This week’s DVD releases, out Jan. 3, show how good and bad scary productions can be.
“Blair Witch,” Grade (no stars): It wasn’t a smart script or great acting that made “The Blair Witch Project” a box-office sensation in 1999. It was the the creative way the movie was put together and promoted that created buzz around the quirky indie.
Even before “The Blair Witch Project” opened, there was a website and a cable special that related the story of a group of young people who went missing in the Maryland woods. The only thing left was shaky footage that gave insight into their night of terror in the woods.
The found-footage style was original when it was used with “The Blair Witch Project.” It not only created a tweak to the horror genre, it bolstered the suggestion that the movie was the product of a group of people with cameras running for their lives. But today, it’s so overused it makes films annoying and cheap.
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“Sleepy Hollow: The Complete Third Season” Grade ☆☆☆: This is the most underappreciated series on Fox since “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” The series that brings Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) to the 21st century has been on and off the network. Now you can catch up before the fourth-season opener on Jan. 6.
The third season takes place nine months after Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Crane have gone their separate ways. But they come back together with Abbie now an FBI agent. Among the battles the pair face are a demon who kills anyone with a dark secret and an undead army.
Catch the third season if you had trouble finding it when the programs originally aired or if you are just looking for quality TV to watch.
Also new on DVD Jan. 3:
▪ “The Red Skelton Hour”: Episodes of the variety show are available in color.
▪ “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life”: Young boy uses his wits to deal with his principal and bullies.
▪ “Operation Avalanche”: CIA agents uncover a huge NASA secret.
▪ “Jerry Maguire”: The Tom Cruise romance is being re-released for its 20th anniversary.
▪ “Projections of America”: A collection of 26 short documentaries about American life.
▪ “The Ultimate Legacy”: Continues the journey of Jason Stevens as he learns firsthand the value of teaching.
▪ “Another Man’s Will”: A woman looks to add some excitement to her life.
▪ “Girls: The Complete Fifth Season”: Hannah (Lena Dunham) has put her writing ambitions aside and is teaching.
▪ “The Monkey King 2”: The Monkey King vows to protect the innocent from a demon after being freed from his confines under the Five Finger Mountain.
▪ “Bones: Season 11”: Bizarre cases, secrets and scandals threaten to tear apart the team.
▪ “Amnesia”: Bike courier loses his memory after being at a murder scene.
▪ “Blood of the Vikings: First Blood”: Real story behind the myths of the Viking raids on Britain.
▪ “Shetland: Season Three”: Jimmy Perez faces a new single mystery in the series based on Ann Cleeves’ detective series.
▪ “Doctor Blake Mysteries: Season Three”: Doctor suffering trauma from war memories begins solving crimes.
New on Digital HD Jan. 3:
▪ “Beyond Redemption”: Martial arts expert and actor Bruce Fontaine makes his feature film directorial debut.