Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

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INTERVIEW: The Blair Witch Legacy Creator Jason Hawkins

INTERVIEW: The Blair Witch Legacy Creator Jason Hawkins

This is a fan-made film and will not be available for purchase or digital viewing.
I had an opportunity to discuss some elements of The Blair Witch Legacy with Jason Hawkins. Hawkins also has aspirations to make his own Friday the 13th fan film and says he has it “if people got behind it…….I already worked out how it would go”. As The Blair Witch Legacy is a fan made film, Hawkins and his crew cannot gain financially from its release. However, as you see in my candid interview with Hawkins, he has plans for the film.

House of Tortured Souls: The Blair Witch Legacy is a ‘fan film’, are you a fan of the Blair Witch franchise (this would include all 3 films currently released) and/or the Blair Witch folklore?
Jason Hawkins: I am a fan of the Blair Witch films. I saw the first one in theatres when, like a lot of people, I wasn’t sure if what I was watching was legit or not. I suspected not, but the film was so well put together, and the marketing campaign so well thought out, that I was able to suspend disbelief enough to get caught up in the story and really enjoy it. As a child, I had seen a lot of the docu-films like The Legend of Boggy Creek and such, so I think I was ready for a film like this. I’ve revisited The Blair Witch Project multiple times over the years and find that it still holds up well. The second film Book Of Shadows my hopes were high. I think I’m one of the few people who thought the film was decent. It’s not excellent, and there’s a lot going on that misses the point, but I thought (when I was watching it as a stand-alone style film) that it holds up in a video store rental kinda way. The third film…I was curious. More than I was excited. I think the reaction to the second film really hurt the release of the new one. I didn’t enjoy the third film in the way I hoped I would. To me, they erred in making it a ‘Hollywood Movie’ filled with the same type of things horror fans complain about on a regular basis. The premise was solid, the idea was there, but the execution was not. I felt it was ‘Oh look, pretty teens go into the woods….oh look the cliché black best friend character…oh look” it was filled with things that took me out of the realism. There was never any doubt that we were watching a ‘Hollywood Film’ from the beginning. It was missing that ‘what if’ factor of the original film. It should have come off as a raw Indie. I think that’s the major differences between the original and the follow-up films. We love the original because of what it is- the underdog's story. The filmmakers were not Hollywood cookie-cutter characters. They looked, acted, felt like real people - because they were. In our film, we wanted to get back to basics, back to a film that feels like it could have been shot with regular people on consumer level equipment – because it was. We embraced that and worked to make it feel exactly like what it is …. a found footage film.

HoTS: Being a fan of the film, how did you produce the budget for the film? Was there an Indiegogo campaign? Investors?
JH: We actually worked with a pretty small budget, even by Indie standards. Being a fan film, we knew we couldn’t profit off of it, and we’ve done our best to be very respectful of the intellectual properties, which would have made going to an investor difficult. With limited options, we decided to make this film directly out of our own pockets and funded all aspects of it ourselves. There was talk of an Indiegogo, but we felt with the right people and the right approach we could pull this off ourselves. The money hunt, particularly for indie artists, is a constant struggle. It’s very, very difficult to get films made, even when you have a solid track record and I didn’t want to wait 5 years…… 10 ….maybe never making this film. I’ve seen too many filmmakers with great ideas wither on the vine and never get their made because they don’t have the budget. We worked with what we had, took advantage of our skills and decided to make the film with a budget we had.

HoTS: Where did you find your 3 lead actors – Samantha Marie Cook, Cody Epling, and Jason Reynolds- and what was it like working with them?
JH: We originally posted the project under a code name The March Project intending to cast and shoot in spring. Record rainfall flooded a lot of our locations and caused some conditions that we decided might be hazardous, so we delayed. We had begun the audition process by accepting video auditions. From those we culled the list down to the top 2-3 we wanted to see them in person for each character. We bought these actors in and really put them through their paces. They still didn’t know what they were auditioning for, what the film was about or anything. We narrowed down our choices and invited the actors to join the film, finally telling them what it was and what our goals were. Sam was our first choice and Cody had actually auditioned for a different character but came on as the character we see in the film. (In fact, most of the characters you see in the film had auditioned, didn’t get the role they were after but were offered a chance to come back and be in the film and its supporting character). Jason I had known for a while, having worked with him on a few other projects and training MMA with him. He’s a friend and I wanted somebody who was comfortable in the deep woods and also they were familiar with the way I work. Working with them was hell on earth – I’m kidding of course. We had multiple meetings before film dates, to get everybody comfortable around each other and to work on building the sense of camaraderie that you hopefully see and feel in the film. The characters came together well, and once the weather cleared we moved to shoot. The first few days didn’t go as smooth as we wanted, but it was a great bonding experience and we decided to start over, scrapping the first few days of footage. The trials and tribulations of filming a project like this brought them together in a stronger way, and when we started again, they were on point. It’s hard to believe now that none of them had ever met before we started casting, they seem like old friends.

HoTS: You shot on location in both Oregon and Maryland, was the Burkittsville location welcoming of another Blair Witch film?
JH: Soooooo…..we didn’t actually go to Maryland. We wanted to sell the illusion that we did, much as they sold the illusion of the ‘Black Hills’ in the original. We went to the airport, whole bit, but never actually went to Maryland. I had scouted locations for a few months and done my best to match them up with some of the towns woods in Maryland. We put that in the credits just for fun, and to see if anybody would know the difference. Is that a spoiler? I’m not sure, but it’s a factual statement that the people of Burkittsville have come out with negative responses to the Blair Witch films- in our movie when Sam says “I know, it’s all on the Thrillist website”, she’s telling the truth. The Thrillist website does cover the negative reactions of the people of Burkittsville about The Blair Witch Project. A lot of what we did was very meta –we heavily mixed in fact and fiction. In fact, sometimes you’d hear statements on set such as “wait, is this real real or film real?” and sometimes the answer was simply yes, yes it is.

HoTS: What other film projects can I observe your work in?
JH: I like to stay busy and am almost always working on something, or developing the next project. Over the years I’ve done multiple feature films, including All American Bully with Adrienne King (from the original Friday the 13th), 15:Inside The Mind of a Serial Killer (which is getting re-released soon), and The Devil Knows His Own with Eileen Dietz (from The Exorcist and many more), as well as several short films. Like a lot of indie artists, we’ve had ups and downs with distribution. My films can be found on Redbox, iTunes, Amazon, Walmart and many outlets around the world. Many would call that success, and I suppose it is, but getting distributors to actually pay you for your work is another story entirely. In fact, that’s an entire article unto itself…

HoTS: What is the plan for The Blair Witch Legacy? Will you be submitting it to festivals?
JH: This is actually a pretty complex question. We knew going into this that we couldn’t profit off of someone else’s intellectual property. We are not the copyright holders, and our film is able to exist through the grace of Lionsgate. They have allowed people to play with the Blair Witch universe in the past – these are dozens of fan shorts, fake documentaries, etc, much the same as fans have been allowed to play in other rich, layered, universes such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and so on. So, knowing that, we made the film by fans, for fans. We have submitted to multiple festivals and conventions, where we’ll be showing exhibition screeners of our film. Currently, there are close to a dozen that will be showing it or trying to work it into their schedule. However, I try to make sure every move I make in regards to film and my career is with a reason. I like to say “No move without purpose” and try to make sure every move is to advance and with purpose. I didn’t just make a fan film. I made a fan film in a popular universe to draw more attention to what we do, and send up a flare in the direction of Lionsgate- “hey look at us. We love the franchise. There is hope for it. Let US make the next one.” How cool would it be to get their attention and have them look at our project? I’ve already worked out most of the details for a sequel, and I really believe the franchise can be given new life and reach new audiences worldwide. And I want to be the one to do it. No move without purpose.

Keep up to date on screenings and festivals showing The Blair Witch Legacy, through their Facebook page and watch for future projects from Jason Hawkins.
Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in INTERVIEWS, PARANORMAL, 0 comments
EDITORIAL: In Defense of: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

EDITORIAL: In Defense of: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

Hello, horror fiends. In my new series “In Defense Of...”, I look at movies often loathed, you know, those fugly, redheaded, stepchildren in the genre. But are they really worth the hate? After all, a lot of now classic horror films were once looked down upon by other like-minded genre fans. Day of the Dead (1985) is a prime example. So all I ask is your time and open mind because you never know, you might just see a movie in a totally new light.
Oscar nominated director Joe Berlinger seemed like an interesting choice when it was announced he would helm the sequel to the mega hit The Blair Witch Project. Berlinger is known for award winning documentaries such as Brother's Keeper and the hugely successful Paradise Lost trilogy. He is currently directing a project about Ted Bundy (Zac Efron is slated to play Bundy).

Opening Statement or Sequels Don't Always Suck

For my first film, I want to look at the ill-fated sequel to the smash hit The Blair Witch Project (1999). Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 was looked at by many fans as a quickly slapped together film to keep the Blair Witch money train chugging along. But it's really not the cinematic turd we unfairly dismiss it as. I’m going to use the term ballsy a lot because that is exactly what the Joe Berlinger was when attempting to tackle the sequel to the huge runaway hit the first Blair Witch was. He could have taken the easy route and simply sent another batch of kids in the woods screaming and looking into the camera and sobbing etc., but he didn’t. Instead, he chose to take the template of the first film and do what a good sequel should do, which is expand the mythos and take the series in a different direction.

Studio Interference

When defending Blair Witch 2, you have to have some context. The director’s vision of Blair Witch 2 is totally different than what we see in the final product all thanks to studio interference. For example, key scenes were re-arranged along with additional violent scenes, etc. It was further confused by adding Book of Shadows to the title when, in fact, there is no book in the movie. That, my friends, was - you guessed it - the studio suits’ bright idea and not the director’s. On a side note, I’ve heard of fans making their own “director’s cut” versions using details from the shooting script and listening to the commentary. (SERIOUSLY, the commentary is amazing. You must listen to it. ), and (surprise, surprise) it's much better. Sadly, the odds of seeing an official director's cut is slim because Artisan (now Lions Gate) doesn’t really do a lot to cater to fans. Even The Blair Witch Project (1999), a film that put them on the map, didn’t get a tenth-anniversary release because I guess they figured why bother.

What Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Got Right

After viewing last year’s stinkfest which was Blair Witch, it only reinforced the idea that Blair Witch 2, for all its flaws, at least attempted to explore interesting themes and ideas. Not only does it all but ditch the whole found footage concept, which is pretty ballsy in and of itself, it is a clever take on Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. Each character in Book of Shadows represents an aspect of the film. Jeff is the opportunist cashing in on the film; Kim is the goth girl who was drawn into the film’s dark themes and subject matter; Tristine and her husband are the brainy skeptics; and Erica is the Wiccan who found the film to be offensive to the witch community. Again this is so much more interesting than simply another batch of kids going off into the woods... God, I hate Blair Witch (2016).
In short, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is much more lofty than the remake/rehash we got last year. With the filmmaker's background in documentary film, he explores blurring the lines between fiction and reality and the very real danger in doing so. Also, the cliché imagery throughout is purposefully placed because the young people are so steeped in media that it’s the only way they relate to things once shit gets weird. The fact that The Blair Witch Project exists (in the sequel’s context) as a work of fiction rather than a part of its own universe is another incredibly ballsy move and helps to further echo its core theme while also giving an interesting slice of meta. Its cast is solid and the pacing moves at nearly breakneck speed. It also has a pretty good soundtrack which is now nostalgic for people of my generation.

Closing Statement or Before You Pass Judgment

I'm the first person to admit Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is flawed largely due to studio tampering, but it doesn’t deserve the 4.0 rating on IMDb! It attempted to give the audience something a little more challenging than simply a run of the mill cash grab remake (which, AGAIN, Blair Witch (2016) totally was) by introducing interesting themes and concepts. Thankfully, I’m not alone in my respect for this film, and it seems other fans are coming out of the woods and proudly reclaiming Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. I still hold out hope that Lions Gate will release a director’s cut to allow fans to see the film as the filmmaker intended.
Michael Vaughn is a published genre writer and has appeared in Fangoria, Scream (UK) in print as well as sites like FilmsinReview.com. He also owns the blog “Gorehound Mike's Weird Cinema”. Currently, he has a book coming out entitled The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema, which compiles over 300 reviews spanning films from all over the globe and covering multiple genres.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in EDITORIALS, MOVIE REVIEWS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, 0 comments
History of Horror in October

History of Horror in October

By Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in October. Click on thumbnails for full images.

October 1 - 7

10/01/1968 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)
released theatrically
19680110_Night of the Living Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19741001_The Texas Chain Saw Massacre / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/01/1974 – The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) released
theatrically
10/02/1959 – The Twilight Zone (original series) premieres on television
19591002_The Twilight Zone / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
19971002_Castlevania: Symphony of the Night / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.
10/02/1997 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night released on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in the United States
10/02/2001 – Tremors 3: Back to Perfection released theatrically
20011002_Tremors 3: Back to Perfection / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
20021003_Darkness / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/03/2002 – Darkness released theatrically
10/04/2002 – Red Dragon released theatrically
20021004_Red Dragon / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
20041004_Zombie Honeymoon / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/04/2004 – Zombie Honeymoon released theatrically
10/04/2005 – Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in the United States America
20051004_Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.
19191005_Donald Pleasence / © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
10/05/1919 – Donald Pleasence (actor in many horror films) born (d. 1995)
10/05/1952 – Clive Barker (author, director, and artist) born
19521005_Clive Barker / Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com
19621005_Tod Browning / Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
10/05/1962 – Tod Browning (director of Dracula and Freaks) dies (b. 1880)
10/05/1999 – Angel premieres on television
19991005_Angel / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
20011005_Joy Ride / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/05/2001 – Joy Ride released theatrically
10/05/2005 – Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis premiers on television
20051005_Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
20051005_Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
10/05/2005 – Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave premiers on television
10/06/2006 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning released theatrically
20061006_The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
18491007_Edgar Allan Poe / Public domain.
10/07/1849 – Edgar Allan Poe dies (b. 1809)
10/07/1994 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation released theatrically
19941007_Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 8 - 14

20011008_Castlevania Chronicles / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.
10/08/2001 – Castlevania Chronicles released on the PlayStation in North America
10/11/2002 – Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance released on the Game Boy Advance in the European Union
20021011_Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.
19891013_Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/13/1989 – Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers released theatrically
10/13/1998– Fallen released theatrically
19981013_Fallen / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
20061013_The Grudge 2 / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/13/2006 – The Grudge 2 released theatrically
10/14/1944 – Udo Kier (actor in many horror films) born
19441014_Udo Kier / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
19941014_Wes Craven's New Nightmare / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
10/14/1994 – Wes Craven's New Nightmare released theatrically
10/14/2005 – The Fog (2005) released theatrically
20051014_The Fog / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 15 – 21

19811015_The Evil Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/15/1981– The Evil Dead released theatrically
10/16/1987 – Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II released theatrically
19871016_Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19921016_Candyman / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/16/1992 – Candyman released theatrically
10/16/1998 – Bride of Chucky released theatrically
19981016_Bride of Chucky / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
20031017_The Texas Chainsaw Massacre / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/17/2003 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) released theatrically
10/18/1976 – Burnt Offerings released theatrically
19801018_Motel Hell / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/18/1980 – Motel Hell released theatrically
10/18/1985 – Re-Animator released theatrically
19851018_Re-Animator / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19961018_The Dentist / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
10/18/1996 – The Dentist released theatrically
10/18/2002 – The Ring released theatrically
20021018_The Ring / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
20051018_Day of the Dead 2: Contagium / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
10/18/2005 – Day of the Dead 2: Contagium released on DVD
10/19/1990 – Night of the Living Dead (1990) released theatrically
19901019_Night of the Living Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
20041019_Zombie Planet / Box artwork. Fair use doctrine.
10/19/2004 – Zombie Planet (1963) released theatrically
10/20/1889 – Bela Lugosi born (d. 1956)
18891020_Bela Lugosi / Image courtesy mptvimages.com
19421020_Night Monster / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/20/1942 – Night Monster released theatrically
10/21/1988 – Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers released theatrically
19881021_Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
20031021_Castlevania: Lament of Innocence / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.
10/21/2003 – Castlevania: Lament of Innocence released on the PlayStation 2 in North America
10/21/2005 – Doom released theatrically
20051021_Doom / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 22 - 28

19821022_Halloween III: Season of the Witch / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/22/1982 – Halloween III: Season of the Witch released theatrically
10/22/1988 – Monsters premieres on television
19881022_Monsters / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
20041022_The Grudge / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/22/2004 – The Grudge released theatrically
10/23/1942 – The Mummy's Tomb released theatrically
19421023_The Mummy's Tomb / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19591023_Sam Raimi / Photo by Steve Granitz - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com
10/23/1959 – Sam Raimi (creator of the Evil Dead series of films) born
10/23/1987 – Prince of Darkness released theatrically
19871023_Prince of Darkness / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19981023_Brimstone / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
10/23/1998 – Brimstone premieres on television
10/23/2001 – Thir13en Ghosts released theatrically
20011023_Thir13en Ghosts / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19621024_Eyes Without a Face / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/24/1962 – Eyes Without a Face released theatrically in the United States
10/25/1978 – Halloween released theatrically
19781025_Halloween / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19931025_Vincent Price / Photo by Gabi Rona - © MPTV - Image courtesy mptvimages.com
10/25/1993 – Vincent Price (actor in many horror films) dies (b. 1911)
10/25/2000 – Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem released on the Nintendo GameCube in Japan
20001025_Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.
19791026_When a Stranger Calls / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/26/1979 – When a Stranger Calls (1979) released theatrically
10/26/2001 – Bones released theatrically
20011026_Bones / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19891027_Shocker / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/27/1989 – Shocker released theatrically
10/27/1989 – Castlevania: The Adventure released on the Game Boy in Japan
19891027_Castlevania: The Adventure / By Judgesurreal777. Fair use doctrine.
19951027_Vampire in Brooklyn / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/27/1995 – Vampire in Brooklyn released theatrically
10/27/1998 – Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 released theatrically
19981027_Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19511028_Joe R. Lansdale / By Materialscientist. Fair use doctrine.
10/28/1951 – Joe R. Lansdale (winner of six Bram Stoker Awards for horror fiction) born
10/28/2005 – Saw II released theatrically
20051028_Saw II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
20051028_Masters of Horror / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
10/28/2005 – Masters of Horror premieres on television

October 29 -31

10/29/1920 – The Golem: How He Came Into the World released theatrically in Germany
19201029_The Golem: How He Came Into the World / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19731029_Return of the Blind Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/29/1973 – Return of the Blind Dead released theatrically
10/29/1993 – Return of the Living Dead III released on VHS
19931029_Return of the Living Dead III / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
19931029_Demon Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.
10/29/1993 – Demon Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood released on the PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 in Japan
10/29/2004 – Versus released theatrically
20041029_Versus / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.
20041029_Saw / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/29/2004 – Saw released theatrically
10/30/1938 – The War of the Worlds radio adaptation airs
19381030_The War of the Worlds / Image: Daily News. Fair use doctrine.
19811030_Halloween II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/30/1981 – Halloween II released theatrically
10/31/1961 – Peter Jackson (director of Bad Taste and Braindead) born
19611031_Peter Jackson / Photo by Tim Whitby - © 2012 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com
19741031_Phantom of the Paradise / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.
10/31/1974 – Phantom of the Paradise released theatrically
10/31/1991 – Castlevania II: Simon's Quest released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan
19911031_Castlevania II: Simon's Quest / By DASHBot. Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
THIS JUST IN: Blair Witch (2016)

THIS JUST IN: Blair Witch (2016)

Witch?? Did Somebody Say Witch?

By Jonathan Patrick Hughes

The Blair Witch Project 05In the summer of 1999, Artisan Entertainment, Haxan Films, and directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick introduced us to a new breed of terror, a film so astounding it made the hairs stand up on the back of our necks and ran shivers down our spines. That film was The Blair Witch Project.

The Blair Witch Project 02The film was made on a micro budget for $22 thousand dollars (the cost of a brand new Ford Taurus at the time) and shattered the box office with a whopping $248 million dollars and became marked as one of the scariest films ever made. Even though this was the second attempt at using found footage material (The Last Broadcast being the first), the film managed to breathe fresh air into the horror genre and start what is now known as the found footage trend.

The Blair Witch Project 01
The Blair Witch Project 03
The Blair Witch Project 04

The Blair Witch Project tells a story of three film students who head to a forest in Maryland to do research on The Blair Witch, the town’s local legend, and are never heard or seen again until one year later when all their footage is found. The Blair Witch Project shocked audiences having them think that the film was actual footage and the movie was real.

The Blair Witch Project 06

Within a few days of its initial release, we learned that it was indeed fake, but that didn't stop the film from being undeniably horrifying. The film opened our eyes and put us in situations we were never in before, and that was the genius behind this dark and eerie tale.

Blair Witch 2 04One year later we were introduced to its sequel also known as Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. The film was directed by Joe Berlinger, who is known for his documentaries such as The Paradise Lost Trilogy (Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996), Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000), and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)), which documented the tragic stories on the West Memphis Three, and METALLICA: Some Kind of Monster, which was based on the lives of the band as they fight to stay strong and get through the hardest times while recording one of their studio albums known as St Anger.

Blair Witch 2 03
Blair Witch 2 01

Blair Witch 06Blair Witch 05Blair Witch 2 to me is viewed more as a stand alone film or a tribute rather than a straight up sequel to The Blair Witch Project. BW2 may not be as effective as the original, but it is still a solid piece of sweetness to sink your teeth into, especially around Halloween.

Since the films have made such an impact all over they also released 3 games for PC that takes us further into the legend as well as the story of Rustin Parr who apparently was possessed at one time by Elly Kedward who was also known as The Blair Witch herself. Rustin Parr claimed to have murdered 7 innocent children in his basement. The children were forced to stand in the corner and face the wall as he killed them off one by one. The games themselves weren't nearly as imaginative as the films were but they still managed to sell quite a few pieces.

Blair Witch Vol. i: Rustin Parr
Blair Witch II: The Legend of Coffin Rock
Blair Witch Vol. III: Die Elly Kedward Sage

For over a decade we have heard rumors after rumors that another sequel was being written by the original creators, and after awhile it was almost as if everyone just gave up hope and figured it was never gonna happen. That was until this past weekend at the San Diego Comic Con when we learned that on September 16, 2016, we will be heading back into the black hills forest only to witness the next installment of true evil herself: The Blair Witch.

Blair Witch 03
Blair Witch 02

The dynamic duo of Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard, who are the creative geniuses behind (You're Next, A Horrible Way To Die, and The Guest) unleashed their big surprise and told us that their next film, originally titled The Woods was indeed fake and that the real title is in fact Blair Witch. The team successfully managed to keep this a dark secret for nearly three years and I, for one, am overjoyed to hear this news. If anyone can tell us a true visionary scary take on one of our favorite witches, its these guys. The film was shown to a wide audience over the weekend of the con, and everyone is talking about how impressive it is and how it is a trip back to the highly effective scares and pulse-pounding moments of the original. I am ready to witness the newest entry to The Blair Witch Legacy. Blair Witch will hit cinemas on September 16, 2016, and will go head to head with the very much anticipated Rob Zombie film known as 31. Who is ready for one Hell of a cinematic weekend???

Blair Witch 04

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, PARANORMAL, 0 comments