This year has already been one for the record books when it comes to horror movies. 2016 has seen the likes of The Witch, The Conjuring 2, Lights Out, Don't Breathe, 10 Cloverfield Lane... seriously, 2016 has been a terrifying year at the cinema. And it's not over yet, because a new film might just be the frightening entry yet. I'm of course talking about Blair Witch. The sequel promises to be the scariest movie since its predecessor, The Blair Witch Project, way back in 1999. And since it's been 17 years since the first movie, most people could probably use a Blair Witch Project recap.
I remember when the first movie came out very well. It was the summer that I was entering my freshman year of high school, and the movie was all anyone was talking about. The buzz around the lockers was that everything that happened in the movie was 100 percent real, which of course made it all the more terrifying. I know now that the film obviously isn't real, but at the time, found footage horror films were not common like they are today, and The Blair Witch Project changed the industry with its approach to filmmaking. But the realistic style of the film wasn't all that made it scary. There's also the plot, so here's what happened in the movie.
Three film students (Heather, Mike, and Josh) head to Burkittsville, Maryland in 1994 to investigate the local legend of the Blair Witch; documenting their journey as they do so. They first interview some people around the town about the legend, and hear various macabre tales about the supposed witch's evil influence over some of the town's morbid history. They then set out into the woods to investigate the legend firsthand, as that's where the spirit of the witch is said to roam.
During their first couple of nights in the woods, the three routinely hear twigs snapping outside of their tent. While creepy, they don't necessarily believe it's cause for alarm. They plan on leaving on the third night, but get lost in the woods and are forced to stay another night. The next morning, they wake up to find that several rock piles have been erected outside their tent overnight. They also discover their map is missing, and begin fighting amongst themselves. They come across a bunch of weird stick figures in the woods, and are forced to stay another night, where they again hear twigs snapping along with children laughing; AKA the creepiest sound one could possibly hear in the woods. This is followed by something attacking the tent, causing them to run away and spend the rest of the night hiding.
After a day of walking in circles, Josh then disappears in the middle of the night. The following night, Heather and Mike hear Josh's screams but can't find him. The next morning, Heather finds some of Josh's bloody clothing outside their tent — a sign that something really bad is going on. That night, Heather and Mike once again hear Josh screaming, and are able to follow the sound to an abandoned house. Their, they discover Josh in the basement, but both are attacked by an unseen force calling their cameras to drop. And that's the end of the movie.
There was a lot left unanswered in the film, like what really happened to the three students, and that's where Blair Witch looks to fill in the gaps. The new film takes place over two decades later, and follows Heather's brother James after he sees a video online that appears to show his sister now inhabiting the spooky house where she disappeared. So he and several of his college-aged friends head into the woods of Burkittsville to attempt to find Heather, or at least learn the truth about what happened to her. If they watched the first movie, they'd know it's not going to go so well.
Images: Lionsgate Films; Giphy