Though there’s certainly no shortage of those who would deny it, the fact of the matter is that the arrival of 1999’s The Blair Witch Project provided a much needed facelift for contemporary horror films. Written and directed by two completely unknown independent filmmakers, The Blair Witch Project helped carve a place for indie filmmakers as well as the POV, found-footage genre.
After a lackluster sequel followed with 2000’s Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, the appeal of The Blair Witch Project as a franchise weakened until the saga was somewhat forgotten. But now, with the upcoming surprise arrival of the third film in the series – simply titled Blair Witch – fans of the original film as well as the next generation of horror lovers are in for a new take on the dark tale.
Since revealing that his upcoming film was Blair Witch and not the alternately-titled The Woods at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, director Adam Wingard (You’re Next) has kept the promotion of the film to a minimum. With the release date just around the corner however, two new TV spots have arrived that focus on an all new search in the Blackhills forest near Burkittsville, Maryland. You can check out the TV spots above and below.
The film picks up some seventeen years after the disappearance of filmmaker Heather Donahue and her crew while searching for proof of the existence of the mysterious Blair Witch. As the TV spot simply titled Blair Witch reveals, this time it’s Heather’s brother James who decides to undertake his own search for his missing sister and film a documentary in the process. While it would of course be nice to say that James succeeds in his endeavor and is reunited with his long lost sibling, this is, after all, a horror movie. Judging by the reaction some have had to the Comic-Con screening, the end result of this third installment in the franchise is a veritable “assault on the senses”.
There is of course the danger that Blair Witch has already been over-hyped. More than one publication has described it as the scariest film ever made – a tactic that has almost universally been doomed to fail. If there’s one thing that audiences love more than being scared at the movies, it’s intentionally contradicting any pre-prescribed notions of fear. This is exactly what happened with The Blair Witch Project, which is still, by any objective account of what a horror movie should do and be, a very frightening film.
Whatever does end up happening with Blair Witch, at the very least it has the advantage of not having to do much in order to surpass the quality (or lack thereof) of Blair Witch 2. The film will probably end up pleasing horror fans, but as for the general public just looking for a scare? Well that’s always the biggest challenge any horror movie faces.
Blair Witch opens in U.S. theaters on September 16th, 2016.
Source: Lionsgate Movies