From Our Gastonia, NC Correspondent:
Back in 1999, a blockbuster horror movie filled theaters nationwide and had millions of mostly teen and early-20s moviegoers scared out of their hoodies (or into them) and seeing the flick over and over.
The movie was “The Blair Witch Project,” which made roughly a kajillion dollars despite promotional clips that seemed to largely consist of a sweaty, terrified young woman pointing a handheld camera up her nose while gasping and babbling unintelligibly about some horrific…something.
Thus was inaugurated the “found footage” genre of moviemaking. It was a genius idea, really. As long as a filmmaker had some fairly attractive young actors (preferably ones who’d been on a Disney Channel show or in a boy band) and a premise that didn’t involve spending lots of money on visual effects or car chases or other high-ticket production extras, you had a license to mint money.
Within minutes, it seemed, your local multiplex was choked with these silly things. There were a dozen or so sequels to “Blair Witch,” along with “Paranormal Activity,” “Chronicle” and “Grave Encounters,” which takes the daring tack of having a central character in the sequel who is obsessed with the first film. All of these films are horrible to varying degrees.
J.J. Abrams tried to rescue the genre with “Cloverfield,” which was a cracking-good monster flick, but his was a voice lost in the darkness (where the monsters live, of course).
Now comes word that amid the endless avalanche of remakes and reboots, some bright boy has decided it’s time for “Blair Witch” to be dragged from its tomb and trotted out across movie screens again, with a fresh crop of freshly scrubbed actors and, one presumes, a witch who now can possess her victims via smartphone app.
This must be stopped before half the cineplex is filled with “movies” featuring birthday party footage, wedding slides and vacation shorts. Stay home and watch “Casablanca” on video. And, hey, isn’t football season starting?