[SPOILERS for Blair Witch (2016) ahead.]
While 1999’s found-footage classic The Blair Witch Project managed to make an enormous profit – especially when compared to its tiny budget – and capture the imagine of America for a time, that doesn’t mean the film was or is without detractors. One of the biggest knocks levied against TBWP is just how little it actually shows or explains to the audience, although obviously much of that is due to the fact that having almost no money meant that the film had no almost no effects budget to speak of.
Perhaps most infamously, The Blair Witch Project never actually grants viewers a look at its titular monster, ending on a fairly ambiguous note. Going into this fall’s Blair Witch – a direct sequel to the original – many fans understandably hoped that more information concerning the witch would finally be revealed. For the most part, that desire when unfulfilled, as for every question Blair Witch answered, it seemed to raise three more.
Still, some took solace in the fact that director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett at least opted to show the Blair Witch on-screen, in the form of a lanky, deformed CGI creature seen near the end of the film. Whether one actually thought that creature looked good is a discussion for another time. Unfortunately, according to a recent tweet by Barrett, that thing attacking James and Lisa inside Rustin Parr’s murder house is not the Blair Witch. In fact, Barrett says that the witch doesn’t appear in the film at all:
While that revelation is sure to annoy fans who thought they had finally gotten a peek at the Blair Witch, Barrett’s comments raise a natural follow-up question: If that creature wasn’t the witch, what the heck was it? One logical possibility is Elly Kedward, a woman accused of witchcraft and subsequently executed in brutal fashion back in the 1700s, according to franchise lore. Many fans have long assumed that Elly herself was the Blair Witch, although this – like most aspects of the series’ story – belief has never been officially confirmed. Therefore it’s possible that the monster at the end of the new film is Elly, and that the Blair Witch is an even more ancient force of evil.
Of course, there exists another possibility, one perhaps more chilling than any other. The plot of Blair Witch (2016) kicked off after James sees what he thinks is Heather in a web video newly recovered from the woods in Burkittsville. The film eventually reveals that the person in the video is Lisa herself, and that the plot is taking place in some kind of stable time loop. With that in mind, what if the monster targeting James is somehow Heather herself? Lane serves as a clear example of how being trapped in the witch’s woods for too long can destroy someone both psyhically and mentally. If Heather has been trapped there for nearly two decades, it’s impossible to say what state she’d be in by the time her brother arrives.
Blair Witch is currently in theaters.