How Does 'Blair Witch' Connect To The Original?

The source of your 1999 nightmares has returned to haunt you and remind you of why you have that seemingly irrational fear of people standing in corners: Lionsgate has revealed an official trailer for The Blair Witch Project sequel, and shockingly, it's actually the movie we originally thought was called The Woods. Titled Blair Witch, the horror film follows a new group of young adults as they return to the Burkittsville, Maryland woods — the place where the original Blair Witch took place. Why on earth would anyone venture into the Burkittsville, Maryland woods in light of what happened to those campers in '99, you ask? Well, the stars of this film have a reason. Brilliantly, the new Blair Witch connects to the The Blair Witch Project . But, how?

Blair Witch stars James (James Allen McCune), who just so happens to be the brother of a camper from the original film — Heather. You might remember her as the the woman behind the up-close face shot in that movie. He and his maybe-not-so-smart friends decide to return to the woods in an attempt to either find Heather (seems pretty unlikely, dude) or at the very least find out what happened to her all those years ago. (Again, seems pretty unlikely he'll get anywhere, but I guess you can't blame the guy for trying. We can however, blame his friends, because what do they get out of this deal?) Soon, the group of campers fall under the same fate as the ones who predated them — i.e. they are haunted by supernatural forces. Or witches, or people who are very good at fashioning symbols out of tree branches. San Diego Comic-Con released the official Blair Witch trailer (below) and the following synopsis:

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals 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.

Sounds familiar? That's because it is.

The film — created by Adam Wingard and Simon Barret — has heretofore been kept under wraps and, as aforementioned, secretly positioned as something called The Woods. There was even a teaser trailer for a project called The Woods that was released in May! (Obviously, we now know that the teaser trailer was actually for Blair Witch — but I guess we should have known considering the poster reads, "there's something evil hiding in the woods.")

Now that we know the latest found footage horror film actually connects to one of the original (and arguably most haunting) found footage horror films, the stakes are much higher. This isn't a new, random film about any old, random woods. These are the Burkittsville, Maryland woods! Woods we thought anyone in their right minds would never, ever, ever return to — probably including even us as viewers! And yet, here we are, about to re-witness all the horrors that terrified us in the '90s. Will the sequel Blair Witch be as scary or influential to the genre as the original The Blair Witch Project? How will the filmmakers make sure that their positioning of the "found footage" doesn't feel too calculated? Will they convince us that these group of young adults aren't actually as insane as they probably sound to us right now?

I guess we'll find out when Blair Witch opens September 16th. Until then, watch out for those stone piles.

Images: Lionsgate