Director Adam Wingard has staked out a respectable place for himself in the modern horror/thriller genre, with movies like the wryly comedic home invasion tale You’re Next and the tense but fun action thriller The Guest. Since Wingard (and screenwriter Simon Barrett, who regularly partners up with the director) always has a few surprises up his sleeve, there has been plenty of interest from horror fans in his latest project, The Woods, a found footage movie that follows a group of ill-fated college students on a camping trip into some creepy woods.
Even to casual horror fans, that synopsis will be reminiscent of one horror movie in particular: Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s 1999 low-budget flick The Blair Witch Project, which also followed a group of ill-fated college students on a camping trip into some creepy woods. Today it was revealed that The Woods isn’t just an homage to The Blair Witch Project – it’s a sequel. Oh, and it’s not called The Woods – it’s really called Blair Witch.
EW broke the news with a brand new trailer for Blair Witch, which reveals that James Allen McCune (Shameless) is playing the brother of Heather Donohue, one of the characters from the first movie. Addressing the deception, Wingard said:
“The Woods was our working title.When we signed on to it, we knew that [the name] was eventually going to be changed. To us, it wasn’t even going to be part of the marketing. But I think Lionsgate made a really smart decision, using that.”
Check out the brand new trailer for Blair Witch above, and the poster below:
Seeing the full trailer, it’s clear just how heavily Blair Witch will call back to its predecessor, with the characters apparently treading almost exactly in the footsteps of Heather, Josh and Mike. In fact, beyond the setup it looks more like a remake than a sequel; there’s the scene of the group coming across dolls hanging from the trees; a shot of a character standing in a room facing the corner; and of course the group’s realization that their map is useless and they’ve been walking in a circle.
Of course, given how good Wingard and Barrett are at surprising people and subverting expectations, we can be reasonably sure that there’s more to this than just a modern ripoff of The Blair Witch Project. One lucky audience at San Diego Comic-Con has already seen the movie, but everyone else can catch it in theaters this fall.
Blair Witch arrives in theaters on September 16th, 2016.