The Blair Witch Project

Wicked Wednesday: Solstice (2008)

This week’s movie taught me two things:

  1. How to spell solstice.
  2. 2000’s title graphics are the worst.

And perhaps a third: sometimes when you make one of the most influential movies of all time, it’s really difficult to make a worthy follow-up.

Solstice is the third movie from director Daniel Myrick, who was the co-director of The Blair Witch Project. Arguably one of the most ambitious independent films of all time. One of the first to really use the internet to its advantage to create a mythos bigger than “just a movie”.

So when you make something so creative, where do you go from there? Well…I guess it’s making one of the most cookie-cutter horror remakes you can.

Now I don’t dislike Solstice. Though it’s difficult to have any strong feelings about it. It’s pretty damn boring.

In some ways, the premise very similar to Midsommar (which had to have taken plenty of inspiration from the Danish Midsommer, of which Solstice is based on). A girl seeks peace following the death of her sister. Let me know why so many vaguely-pagan movies love dead sisters. Thanks.

Following the suicide of Megan’s twin sister, Sophie, the Christmas before, Megan goes to her family’s beach house for some rest. Tagging along with her is her motley group of friends – including Sophie’s former boyfriend.

It’s not easy having fun around a girl whose sister just died. And the weekend is essentially ruined by Megan’s assistance that her sister is haunting her. She keeps finding the toy bear on a keychain that Sophie died with. No matter how much she tries to get rid of it, the little bear finds its way back.

When Megan meets Nick, the boy from a local gas station, she finds a kindred spirit. The two bond over local midsummer folklore. Nick gives her a magazine on local traditions and later explains to her that midsummer is when the world of the dead is closest to the living.

As the weekend moves along, Megan becomes more tightly wound. Following a meeting with a local gent, she begins to suspect that there is more to the mystery around Sophie’s death than she originally believed.

The mystery is semi-decent. If you’re willing to sit through a few slow-moving scenes, Solstice isn’t too shabby. In some ways, it subverted all my expectations by not being a slasher. Though I think the movie could have done with a good killing. Just for a bit of spice, I guess. But this movie is certainly one thing: forgettable.

I often believe that making a movie that evokes nothing from its viewers can be the worst type of movie. If I hadn’t had The Blair Witch Project on my mind so much recently, I might not have ever taken the time to watch this. And going forward, the only thing I’ll probably remember about this one is who the director is.