One of the rare legitimate surprises (at least for most of us) to come out of San Diego Comic-Con this year was the reveal that Adam Wingard's found footage horror film The Woods was in fact a sequel to The Blair Witch Project, Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick's renegade 1999 “shaky-cam” classic that grossed over $140 million domestic on the strength of a brilliant, internet-driven marketing campaign. If the feverish advance hype holds up, Blair Witch could well go down as one of the great horror films of the year/decade/century, and in a new podcast Sanchez has added to the hyperbole (?) swirling around the unexpected follow-up by gushing that the film “blows the doors off” his original movie.
“It just turns it up to 11,” Sanchez told hosts Boss Butcher and Michael Steinberg on the Found Footage Files podcast. “It's just full-blast Blair Witch. It's really creepy and the last third is just crazy. It's just all over the place. It just does not let you go, you know? I'm really happy to have been a part of it… it kind of progresses the found footage genre a little bit which I think is really cool.”
Of the film's unpredictable nature, Sanchez continued: “You've gotta go in with an open mind. It always helps in any film…. It's really, really well grounded in the original. And I think that the fans of the original will get a lot out of it. It's kind of a recognizable…it's almost like you've been, like kind of a deja vu, but then it turns into just a – like I said, it kinda takes our film and blows the doors off and goes nuts with it, in a really really good way.”
I should note here that Sanchez is an executive producer on the new Blair Witch, meaning he's got a vested interest in the movie doing well (though it's unclear what kind of financial stake he has in the property at this point). That said, if he were lukewarm on the finished product, I doubt he would've gone out of his way to hype it up as much as he did in this interview.
In any event, I'm waiting with bated breath to see this thing. Blair Witch hits theaters on September 16.