Talk about a throwback. In a surprise twist, Lionsgate has revealed that its new horror film The Woods has actually been a follow-up to the cult classic The Blair Witch Project.
During a Comic-Con screening this weekend, director Adam Wingard revealed that the new film (which has now formally been renamed from The Woods to Blair Witch) takes us back to the spooky Black Hills Forest in Burkittsville, Md. with a new set of creeped out college students, according to USA Today.
Going back to its found-footage vibes of the 1999 original movie, Blair Witch features a new group of college kids going into the legendarily spooky haunt, in what could be a redeeming chapter for the title’s history. (Let’s face it, the first sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 never really lived up to expectations.)
In the trailer, the character James, played by James Allen McCune, can be seen speculating that he sees his sister—who had disappeared in the woods back in the 1999 original—while he watches a (tech twist!) uploaded YouTube video. From there, he rounds up his friends to go to the forest and investigate, as one does when they’re craving for not-so-wonderful things to happen to themselves.
“We wanted an experience like a haunted hayride through the Blair Witch woods,” Wingard said during a discussion after the screening, citing the importance of the beloved classic from nearly two decades ago.
And if you’re wondering how the studio was able to keep the marketing scheme under wraps, Wingard explained that the entire production had to be hidden from everyone, including the cast, until they began filming! “It was almost like a Star Wars-level secrecy process,” the director said.
The movie hits theaters September 16, so start off your weekend right and watch the Blair Witch trailer... if you dare.