The upcoming film Blair Witch has released new TV spots, as well as a 360 Virtual Reality, that teases some of the scares in the anticipated sequel.
The Blair Witch Project will forever be remembered as the first of its kind. Having been released in 1999, the film took audiences by storm, commercializing a new brand of found footage-style filmmaking. The film will forever be remembered for not only its horrific finale, but also for its unique viral marketing campaign, which claimed that the film was made completely of real home videos found in the middle of the woods.
Considering the infamous campaign that the original film ran, it’s no wonder that the new Blair Witch is utilizing today’s brand of online marketing techniques to its advantage. While the new film isn’t claiming to be necessarily true in the same sense that The Blair Witch Project did, this sequel picks up a full generation after the events of the original, retelling the story with a new group of young filmmakers.
One of the new techniques is the use of a 360 degree virtual reality experience.This is a new trend that has become fairly common in modern-day horror film marketing, most recently used for the film Don’t Breathe.
“The following experience is based on footage assembled from memory cards and DV tapes found near Burkittsville, Maryland in the Black Hills Forest on May 14th, 2014,” the introduction reads. The VR allows you to journey through the Black Hills Woods, exploring elements that have become familiarized from the original Blair Witch Project, including the franchise’s trademark dangling stickmen. To get the full VR experience, the use of a mounted VR headset is recommended, to be used with a compatible smartphone.
In addition to the Virtual Reality, the film has also released two new TV spots that give a glimpse into the world of Blair Witch. The first is narrated by one of the young characters of the film, referencing the disappearance of one of their crew members’ sister and the aftermath of the events of The Blair Witch Project. The spot summarizes the plot very efficiently while also providing visuals that pay homage to the original, and sets up the exposition of the new film without giving too much away.
The second spot also makes heavy reference to the original film. It begins with a preview of the ending of Blair Witch, indicating that the young crew made it to the house in the woods where James’s sister supposedly disappeared. It utilizes a lot of fast-paced cuts and jump scares that come with the typical horror trailer. The trailer ends with young James speaking directly to the camera. “I’m so sorry,” he says tearfully, teasing a remake of the famous climactic scene of the original film.
The new footage of Blair Witch looks extremely promising, hopefully living up to the phenomenon that the first movie set. While we do not yet know how well the new film will hold up, the trailers successfully give the audience a taste of the same thrills that the original Blair Witch Project delivered to the horror genre, while at the same time upping the ante for a new generation.