Although we have already seen a trailer and a pair of posters for Adam Wingard’s (You’re Next, The Guest) upcoming horror film “The Woods,” it turns out the name was a working title to keep the film’s true identity a secret and is actually a Blair Witch sequel! See the new trailer and poster below.
Since surprise was part of The Blair Witch Project’s legacy, the filmmakers wanted to keep the sequel under wraps.
“A huge part of the first movie was the surprise of those initial screenings when people weren’t sure if it was real or not,” says producer Keith Calder. “We hope to capture that same excitement by making the film in secret and not telling audiences it exists until the film’s about to come out.”
Wingard’s longtime collaborator Simon Barrett wrote the the film’s script and added: “Keeping this a secret in the era of oversharing and excessive marketing on social media, especially of horror films, felt new and original for the time.” But keeping such a secret proved an enormous logistical challenge. “I created versions of the script that were widely different,” says Barrett. “The cast auditioned with fake pages, and the actors didn’t know what movie they agreed to be in until their deals were finalized.”
Different versions of the script also circulated on set. “The art department would be making a sign, and it would be wrong because they were going off the wrong script,” says Barrett.
Now the filmmakers must get accustomed to saying “Blair Witch” out loud.
“I’ve been so conditioned never to say those words — even on set we called it ‘B-dubs,’” says Barrett. “We’re so happy we can finally talk about it.”
Shot over 32 days in Vancouver and British Columbia, the filmmakers strived to capture the authentic spirit of The Blair Witch Project, while again pushing the boundaries of found footage films.
“The challenge for us was to make a modern horror movie that acknowledged and surpassed everything that’s happened in horror over the last 17 years, including films like The Conjuring, Insidious and Saw, and have the film feel as real to audiences as it did in 1999,” says Barrett.
While much of the fear behind the first Blair Witch relied on what wasn’t shown, the sequel terrifies audiences and excites hardcore fans by revealing more of what lurks after dark.
“Whatever evil is in the woods has only gotten stronger since the first film,” says Wingard. “I wanted to create something that felt like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not in terms of the violence, but in terms of the relentless intensity that movie gives you. You’re constantly running from something into a scenario that’s even more frightening.”
It’s been 20 years since James’s sister and her two friends vanished into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland while researching the legend of the Blair Witch, leaving a trail of theories and suspicions in their wake.
James (James Allen McCune) and his friends Peter (Brandon Scott), Ashley (Corbin Reid) and film student Lisa (Callie Hernandez) venture into the same woods each with a camera to uncover the mysteries surrounding their disappearance.
At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valorie Curry) 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 opens in theaters on September 16th.