Blair Witch TV: How to make a terrifying television series

Heather in The Blair Witch Project
Heather in The Blair Witch Project

This week there have been noises emerging from the darkness about a potential ‘Blair Witch’ TV series. The franchise started in 1999 with Sundance success story The Blair Witch Project. This was quickly followed by cash-grab sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 a year later. The witch then lay dormant until last year when a new version of the Blair Witch returned to cinemas.

Blair Witch 2016 wasn’t a huge success, taking in just $45 million from a budget of $5 million. Sounds like a healthy profit? Compare that to The Blair Witch Project which made almost $250 million from a $60,000 budget. There must have been a few sad faces at distributor Lionsgate last year.

Blair Witch TV?

So it’s a bit of a surprise to hear that one of the co-directors of the original film is talking up a Blair Witch TV series. Eduardo Sanchez spoke to the Diminishing Returns podcast (via Bloody Disgusting). He stated “For us, it’s a very natural thing to go and say, ‘Hey, let’s do a frickin’ Blair Witch show. You can say it’s from the original creators and we can bring in a whole bunch of interesting directors to direct episodes.”

Sanchez continues: “I think that the idea of a Blair Witch anthology has always been very – just a really interesting thing… we’ll see what happens, but I think that’s the next big thing for Blair Witch. Probably TV.”

I was a huge fan of both the original and the 2016 sequel that was almost a just a remake (but with a bigger budget and fancier modern technology).Ever since the website was launched for The Blair Witch Project back in1999, the filmmakers and others have been creating a terrifying mythology.

Blair Witch Adaptations

There is no shortage of material to adapt in a TV series. Two novels have been published; Blair Witch: The Secret Confession of Rustin Parr and Blair Witch: Graveyard Shift. There has been a whole series of young adult novels that see a character investigating mysterious occurrences related to the Blair Witch.

More spooky than any of this though is the story of Elly Kedward who was the woman that would allegedly become the Blair Witch. The original mythology is still up on the website and to this day gives me chills down my spine reading it.

Blair Witch prequel

Prequels can often ruin horror characters, but I think Blair Witch might just be an exception to that rule. Starting in 1785 with the story of Elly Kedward’s banishment from the township of Blair for alleged witchcraft, this could be a brilliant horror prequel. It might even be able to say some interesting things about the treatment of wise women in the past, the practice of witch hunts, and the dangers of fundamentalist religious folk.

Not only might we finally get to see this so-called Blair Witch; we might even get the chance to sympathise with her. Now that would be really terrifying.

What do you think? Is the Blair Witch really dead? Or should she be resurrected on TV?

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