If you know anything about modern horror, the fact that the new horror film The Woods was being directed by Adam Wingard was reason enough to get excited about its release. The first trailer for the film, which premiered a few months ago, bolstered that feeling two-fold, even though it looked nothing like the wild world that Wingard created with The Guest or the subversive fury of You’re Next. We now have yet another trailer for the film, which you can take a look at below, but that comes second to a major revelation about Wingard’s latest project, that it is, in fact, an entry in the Blair Witch franchise, titled simply Blair Witch now instead of The Woods (click here to watch Perri’s video review of the film).
Now, anyone who had the severe displeasure of witnessing the second Blair Witch movie, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, will know that continuing on this franchise isn’t exactly the best news in the world on its own. Yes, The Blair Witch Project remains a tight, tense found-footage wonder, one of the half-dozen (or so) times that particular stylistic hook has not been the sole fascinating thing about the movie that utilizes it (see also: Cloverfield, Chronicle). The second film, on the other hand, was devoid of personality and deeply disinteresting, likely due to the fact that the director, Joe Berlinger, had his original conception cut to ribbons by the studio, which was looking for a more by-the-numbers, quick-buck sequel. One could also blame Berlinger, but I have more faith in the filmmaker behind the groundbreaking Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills than any studio.
With Wingard now announced as being the man behind the upcoming iteration, however, Blair Witch could very well summon the want to put real directors behind the camera. such as Ti West, Jaume Collet-Serra, or Rob Zombie, even if he already directed one of the best witch films in history with The Lords of Salem. The new trailer has plenty of intensely unsettling and scary moments that feel distinctly like Wingard’s craftsmanship, and with Wingard already well into filming on his Death Note adaptation for Netflix, we may be witnessing the first movements of John Carpenter‘s natural successor.
Watch the Blair Witch trailer below. The film hits theaters nationwide on September 16th.
Here’s the new poster for Blair Witch:
Here’s the official synopsis for Blair Witch:
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.