The surprise horror treat of the year has to be “Blair Witch.” We haven’t been back to the woods in nearly two decades, but that doesn’t mean things have gotten any better in Maryland’s Black Hills Forest. I saw a screening of the film recently and can assure fans of the original that they certainly won’t be disappointed this time around. There are some spoilers ahead, but I’ll try to keep them as vague as possible and mark them so you can go into the movie excited, but not TOO informed.

1. The creators are responsible for some of the best thrillers you might not have seen.


Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett have been making some amazing films over the years. If you haven’t seen them yet, you owe it to yourself to check them out. “You’re Next” is a wildly entertaining home invasion thriller and “The Guest” is an action-suspense ride that’s way more clever and stylish than you’d expect. They also helped launch the “V/H/S” series, contributing some of the most unique and interesting segments.

2. There are some new found footage methods this time around.

Instead of just the few handheld cameras we had in the original, technology advances have made some very interesting shooting techniques possible. Everyone in the group is wearing a Bluetooth camera during this latest venture, so that way it makes more sense when someone is still filming while running for their lives.

3. There’s even a drone camera.

Some of the coolest moments in the film come from these amazing overhead shots used by the characters to try and get a base for where they are once they get deep into the woods. Of course, there are some much more frightening uses for it later, but you’ll have to wait and see those for yourself.

4. Remember those creepy stick figures from the first movie?

SPOILER: Turns out there’s a little more to them than just makeshift arts and craft decorations. They seem to have a dark power of their own that you definitely don’t want to mess with. It’s honestly just nice to see the witch making good use of her alone time out there in the woods.

5. There’s a surprise element to the film that we definitely didn’t expect.

SPOILERS: Obviously, there’s a strong horror and suspense element in “Blair Witch,” but, surprisingly enough, there also appears to be some time traveling going on. This could open up some very interesting plot lines in the future and allow us to finally see what really happened back on Coffin Rock.

6. So do you really see the witch in this one?

SPOILERS: Technically yes, you do see the witch, but it’s done in the best way where you only catch a quick glimpse from far away. It doesn’t become a character that’s just walking around and hanging out with everyone else. Even when you’ve seen it, you can’t fully describe it or really process what you’re looking at, which keeps it mysterious and creepy.

7. Don’t expect to see any familiar faces.

SPOILERS: While the movie does take place in the same universe as the original, with Heather’s brother going into the woods to look for her, you won’t see any of the original cast members popping up. That doesn’t mean there won’t be room for them in the future, though. “Paranormal Activity” had a habit of bringing back their original cast in surprise moments you’d never expect. Never say never on seeing that group ever again.

8. Don’t worry, they ignore “Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows.”

After the huge success of “The Blair Witch Project,” a sequel was inevitable. Unfortunately, it turned into the meta train wreck that was “Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows.” Thankfully, that film isn’t part of the universe, and this one just follows up on the original film.

9. There’s definitely room for more sequels.

It’s not much of a surprise that a movie this big would leave room for a sequel, but the story has a clear ending while still raising enough questions to leave us wanting more. I mean, theoretically you could have a constant flow of people going into the woods to look for the last group that disappeared.

10. The last 30 minutes are non-stop, absolute mayhem.

If you somehow aren’t scared in the first two acts, buckle up, because the last half hour hits a high point on the insanity meter and doesn’t let up until the credits roll. Definitely make sure you don’t have to take a bathroom or snack break when things are about to go nuts.


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