The Horror Movie That Terrified Stephen King Is Getting A Reboot

A movie that was too scary for even Stephen King could be getting a reboot. It will be interesting to see if this would even work now

By Doug Norrie | Published

Stephen King

It must take a lot to scare Stephen King. The horror author has put out some of the most terrifying books and stories over the last many decades, earning the moniker as probably the most prolifically scary writer we’ve ever seen. So when he says that a movie was too horrifying for him to even finish, we probably need to consider whether it’s a good life choice to sit down and watch it at all. That was the case with The Blair Witch Project which King is on record saying he had to turn off on its first viewing. And now, it looks like we might return to this world with some rumors flying around that a The Blair Witch Project remake could be in the works. 

The rumors around a possible The Blair Witch Project remake came originally from The Ankler (via Screenrant) and talked about how Lionsgate is considering going this direction as a reboot of the original movie. This is still very much in the rumor phase of things right now, but we could be looking at a chance to scare audiences the same way that Stephen King was terrified more than 20 years ago when the original first hit movie screens. That being said, there would be particular challenges in restarting this franchise, especially in the mold of the original which, at the time, was a completely unique approach to the horror genre.

One of the reasons Stephen King has mentioned being so scared of the original The Blair Witch Project was because of the way the movie was presented as almost a holistic approach to moviemaking. Capitalizing on a then-new found-footage style of filmmaking, the movie hit screens in 1999, and moviegoers were rightfully confused with what they were seeing. The whole movie was shot on handheld cameras and followed a group of hikers who had gone missing with just their recorded footage found later. At the time, it was presented almost as if this was an actual documentary, scaring audiences not only in the terrifying uncertainty of the “action” within the movie but also on the prospect that this had actually happened to a real group of people. Eat your horrifying heart out Stephen King. 

And as part of the marketing campaign, something that didn’t even really play into the reaction from Stephen King, but added to the overall mystique of the movie, “Missing” posters were hung up around the film’s screenings which showed the flick’s cast as if they were actual folks who had disappeared. Of course, the whole movie is fake but at the time that wasn’t totally clear. It was a terrifying film. I’ll attest personally to that, having seen it in theaters and being jumpy about going back into the woods anytime soon after that. On this front, I can empathize with Stephen King’s reaction. 

But would a The Blair Witch Project remake or reboot work the same way? All these years later, with found footage movies having become pretty popular, it’s hard to see it having anywhere close to the same impact. A 2016 remake of the film, titled Blair Witch, scored poorly with critics though it did manage to earn $45 million on its $5 million budget. Maybe on this front, we should keep the scares to Stephen King and just let The Blair Witch Project