2016 has been a pretty solid year for mainstream horror movies so far. Lights Out wound up being a very welcomed surprise, Don't Breathe is getting very positive early buzz, and The Conjuring 2 showed us how to do a horror sequel right. James Wan may have some competition for the best horror sequel of 2016 though, because Blair Witch, a sequel to The Blair Witch Project, is coming out next month. With the release date approaching, Lionsgate has decided to release two new TV spots for the highly anticipated sequel.
The first Blair Witch spot Lionsgate released is a pretty run-of-the-mill 30 second bit of footage, but it really gives a great sense of what audience members can expect from the movie. It features a lot of fast paced cuts, lots of quick jump scares, and flashes of the house from the original movie. The second spot is actually a bit more revealing, as it actually features some voice over that sets up the plot of the movie. It doesn't feature as much of the scary moments, but it definitely gives more of an idea of what Blair Witch is about and how it connects to the original. In case you missed it, here is the official synopsis for the movie. At the end of this spot, there is also a link to check out a pretty creepy 360 video as well.
"A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James' sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined."
Blair Witch was directed by Adam Wingard, who worked on both of the V/H/S anthology horror movies. Wingard also directed You're Next and The Guest, which were very well received by fans and critics. Simon Barrett, who wrote those movies, reunited with Wingard for Blair Witch. Lionsgate pulled a fast one on us recently, as they had originally been advertising the movie as The Woods, but they revealed that the movie was indeed a sequel to The Blair Witch Project during a screening at San Diego Comic-Con. Immediately following the screening, the title was revealed to be Blair Witch, and the cat was out of the bag.
The Blair Witch Project has gone onto become one of the most successful and defining horror movies of all-time. It made nearly $250 million at the global box office on a budget of just $60 thousand, and spawned a sequel, which was much less successful. Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows was panned by critics and only brought in $47 million on a $15 million budget, which managed to kill the horror franchise. Until now, that is. Early buzz for Blair Witch has been incredibly positive. Recently, Eduardo Sanchez, who co-directed the original, praised the new sequel, saying that is is really scary, and grounded in the original.
Horror sequels are tricky as is, but it is even more difficult to accomplish making a quality horror sequel more than 15 years after an already disappointing sequel was released. But if early buzz on Blair Witch is to be believed, Adam Wingard has managed to defy expectations and make a genuinely great sequel to The Blair Witch Project, which is worthy of the franchise. Blair Witch comes out on September 16, 2016. Be sure to check out the new TV spots for yourself below.