blair witch

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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.

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