JB & The Chop Do: Blair Witch (2016)

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When the trailer for this movie first came out, I believe it was called “The Woods”,  made by the team that did “You’re Next” and “The Guest”, this looked nut-busting awesome and seemed like it would be a big winner. Then they called it Blair Witch and it went straight to streaming so…. hmmmm….. did anyone’s nuts bust here???

SYNOPSIS: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch. – via IMDB

The answer to that is a big, blue balls no for this wretched movie. What the FUCK? This was totally stupid from start to finish, I don’t know about JB but I wanted to kill all of the characters as well as the writer and director, and then they threw in of the worst fucking CGI creatures I’ve ever seen. Fuck you, man!

Who could have possibly thought that was a good move? Also – I think there was something going on with a spaceship. Or something. And some time travel. I think. I couldn’t have cared less.

You know the routine. A bunch of dopes go into the woods. They hear a bunch of shit noises. They go into an old house. They eat shit and die. Fucking suck it! I mean, I can’t even think of things to write… here’s that one pic again:

Are they trying to make us think that the Blair Witch is the stick figure thing?? Are they trying to insert THIS movie into the Ancient Aliens mythology?

I don’t know what to tell you but this movie is horseshit. I want to give another dearest thanks to The JB. Despite everything we’ve been through she’s still hanging in there with me. Surely things will get better for us, right??? Now – the real question is asked – are JB and I aliens from a distant time? Are we visiting from the past…. or the future?

Or is this an example of The Mandela Effect and you don’t remember things the way they happened………………………… ??

You know, I mistakenly thought that things couldn’t go further downhill with these movies than that Book of Shadows crap. I was sooooo wrong.

So, Wingard is a director that a lot of people fawn about. For me, outside of The Guest (of which I still have an indecent obsession), I am not totally in love. Him and Barrett aren’t bad, they are a little different, and I like that, but I don’t think they are like the Second Coming or anything. So I didn’t expect to hate this (shit, I even liked Death Note, though I will likely be butchered for even saying that), but I did. There. I said it.

Blair Witch is so fucking messy and upside down and stupid and cringy and NO. So much no. Initially I was really interested in the concept of Heather’s brother still wanting to know what happened to her all those years ago, and wanted to see what would happen. Instead we have icky dialogue, the characters I cared least about in the whole series, and then… the Witch/Spindly-Legged-Spider-Alien. Like… guys? Help?

There were a ton of throwbacks to the first movie littered throughout this one, and for the most part, those sections were handled rather well, which is odd considering how useless the rest of the movie was. And I am all for making a project yours, but this just… didn’t really fall in line as well as you would have hoped. We had alien witch things and outside light ups and arms in trees slapping people around, Prohibition tunnels, tents getting ripped up, and people being snapped like twigs. Uhm… sure.

So all of that makes it sound like a lot of crazy stuff was going on and that it was at least worth a watch, right? Wrong. If you take everything together and put it there, it looks like there was quite a bit to watch. In reality, there was a lot of bitching and moaning, crappy camera work, bland friendships, flat, generic characters and a whole lot of meh-ness all round. Seriously, I thought this would have been a little better. There are reviews I have read online that called this movie smart (!!!!!) and deft (!!!!!) and scary (!!!!!) and I am just wondering if we all even watched the same fucking movie. Because this movie is lame and heavy handed and soooooo drawn out and boring.

Needless to say peeps, I think the only movie you need to see in this series (if you haven’t seen any and if you want to see what it is all about) is The Blair Witch Project, even though it is screechy and low budget, it also comes across as the most sincere, and it was the movie that popularised the stupid found footage genre.

Thanks to everyone who stuck with us for yet another series and read, commented, and enjoyed our torture! We survived this franchise, too! The things we put ourselves through for fun and entertainment. But you know what? We secretly love it. And PSC, you are the bomb! I totally love working with you on all our projects, and I am so happy you were up for these, even if they were sketchy.

JB & The Chop Do: The Blair Witch Project (1999)

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Hello! Hola! Greetings! Salutations! That’s about all I know being from where I live and I am not a linguist. What’s the English one? Jolly good old cock? Or – “I am the Queen, let the Olympiad games begin.” ? In any case, Hi. Remember this movie? Remember the 2nd? Did you know there was a third and now a 4th (not released yet)? Did the first one scare the shit out of you? Did the 2nd suck as much ass as the population of Earth described? Did the third – by the guys that did “You’re Next” and “The Guest” – turn out all right?? When we get to the 4th will we want to harm ourselves???? Tune in over the next few weeks and find out!

Or else……..

SYNOPSIS: Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind. – via IMDB

I remember I saw this in the theater. I remember the theater had an attendant come in before the thing and tell us its been make people sick all day and to be warned. I remember seemingly liking it. I know that I’ve never watched it again because of the whole non-ending. Now I’m set to give it another go almost 20 years later. Let’s see what happens.

This has got to be one of the more irritating movies I’ve seen in some time. I’m about 45 minutes  in and nothing at all has happened except for a lot of nonsense screaming about nothing, bad improvised dialogue and  just some weird sounds offscreen that offer no value. I would think that any sensible human being, when hearing a noise in the bushes, would hunker down and prepare to fight and not run blindly screaming into the dark, cold woods where the sound is coming from. Plus, if I were any member of that trio, I would have told the other two to FUCK OFF and left long ago. And it’s not even in fucking HD.

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AT 59 minutes in, Heather is screaming the word ‘Josh’ so loudly and so close to the camera’s microphone that it made me want to puke. I’m really starting to wonder why I’m doing this to myself.

Who hasn’t seen this movie? Do you want to? It’s not scary one bit. The shaky cam footage really is nauseating.  All three leads (the only three) are all cut-your-own-fucking-ears-off-and-eat-them shriek-y and scream-y. There’s no payoff at the end and everything that is supposed to frighten happens off screen.

I remember watching Blair Witch 2 at some point on video tape back in my old apartment. I remember being the only person in the United States that liked it. I remember looking at it a few years later here at home when I was drunk and stoned turnt wasn’t on anything and have vague memories of liking it again but i guess we’ll see soon!

Okay, well, here we are! I figured it was worth giving this a shot – you all know how much I absolutely adore fund pottage (and for those of you who don’t, please don’t miss my sarcasm), but I also know that this was something I watched quite a few times when I was younger. Back when it came out it was fresh and new and it’s popularity skyrocketed found footage into the limelight… unfortunately.

Found footage is not the easiest thing to watch – usually a really shitty camera, or a decent one, but there is so much movement going on your head spins and you don’t have all the time in the world to follow everything, and a lot of things get lost in the hurry and confusion. Me? I like things to come together deliberately. Now all of that aside, The Blair Witch Project still holds up pretty well. I mean it guys! It is still one of the better films in the genre!

Heather is an absolute bitch. She is headstrong and rude and egotistical to boot, and she is right all the time and can never be wrong and is so… no. She got on my damn nerves, and I got why Mike and Josh got so annoyed with her. They were in a super shitty predicament and not once would she acknowledge that, nor would she ‘fess up and take even one iota of responsibility for the shit storm.

Low budget and all of that, The Blair Witch Project definitely comes together in terms of the authenticity of the actors going to pieces out in the woods. Usually found footage can feel so… forced, and this did not feel more so than say, her having the camera out and irritating people. In fact, the movie did a pretty damn good job at not having the camera rolling all the time, major complaints when it was running more than was strictly necessary, and later a begrudging acknowledgement went out as to how it took some fear and panic out of the hopeless situation.

Now, it must be said that the movie is far longer than it absolutely needs to be. Like, way too long. It could have been half this length and probably told exactly the same story, which would have worked out far better, I reckon. Well, just some editing. Take this down to an hour. That’s a big thing with FF – it just drags on way longer than it should.

The Blair Witch Project is too long and way too screechy at times, but it is one of the better ones of the genre, flaws and all. I didn’t want to yank my teeth out, at any rate.

Rapid Review: Cloverfield (2008)

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“Okay, just to be clear here, our options are: die here, die in the tunnels, or die in the streets. That pretty much it?”
– Hud

SYNOPSIS: During a surprise leaving party, the lights go out and the ground begins to shake. With explosions happening everywhere, the party-goers decide to leave the apartment. Accompanied by a hand-held video camera, Hud manages to capture on film the terrifying incidents that occur. – via IMDB

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GRADE 6I have heard relatively mixed reviews about this, but I have always been meaning to check it out because of JJ Abrams’s involvement. I was vehemently advised against watching this by a colleague. I decided to give it a shot anyway recently because his opinion was in the minority. Well, now I can say I have watched it. Another found footage film (yes, you heard that huge abundance of excitement right there). Joy. Not the worst one you can come across, but certainly not the greatest, but then I might just be biased because it is found footage. I always feel like I end up with a headache watching that jittery, jumpy film footage. Also, the characters had some terrible logic here, and I found them to be really silly. I didn’t develop an affinity or liking to any of them, so their plight didn’t really affect me all too much at all. Typical for one of these films, there is no happy end or explanations to be expected, and that is also alright. This is one of those movies you watch and try to identify with character actions and what was being done versus how you would have done it, which would have been fine, but like I mentioned, the characters were not being the smartest group out there. The performances were pretty standard, nothing revolutionary, and the story was also nothing new. It was better than expected and better than most found footage films, but still fell quite short of the mark of something for me like Chronicle, for instance. I don’t really have much more to say about it. It is alright, not the biggest waste of time, but certainly not something I will be rushing to rewatch, but not the totally useless film it was marketed to me as.

JB & The Chop Do: The Amityville Haunting (2011)

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Amityville is still in full swing people! Hell yeah, you know it! We have been having a crazy party for weeks now every Friday, and it just keeps getting better. Can this franchise top itself? It it even possible? After last week’s awesome entry, could they keep going in a strong direction? Well, they’ve tried their hand at the old found footage thing. Yep. Found footage. True story! Well… what did we think about their found footage dabbling? Read on to find out!

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SYNOPSIS: This movie is a ‘found-footage’ film about the Benson family who move in to the infamous house where the DeFeo family were murdered in the 1970s over 30 years earlier. Things start happening to anyone who visits this house, and whoever lives there. This is the footage retrieved from the camera. – via IMDB

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Are you fucking joking? I mean really?! As if these movies weren’t offensive enough, we have stepped into found footage filming! I promise you! Found footage!!

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This piece of crap movie starts with friends all banging in this Amityville house and then there is a family moving in.

From there, things get so much freaking worse. I kid you not. The lamest, stupidest, cheesiest deaths all start happening. Nobody can act to save their lives, and there was no creepy aspect to it. None whatsoever.

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I always seem to get to the place in these ridiculous movies that I think there is no possible way they can get worse. I always think this. I am always wrong. This is by far one of the worst movies I have ever watched. And I am not even just saying that. I mean it. I just couldn’t buy into anything that went on. The characters were stupid, the movie was shot ridiculously, the dialogue was so faulty, everything was just fucking stupid and I hated every second of it. There was nothing to commend about it, either, nothing creepy, nothing that could mean anything.

The camera being ever present was not realistically explained at all (which I know is common to most found footage movies) but hell. This one… I just… and that dad was a prick on top of it all. His family was pretty terrified of him, and that nobody addressed that is beyond me. Abusive twat. Plus he went cuckoo in the end. Totally batshit crazy.

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Alos, they are calling this house the Amityville house. Is this where we have gotten? After all this time?

Hold the phones kids! Apparently DeFeo didn’t kill anyone and someone else did and that someone else is like.. tiny and I just don’t even know how we got to this dark and evil place. How the fuck could these movies get any worse that they already were?!

Confession Time:

1 hours 23 minutes took me 6 hours to watch. I am the fucking master of all procrastinators.

master-procrastinorI hated it.

I FUCKING HATED IT.

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This goddamned movie sucked the most balls out of anything I think I have ever seen. Some puke family buys “the Amityville house” from the original even though it’s been destroyed in all of the sequels. This bag of puke films the entire thing and we have to see his bag of puke face way too many fucking times:

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Being found footage, the cocksucking camera glistens and statics and puke shit ghosts appear. See this next picture?

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That’s allegedly the ghost of the kid who killed everyone in the first one except he’s like, eight.  Apparently he’s haunting the house and causing workers and real estate people to die. He also eats the daughter’s cereal and stands there by the fucking door. At one point the dad gets mad and starts punching the air where he thinks the ghost is. It’s the fucking stupidest thing I have ever seen and I wanted to take a fat shit on this movie but I was watching it on my computer and didn’t want to soil my brand new monitor.

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I hated everything about this movie: the puke acting, the puke found footage, the puke Amityville house with it’s fancy new appliances and wood floors, the puke ghosts, the puke ending and the puke puke I puked while watching this puke. FUCK YOU, movie!

Rapid Review: Chronicle (2012)

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“This is my theory though, is that it’s like a muscle. Like it’s elastic, if you stretch it too far too quick, it’ll tear. That’s why I think we’re getting stronger, you know? Cause we’re working it out. Getting buff.”
– Matt Garetty

SYNOPSIS: Whilst attending a party, three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8Something I have been meaning to check out for ages, if not only for Dane DeHaan. Eventually I got to it though, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The whole thing is shot found footage style (and we all know that I am not the biggest fan) but it just worked perfectly for this, to be honest. Then there was the whole thing with the camera, but the characters addressed it so frequently, and it was explained so well, that it didn’t bug me like why is this being filmed all the time, and who is filming all the time, etc. It came together very well. I also enjoyed the performances from the actors. Dane DeHaan was absolutely brilliant, and his character was such a sad creature. I empathised with him, and just felt really awful seeing all that he was going through. Michael B Jordan is an actor that I like, he carries himself very well, and his portrayal of Steve was really good. He was actually such a chilled out guy, super popular but normal. Alex Russell played Matt very well, capturing him, though I found him to be less developed than the other two, which is odd considering the role he takes on later. The story is engaging, and the plot moves along at a relatively good pace. I was not bored ever, at any rate. Some people have complained that Chronicle was fine up until the second half, but I must say that it was pretty cool for me, too. The movie was engaging enough to keep my other half rooted to the couch after he vehemently informed me that he had to work, so that must count for something. The effects were not great, showing that the movie was made on a budget, but that did not detract for me whatsoever. The character were important, and what they did was what kept me watching, not spectacular effects or anything like that.

Review: The Tunnel (2011)

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The New South Whales State government needs to find a way to cater for the severe water shortage they are experiencing, and decide to go with the plans of recycling millions of litres of waters under the city, from the abandoned train tunnels. Initially the project garners a lot of interest, but soon, very quietly, all the plans slip away, and it becomes something of a pipe dream. Journalist Natasha (Bel Deliá) starts to wonder how something that was potentially an amazing solution rapidly got so hushed up and swept under the carpet. She starts investigating, and soon decides that it must be a cover up. She manages to convince her boss to get camera operator Steve Miller (Steve Davis), audio engineer Jim “Tangles” Williams (Luke Arnold), and producer Peter Ferguson (Andy Rodoreda) together as her crew to investigate the story.

Together the group goes into the tunnels, after being rebuffed by an initial security guard and having to find another way in, but what they do now know is that Natasha is on her own mission now, and acting without the consent of their superiors. Natasha has her own agenda at play, wanting to crack the big story, save and make her career, and is completely inconsiderate as to the rest. However, taking the crew down into the tunnels to investigate the disappearances of some homeless men as well as the secrets that seem to surround the tunnels and their abandonment, leads to more questions, severe terror, and big mistakes being made.

Why did the government desert plans to use the train network beneath Sydney to help with the water shortage? Why did Natasha’s boss refuse to get too involved with her plans, attempting to get her to let the story just be? Why was everyone reluctant to help her, ultimately firmly turning her away from the tunnels, denying permits, etc? What is in the tunnels? Why do the homeless disappear when going down there?

GRADE 7I feel like it’s been this excessively long mission of found footage films recently haha! But I figured I would continue in the Monday fashion! Both Eric at The IPC and Tim at Beer Movie liked The Tunnel quite a bit, so I figured I would look into it. Admittedly, I see it has garnered some really low scores, and I am not precisely sure why. I actually rather enjoyed this one. It has a really slow start, like it captured absolutely zero attention from me, and I would have turned it off except that I had already started it and needed a short movie to watch (I was supposed to be studying, but my brain was so tired of absorbing factual information). This one happened to tick all the boxes: it was short and I did not need to think too much or anything. Anyhow, the premise kicks off, the implementation, really slow. I am listening to all this water talk and tunnel talk thinking “really, what the hell, you are going to go digging for something like that?”. Natasha was really a bit of a nut, and was incredibly selfish. Tangles and Steve entertained me, just before everything got more serious and cracked. I liked the way the found footage was shot, very clean on the one, though jerky, and on the other purely in a night vision style. Granted, there were a few times where the film tried to get too clever or too creepy for its own good and had some things fall really flat due to the unbelievable foundation of it, but overall I cannot say that this is a dreadful found footage film. Things were not explored too in depth, which is cool. I don’t want an in depth break down of whatever the hell was down there. However, the movie did not wrap itself up very cleanly, which was a pity. Of all the found footage I have watched recently, this was the one that I enjoyed.

Review: Lake Mungo (2008)

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“Alice kept secrets.She kept the fact that she kept secrets a secret.” 
Kim Whittle

In 2008 in Ararat, Australia, Alice Palmer (Talia Zucker) drowns at a dam while out with her family. Naturally they are devastated, but they cannot find her and a massive search and rescue party is deployed. A few days later her corpse is recovered. Her father, Russell Palmer (David Pledger), identifies it, though her mother June (Rosie Traynor) and brother Mathew (Martin Sharpe) are not present. Soon after she has been buried, strange things start to happen in the house, though initially they are chalked up to termites, wind, etc. Eventually, though, they are presented with proof that starts to make them rethink their daughter’s death. In a documentary, the Palmers lay bare their story of the loss of their daughter, the odd things in the house, the discoveries they made about Alice, the bizarre photos that depicted a ghost, as well as working with a psychic to uncover whether or not Alice had moved on.

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What is going on in the Palmer home? What happened to Alice? What does all the photographic and video evidence mean? What are they to do about it all?

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GRADE 6Here’s another one for the found footage run I have been having. I am not quite sure how I feel about this movie. On one hand, it was really well constructed, and it kept you involved, though it really looked like an exceptionally well shot documentary. It is a slow burn, which is not an issue for me, I like a slow burn more often than not. The subject material took a long time to be introduced, but it was systematic, so I liked that. When everything finally gets underway, it resonates with a sort of creepy that stays with you for a while. It is chilling without anything actually being in your face scary, yet it stays with you. The effects were relatively well done for what it was, and the actors were very good to carry to mock documentary feel, giving it a sense of realism. The concept they played with was pretty good, and there is this section at the end that in some ways made the watch totally worth it, and on the other hand it was ludicrous. There were quite a few things that were left open to question after this all, too, and some things at the conclusion were just a little bit pointless and felt like they were trying to sell some gag. Overall, definitely one of the better found footage films, though I can see it is going to divide some people. My other half, for instance, he absolutely hated everything about this movie.