The found footage genre has fallen out of favour with moviegoers in recent years and that’s a crying shame. Oversaturation of the genre is partly to blame (thanks, Paranormal Activity) for that break-up but done right, certain examples remain masterclasses of spine-chilling cinema. Daniel Myrick’s The Blair Witch Project is perhaps the prime example of that and is often considered responsible for influencing not just a slew of similar films, but video games (Outlast, Slenderman, etc.), too.
What with the obvious similarities shared between the two, then, it beggars belief that we’ve had to wait two decades for the series to move from silver screen to computer screen. The team responsible for realizing such a long-awaited marriage? That would be Bloober Team which, for the unaware, built its reputation on scaring people senseless with the likes of Observer and Layers of Fear.
First revealed at this year’s E3, Blair Witch is described as a “story-driven psychological horror game that studies your reactions to fear and stress.” For an idea of how well it achieves that aim, one need only watch the harrowing first gameplay trailer above.
Hair-raising stuff, is it not? We’ll have to wait until release day to pass final judgement but based on the above alone, it certainly appears as if Bloober has nailed the original film’s atmosphere. As far as story beats go, Blair Witch is described as being inspired by the film series’ lore rather than a direct sequel and casts players in the role of Ellis, a former police officer. On the hunt for a missing boy, he enters Black Hills Forest and into what’s bound to be an endless nightmare.
We’ll certainly be watching this one with a keen eye as it continues to develop but for now, know that Blair Witch launches on August 31st for PC and Xbox One.