn't like people cause they killed her. She wants to be alone. She is an unknowable force of evil born of the evil of man. It's spooky.

Take your pick.

You can't just say it was a witch and then define a witch as 'monkeycheese', because then the film is about monkeycheese and you've admitted failure.

The film sets up the logic of how the supernatural 'works' in the earliest scenes - for example, when the Bluetooth cameras are used to convey drunkenness in the early bar scene, and then there's a hard cut to crisp daytime footage. The fact that the characters are drunk causes the camerawork to become looser, while the casually-worn handsfree cameras have lower resolution. So the camerawork itself 'gets drunk'.

"Obviously in this film, we embraced the idea that found footage horror sometimes works best as POV horror and the film kind of transforms into that more and more as it goes on. That was very intentional from the start."
-Simon Barrett

Barrett and Wingard repeatedly stress that their goal was to make a fusion of strict found-footage logic and the logic of highly subjective POV films like the Maniac remake.

This film is basically a synthesis of Blair Witch Project and Book Of Shadows. BWP is just blunt evidence, while BOS is the corny reenactment that strives to present the characters' subjective hallucinations. In Blair Witch 3, the ridiculous hallucinations actually appear in the evidence itself. That's the entire point: to make the audience feel as though they are hallucinating.

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at Sep 21, 2016 around 00:25

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town


It was pretty good. Most of the theater we were in laughed at all the scary parts. The use of jump scares was pointless and annoying, as was the old "characters screaming each others' names for 15 minutes" chestnut. I had hoped Wingard would have excised those two things, his films have been way smarter than that.

Hilarious: When poo poo starts going crazy, I thought "Jesus Christ, next there's gonna be aliens" and then there were loving aliens.

MisterBibs
Jul 17, 2010

dolla dolla
bill y'all


Fun Shoe

SuperMechagodzilla posted:

You can't just say it was a witch and then define a witch as 'monkeycheese',

Witches are pissed off entities that poking in the slightest causes various degrees of Not Good Things. Witches can do whatever they want.

K. Waste
Feb 27, 2014

MORAL:
To the vector belong the spoils.


Witches don't exist, silly.

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DeimosRising
Oct 17, 2005

íHola SEA!


K. Waste posted:

Witches don't exist, silly.

The witch is a metaphor for witches, rear end in a top hat.


So the movie's not worth my time, then?

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