blair_witchers

It’s a couple of weeks over ten years now since The Blair Witch Project proved to be a strange freak of box office nature. Back at it’s release on July 30th 1999 the film was given a crazy leg-up by its accidentally wonderful online marketing and a public desperate to buy into something spiritual-mystical, however crazy. We also shouldn’t underestimate the voracious appetite of the dedicated horror audience, of which I would suppose I am a member, and our never-ending desire for something new, fresh or exciting.

The sequel, Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, was an entirely different beast to the original, eschewing the Last Broadcast-style handicam aesthetic for something in the vein of classical narrative film stylings. Personally, I thought it was conceptually a far more exciting film than the first though somewhat hampered by its lackluster realization. I do still relish the irony, though, that this second film was directed by Joe Berlinger, typically a maker of documentaries.

So, which way would a third Blair Witch film go? Back to the faux-doc approach of part one? Or further into the potential of ‘traditional’ film language?

The BBC have spoken to Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick on the occasion of the film’s tenth anniversary, and their conversation turned to a possible sequel.

Sanchez admits they are still undecided how to proceed with the project, whether to stick with the grittiness of the first film, or make a more polished and more obviously expensive sequel. Sanchez began by explaining one of thei abandoned ideas:

Ideally, each Blair Witch film would be a completely different kind of movie. We’ve thought about doing a film that takes place in the late 1700s and looks like a Kubrick movie with gritty looking people and lighting.

Gritty looking people? Nice. That idea, however, has already given way to something more in step with the series’ legacy:

But now, we’re thinking about going back and and seeing what happened directly after the first film finished. I think it will have some kind of video element in it, but it won’t be a first person hand-held movie.

“Some kind of video element” brings back bad memories of Fear.Com and Halloween Ressurection.

Myrick was also asked about the possible return of the originals’ cast:

I talk to Josh quite regularly and Mike Williams as well. Actually, he had a role in my last movie. Heather, I haven’t seen in years. The last I heard, she had got out of the business and gone up north and is living on a ranch somewhere. Maybe she’s still traumatized.

The Blair Witch mantle seems likely to be scooped up by Oren Peli‘s Paranormal Activity, in both low budget and studio-funded remake forms. Will a relevant Witch sequel make it out of the traps before the brand is completely devalued?

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