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Director: Adam Wingard Starring: Callie Hernandez, James Allen McCune Running Time: 89 minutes


In 1999, The Blair Witch Project was released amidst a massive wave of hype, propelled by early attempts at viral marketing and a ‘based on a true story’ flimflam that caught viewers offguard. With more story around the film than in it and a loose structure much closer to actual found footage than the genre staple tends to be today, it really was a project, a different kind of horror than audiences had seen before. However, audiences often don’t want different and the backlash was swift and the rushed and disastrous sequel Book of Shadows did little to help. Nearly two decades later, new sequel Blair Witch has flown in deliberately under the radar, filmed under the misdirect title The WoodsBlair Witch frequently feels like the kind of film viewers thought the original was offering, which should satisfy some but those who were happy with what they got first time around might leave disappointed.

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Since it was first announced last year, details had been scarce about The Woods, the latest horror film from You’re Next and The Guest director Adam Wingard. Besides it presumably taking place in the woods. However, as revealed by a trailer showing at San Diego Comic Con, it turns out that these aren’t just any woods, but the woods of Burkitsville, with the film turning out to actually be a sequel to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project.

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When every glance at the news these days reinforces that the nightmare that is real life has only just begun, the prospect of being sacrificed in a pagan ritual begins to look like a relative comfort. With that in mind, the Irish Film Institute is offering some escapism in the coming weeks with an exciting programme of folk horror films running until the 30th of July.

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