The Blair Witch Universe Could Have Seen a Prequel
“In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found”
Fans of horror films have the introduction to The Blair Witch Project engraved in their minds as the movie was one of the first found footage horror films that really gave audiences around the world a deep scare. Viewers follow the lives of three students who are venturing into the woods in Burkittsville to film a documentary that focuses on the legend of the Blair Witch. Through the movie, they give viewers some insight on the story of Elly Kedward, a town resident who was accused of witchcraft and left in the woods to die of exposure. Along with the legend, they interview ‘town locals’ who have heard their own stories and even one who claims she had an encounter with the Blair Witch. The film goes through the ups and downs and spooky experiences of the three students in a span of almost a week that they were in those woods before their deaths and while it was scary enough as is, fans of the film may have seen a prequel to the story of the team behind The Blair Witch Project had been given the green light on their proposed idea.
Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick wanted to make a prequel to The Blair Witch Project set in 18th century New England that explained the haunting on a deeper level, likely giving more of a look at the witch herself and her horrific death. A prequel would most certainly have planted even more seeds of fear in those who viewed the film and got invested in The Blair Witch world and the pair was disappointed when the idea was shut down.
We were definitively shut down. They instinctively wanted something more distinctly connected to the original film. As the guys who had made the first film, it was weird for us to go back to the found footage well.
They went on to say that they had no say in the matter even though they had a detailed idea for the prequel and the franchise as a whole.
We would’ve loved to make a Blair Witch movie. They just decided to go in a different direction. We had no power. It’s not ours — it belongs to Lionsgate.
2016 brought with it, however, a continuation of the original frightening story instead of a prequel. A new group of kids head to the woods and this time it’s in search of one of the original missing young adults, Heather, who just happens to have had a brother who was very young upon her disappearance. Blair Witch tells their story. Both Myrick and Sanchez hold no ill will towards the team behind Blair Witch and the new team did their homework before creating the vision behind this second film. Both the director and screen writer Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett say they knew that a deviation in plot wouldn’t just be impossible, but unfair to the working dedication that it took to create that absolutely terrifying world.
Even though there was never a thorough look into the story of the Blair Witch, the films still tell enough of her evil to make the circumstances in the woods that much more frightening. Upon watching both films we agree that the follow up film did the original justice; it was just as frightening and with time and new technology – even though it is also a found footage film – it affected viewers in a real way, which is all anyone could have asked for.