Fans of folk horror and the found footage OG were given a surprise treat at the Microsoft E3 Press Conference this past Sunday. A spooky and intriguing trailer announced an upcoming Blair Witch survival horror game!
The trailer was definitely designed to get a big reaction from fans of The Blair Witch Project (1999) and its lore, and it definitely succeeded where this fan is concerned! It’s rich in the atmosphere and vibes of the original film, with just enough familiarity in the overgrown woods and 90s timestamp to make us wonder. The trailer shows you playing as a man who embarks with his dog into the woods to search for a missing boy. He encounters an eerie tree, mysterious figures in the dark, and explores a creepy shack. Things get increasingly more foreboding as the player character takes out a camcorder and starts recording. Never a good idea for the genre-aware! Finally, some familiar bloody handprints and a person standing ominously in the corner tells us exactly what universe this game will be playing with.
Blair Witch is from Polish Developers Bloober, the studio behind Layers of Fear (2016) and Layers of Fear 2 (2019). Considering how highly regarded the former title is and the positive reception of the sequel, Bloober seems like a perfect fit for reviving the Blair Witch franchise in game form! This won’t be the first time the Blair Witch story has ventured into gaming. A trilogy of PC games released in 2000 expanded on the lore of the first film, but they received mixed reviews at best.
But the Blair Witch mythos is perfectly suited for a survival horror game, with its unseen evil stalking you, mystery aplenty, and disorienting wooded setting. A first-person game also mimics the feeling of found footage nicely. And if anyone can revive the Blair Witch franchise successfully, I wouldn’t bet against the people behind Layers of Fear!
The game is set to be released August 30th, but until then, enjoy the creepy trailer and take a brief trip to the woods of Maryland and the lair of the Blair Witch!