It was no secret that You’re Next director Adam Wingard had made a forest-set, found-footage horror. We’d been told all about it – it was to be called The Woods and released in mid-September. There was even a trailer! So it was a sleight of hand that surpassed even JJ Abrams’ 10 Cloverfield Lane switcheroo when it was revealed at Comic-Con that the movie was actually a sequel to The Blair Witch Project. Fair play to Lionsgate for creating one of the biggest stories of San Diego with a masterstroke of PR.
The movie, which pretends the rushed-out and mediocre 2000 sequel Book Of Shadows never happened, returns to the found-footage format of the original – albeit with 21st century video technology. It sees the brother of original Blair Witch hunter Heather Donahue going out on a quest to find his lost sister, and such was the level of secrecy that very few people working on the movie knew what they were making. “Even the production manager was given a fake script,” Wingard explained in San Diego. “We had a fake script circulating around the whole time, and nobody told him we were shooting a Blair Witch movie. He read the script and it took him a few weeks of filming to realise what we were actually shooting!”
Concept art for the pretty neat world of Ragnarok.
Well, The Woods wasn’t much of a title anyway.