When The Blair Witch Project came out in 1999, Big Brother was getting its first season in the Netherlands; 17 years later, the biggest celebrity in the world is a reality TV star.
While the two might seem unconnected, The Blair Witch Project is considered by many to be the first movie to ever “go viral” on the internet. A year after its release, a mostly forgotten and critically canned sequel Book of Shadows was rushed out for Halloween and sunk at the box office. But enough time has now passed that The Blair Witch Project is recognised for its zeitgeist, and the 2016 reboot has gone all in on returning to its Black Hills Woods’ roots, using the original film almost as a blueprint.
Unfortunately, you’re more likely to walk away from the new film wanting to re-watch the 1999 original than feeling like you’ll never sleep again. While Blair Witch, aka The Woods, has its moments of paralysing terror, it’s more of a love letter to The Blair Witch Project, its impact on horror movies, horror storytelling and its place in history as the first “internet movie”.
Originally published 5th October, 2016.