"pretty much everything in Blair Witch comes straight from the first film"

Let’s start with getting a few things out the way. Firstly, Blair Witch is not, I repeat not, a so-called game-changer. It doesn’t even come close to inventing new and thrilling ways to present horror. Secondly, whilst it has its moments with jump scares; it’s far from being one of the most terrifying sequels of all time. Hell, it’s not even the scariest movie of summer 2016.

So it’s with a heavy heart that I must speak negatively about a film I was anticipating. Being a huge fan of the 1999 original and of found-footage films in general (providing they’re executed well), Adam Wingard was poised to offer fans a surprising sequel to the horror classic that could have stood within a few feet of the highly rated first.

But any similarities in quality simply failed to appear – unlike the once enigmatic Blair Witch herself, it must be said. Instead, its actual likeness is its attempt to copy the first movie with an updated technological aspect (using drones and cameras) and a shoehorned backstory that leads on from the events of what happened almost 20 years ago.

Wingard has impressed as a director with the superb You’re Next and the very watchable thriller The Guest, yet here it’s as if his creative license has been revoked; forcing him to regurgitate the big moments from The Blair Witch Project but with minor edits: instead of a tent pattering we see them fly off into the sky; the discovery of the house is focused on for far too long and loses all impetus rather than merely glimpsing a terrifying few scenes of it as we did in its predecessor.

In fact, pretty much everything in Blair Witch comes straight from the first film. There’s no inventive smarts to be noted here, merely a tie-in film that tries to reconnect with its existing audience while offering nothing particularly scary or creative in the process. Any frights we do experience are the cheap and nasty kind; the ones that make unsuspecting viewers flinch but in the most unsatisfactory of ways. For example, on a number of occasions characters appear right behind our protagonist’s ear, somehow managing to creep up silently and then bellowing in their face. Anyone who remotely enjoys horror movies will see through this tried-and-tested cop out.

It’s difficult to offer any positives in terms of this sequel. If you’re going on a date night then it will suffice as a couples’ excuse to snuggle close amidst the uncomfortably contrived tension, but in truth it feels tacky and rushed but at the same time manages to look more polished and glossier than the first film, if that makes any sense. Either way it’s a big mistake.

After some notable films amassed in Wingard’s filmography, I expected a lot more from him. What we do get it something overhyped by some corners whereas the fact of the matter is it’s simply not going to be one of those genre films you’ll wish to return to two years later, let alone 20.