Dakotaland Movie Reviews: The Blair Witch Snowden

Brief Disclaimer: This movie is only playing at Dakotaland Theatres…and possibly the Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, CA. But this hasn’t been confirmed.

The Blair Witch Snowden, directed by the ghost of Oliver Stone, is a new kind of horror film.

Although the techniques used are not new, the forms and synthesis of styles creates an experience unlike any other. By the end of the credits, the audience will probably leave shocked in a stupor of dread.

The premise of the story is deceptively simple. A handful of teenagers set out into an unnamed forest in search of Edward Snowden, a fugitive from the US government. Although the setting is never clear, it appears to be set in the indeterminate near-future where Snowden has decided to live out his days as a Robin Hood-like figure in the woods.

One of the idiots in the party suggests capturing him and bringing him back to civilization and justice. A superficial discussion of his history and the political controversy is given. One of the troupe posits he want insane.

Anyway, from there things get weird. Although nobody is killed, the teenagers find that one by one, their cameras are being mutilated and destroyed, the film burned, or if its a digital camera, the battery melted with a creepy, hand-written note about e-waste and toxic chemicals. Soon the group is reduced to one stupid camera phone and they are understandably terrified. Although they’ve been able to film snippets of a shadowy figure dancing in the background, the culprit is never fully seen.

One of the teenagers kills himself for ambiguous reasons.

Eventually they find a house in the middle of the woods. It turns out to belong to Joseph Gordon Levitt, who explains to the flummoxed kids that he is representing Snowden on Snowden’s behalf, and anyway it’s only a  movie. But as Snowden, JGL explains to that the cameras the teens have been carrying are being monitored by the NSA and they are being tracked. He then turns to the audience, breaks the fourth wall, and informs them that they are being tracked as well by a camera in the corner of the theater. He warns them that now that they’ve seen “The Blair Witch Snowden”, their names will appear on a database that cross references political dissidents and gullible theater-goers.

The film then rolls to credits, where instead of listing the creators of the film, the movie ends by listing all the names and occupations of those who attending that particular screening. In the post-credit scene, JGL surrounded by the dead teenagers reveals himself to be half-robot, laughs maniacally and says “you’re next.”

Overall I’d recommend the film to fans of horror and political thrillers in general. but the shaky cam effect is annoying.

4 out of 5 stars.

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