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“The Blair Witch Project” director Dan Myrick directed “Under the Bed” from his own script. Inspired by true events, “Under the Bed” follows a young woman who is trying to get over a recent romantic breakup, while unbeknownst to her, an obsessed stalker befriends her on social media and takes up residence in her home.
“Under the Bed” will premiere on Jan. 7. The movie was financed by Justin Shaner’s Sobe Brooke Studios in partnership with Radar Pictures, Appian Way and producers Shawn Papazian and Richard Halpern. The latter also receives “story by” credit.
- Dave McNary
When surprise horror hit “The Blair Witch Project” inspired a fast-tracked sequel — one that hit the big screen less than two years after the original debuted at the Sundance Film Festival — it was long before the days when such things were considered a given. Yet the film’s smash hit box office numbers and wild word-of-mouth seemed to earmark it as the exact kind of film — horror or otherwise — to franchise, and fast.
Although the film mostly veered away from the found-footage style of the original, it did feature a filmmaker well-equipped to dealing in first-person storytelling: Documentarian Joe Berlinger, in his first narrative directing gig. The film was ultimately plagued by notorious issues, including a studio-led recut that robbed it of much of Berlinger’s vision and a marketing campaign that all but rejected the flash and style of the first film’s ambitious methodology. In short, it wasn’t very good, »
- Kate Erbland
About a decade ago, the team behind the biggest hit of the decade wrote a screenplay for the prequel. It had been a long time coming. In 1999, the shaky-cam horror movie “The Blair Witch Project” grossed nearly $250 million around the world, turning the microbudget chronicle of a few friends who venture into the woods and never returned into an unexpected phenomena. “We had a plan for if it failed, what do with our finances without declaring bankruptcy,” said Eduardo Sanchez, who co-directed with Daniel Myrick. “We didn’t have a plan if it became the highest-grossing independent film of all time.”
However, distributor Artisan Entertainment had plenty of ideas. In the immediate aftermath of “The Blair Witch Project” taking off around the world, the company announced its investment two follow-ups, only one of which came to fruition. Myrick and Sanchez, eager to try something different, instead threw themselves into raising »
- Eric Kohn
“Blair Witch,” the sequel to the 1999 thriller “The Blair Witch Project,” is now out in theaters. For those who enjoyed the horror film that tricked everyone into thinking it was a true story, it’s a great blast from the past. But for others like Heather Donahue, star of the original film, news of the sequel initially brought back some bad memories.
Donahue wrote a piece for The Guardian where she described how the marketing department for the first film faked her death to sell the movie and the emotions that followed as the picture got bigger and she was left in the dark.
“My obituary was published when I was 24. It’s a complicated thing to be dead when you’re still very much alive and eager to make a name for yourself,” she wrote. “ I was the girl. The girl from ‘The Blair Witch Project.’”
Read More: Weekend Box Office Preview: ‘Sully’ Holds, »
- Liz Calvario
When I reviewed the original The Blair Witch Project, it was March of 1999. I saw it in Austin, in the apartment of a couple of my friends, thanks to Harry Knowles, who had been sent a VHS copy of the film by the filmmakers during its Sundance run. I went to Austin in February, and Harry had been sitting on his copy, waiting for us to get to town. We were there for the third Quentin Tarantino film festival at the still-young Alamo Drafthouse, and on the last night of the festival, my friends and I were set to hit the road as soon as the movies ended. We were road-tripping, and between the four of us, we figured we’d be able to do the entire drive back to La straight through with no stops for sleep. Harry asked us not to leave town right after the film, though. »
- Drew McWeeny
17 years ago, The Blair Witch Project burst into theaters on a massive wave of hype and made instant stars out of its directors, Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick, and its trio of lead actors: Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams, who made the cover of Newsweek magazine that same August. It was an unprecedented success that paved the way for the "found footage" genre that would explode over the subsequent decade, with films like Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield successfully exploiting the format's potential. None of these, though, would haunt viewers in quite the same way as Blair Witch, whose grainy, pre-smartphone aesthetic and terrifying denouement would stick with us long after the film's pop-cultural moment had passed. Of the film's three lead actors, Leonard has undoubtedly enjoyed the greatest run of Hollywood success post-Blair Witch, though it's worth noting that his career didn't really begin to heat »
- Chris Eggertsen
Plot: James, the younger brother of The Blair Witch Project's Heather Donahue, receives a video that appears to show the infamous footage of her final days in the haunted Black Hills Forest, where the fabled Blair Witch resides. Setting out with a group of friends and two strangers who know the area, James plunges into the woods to find out what really happened to his sister. Review: I was... Read More »
- Eric Walkuski
It’s scary walking in the foot prints of a legend. It’s not an easy task to try to tackle a sequel to one of the most iconic horror films ever made. Scratch that – one of the most iconic films ever made, period. You will never be able to catch the magic of the original. It was a once in a lifetime thing. It was an event. It was one of the first films to fully utilize the strength and broad reach of the internet (still in its infancy) to create a buzz that we now associate as viral marketing. I remember seeing the poster in the lobby of the theater one night and immediately going on the computer the next day to search what happened to these kids. Reading about these kids that disappeared and how their footage was found a year later sparked a level of intrigue »
- Michael Haffner
I carry mixed feelings towards 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project.”
Much like 2009’s “Paranormal Activity,” I respect the craft, ingenuity, and low-budget dedication found throughout the $60,000 production. I like how it sparked viral marketing as we know it today, and I also ultimately appreciate its longstanding contribution to not merely the horror genre, but film in general, and I recognize and often admire the commitment given by directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick, as well as actors Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C.
Continue reading ‘Blair Witch’ Can’t Capture The Mystique Of The Original [Review] at The Playlist. »
- Will Ashton
The original Blair Witch Project is of course best remembered as one of the most iconic (some would say greatest) horror films of the '90s, but in the early going, the film takes a few surprisingly successful stabs at humor. The greatest moment of all? Heather Donahue's "impromptu" chat with that fearful child and his witty, effortlessly-charming mother. First, the toddler's aggressively mortified reactions? Classic. Second, how does this woman have no other IMDb credits? For the record, her name is Jackie Hallex and I assume she was/is a resident of Burkittsville, the real Maryland town where the interview portions were shot. I guess she never believed in her stardom the way that I do, though I like to imagine she's trading perfectly-timed quips in a Burkittsville greasy spoon at this very moment. Reality Check: that child is at least 17 years old now. Time is fleeting! »
- Chris Eggertsen
The Blair Witch is back. The follow-up film to 1999's The Blair Witch Project is here, giving us even more insight into the legendary entity that haunts the Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, MD. Before we head into this new and uncharted territory in the woods, it's important to go back to the story's roots, so to speak. What makes The Blair Witch Project so great? How did it carve out a space in horror movie history? The answer isn't as simple as you might think. The First of Its Kind, in More Ways Than One The Blair Witch Project revolutionized the horror genre. It may not have been the first found-footage movie ever - that title goes to 1980's Cannibal Holocaust - but it's arguably the first one to present "found footage" in such a compelling way. The Blair Witch Project stitched together a film so chilling that it »
- Ryan Roschke
One might think appearing in a movie that grosses $248 million and becomes the talk of the nation for weeks, even months, would be a good thing. But that was not necessarily the case for Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and Josh Leonard, the three young actors featured in 1999’s unforgettable The Blair Witch Project. With a new Blair Witch film just days away, attention has turned once again to the micro-budgeted original. That creepy indie classic, shot in the style of a handheld documentary, set the standard for many found-footage horror films to come but did not exactly elevate its leads to stardom. Over at Broadly, writer Emalie Marthe has assembled an intriguing if discouraging oral history of the movie called “‘They Wished I Was Dead’: How The Blair Witch Project Still Haunts Its Cast.” The article includes details on the making, marketing, and reception of this groundbreaking but »
- Joe Blevins
Warning: spoiler alert. This month marks the official release of Blair Witch, a quite belated (but welcome) follow-up to 1999's The Blair Witch Project. You likely know the original story: legend tells of an old witch who haunts the woods near a small Maryland town called Burkittsville. A group of film students heads into the woods to learn the truth about the Blair Witch, and they're never seen again. All that remains is the disturbing footage of their journey. The sequel shares a similar story, except the main character, James, isn't really all that interested in finding the Blair Witch . . . he wants to find his sister, Heather, who helmed the original group in 1999. The question is, does he find her? If you're trying to avoid spoilers, this is the point where you might want to turn back. Before we go into the encounter, let's establish everything that we've learned about that awful, »
- Ryan Roschke
If you’re asking why we need another found footage movie – let alone another sequel to The Blair Witch Project – then you don’t watch enough horror movies. The reality is simple. If it wasn’t now, then it’d happen sometime in the future. And if you’re complaining that Blair Witch doesn’t do anything “different,” well then you Certainly don’t watch enough found footage schlock, because if you sifted through the same handy-cam trash I do on a monthly – nay, Weekly – basis, you’d be thanking Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, not questioning their surprise horror sequel.
James Allen McCune stars as the brother to The Blair Witch Projects‘s Heather Donahue – also named James – who believes his long-lost sister is still alive after an ominous YouTube clip surfaces. He can’t go alone, so he enlists his best friend (Pete, played by Brandon Scott) and accompanying girlfriend (Ashley, »
- Matt Donato
Blair Witch, 2016.
Directed by Adam Wingard.
A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to unravel the mystery of the legendary Blair Witch.
When Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s micro-budget 1999 shocker The Blair Witch Project hit the screens, it was heralded by perhaps the most ingenious marketing campaign of modern times. There was a tsunami of hype prior to its release, with the film-makers insistence that the footage was genuine, and was found in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland in 1994. The film was their tribute to the 3 young film-makers documenting the local legend of the Blair Witch; Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard, who were all presumed dead. In the early days of the Internet, Haxan film’s viral website blairwitch.com was very convincing »
- Mark Bartlett
Up until just a couple of months ago, Blair Witch looked like it would be just another woods-set horror movie – even though it boasted the supreme talents of director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett – the guys who brought us You’re Next and The Guest. Then the San Diego Comic-Con happened and Lionsgate dropped the bombshell in re-titling the film, calling it the aforementioned Blair Witch. A synopsis followed, and rather than the film being a remake of the 1999 classic, it would actually be a second sequel set nearly twenty years after the ground-breaking original. The Internet went wild.
- Paul Heath
If you go down to the woods today, well, you’re not in for the biggest of surprises. An effectively jumpy, artfully artless follow-up to 1999’s landmark exercise in no-budget horror “The Blair Witch Project,” Adam Wingard’s “Blair Witch” plays enjoyably on viewers’ familiarity with the franchise as a new generation of enterprising young filmmakers is sent hiking in the Black Hills — before the considerably more gifted young filmmakers behind the camera fall prey to the plainly familiar. Setting up a number of promising kinks in the now-standard found-footage formula, as the seemingly spooked forest begins to close in its hapless victims, “Blair Witch” disappointingly casts most of them aside for a finale that does little to advance the series’ existing mythos. And advance it must, since audience turnout should be healthy enough to ensure another camping trip in the near feature.
A significantly more accomplished and entertaining sequel »
- Guy Lodge
Image Source: Everett Collection After 17 years, the Blair Witch is making her triumphant return to the big screen. The sequel to The Blair Witch Project, called Blair Witch, follows the younger brother of Heather Donahue, the original documentarian who vanished while pursuing the iconic witch back in the '90s. Even though we've only gotten a few spare anecdotes about the infamous forest-dwelling entity, the information we have gotten is pretty chilling even if the entire film - and by that extension, the legend of the Blair Witch - is completely fictitious. Even so, a scary story is a scary story, and if you're looking for the information you need to know ahead of the next installment, look no further. The Story of Elly Kedward According to the mythology on the official Blair Witch website, the story of Elly Kedward begins in 1785. As the story goes, the town's children claimed »
- Ryan Roschke
Reboots are big business: The Omen, The Ring and Carrie have all been adapted by studios keen to cash in. But the new sequel to The Blair Witch Project will struggle to replicate the impact of the original
Shady business was afoot in the cinema lobby. It was a Friday in July at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and, with the audience seated inside, staff appeared from the lobby shadows, taking down posters for the premiere now screening: The Woods, from director Adam Wingard, previously responsible for the meta genre-benders You’re Next and The Guest. As the film began, opening text mentioned a Dv tape found in the woods of Burkittsville, Maryland. This sounded familiar. In the lobby, the posters for The Woods were replaced with ones revealing the film’s true title: Blair Witch. The new film from one of the freshest voices in the genre was, »
- Alex Godfrey
Yesterday brought us a brand new full-length trailer for the highly-anticipated Blair Witch. A two decades late sequel to the 1999 found footage phenomenon, this is one very delayed follow-up that has the potential to do just as much business as the original. Why? Adam Wingard, that’s why.
The horror auteur behind modern genre winners like You’re Next and The Guest is experienced in crafting truly chilling moments that don’t feel contrived. He’s a skilled filmmaker, and working from a script by his long-term collaborator Simon Barrett, Blair Witch becomes an exciting prospect indeed.
This newest batch of TV spots are a smidgen less spoiler-heavy than the recent trailer. The above preview, titled “Remember,” includes a neat throwback to the first film, showing the group of youngsters gathering their equipment and testing it before they roll into the woods. About five seconds later there’s a lot »
- Gem Seddon
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