I was always intrigued by the old Blair Witch games. So much about them fits with the strange feeling I had around the whole Blair Witch when I was a kid.
As I was quite young, I was pretty taken in by the whole “it’s really found footage” thing, and so it became bemusing when there was loadsa merch and these games. I still kind of believed it was all real, and I remember racking my brain over… “so, are these video game tie-ins based on the real events, too?”
As I got older and more savvier, they remain kind of fascinating still. Those old polygon sorta graphics that I have that weird nostalgia for… the fact that the Twin Peaks influence extends to (if I recall correctly) Dale Cooper himself inexplicably being a character in the game. Ultimately (now that I have actually seen and enjoyed the film as an adult) I’m interested in how they might relate to that weird mythology – my favourite thing about the film is how, underneath its minimalism, there is this odd feeling of that mythology pulsing beneath every aspect of the film. I’ve never seen anything that captures that exact feeling.
So, that’s why I’m sort of apprehensive with this new game. I still haven’t seen the new film because it just struck me as a bit too polished and horror-y, like it’d dilute the wellspring of strangeness that I associate with the original film (and I guess the immediate tie-ins and sequels, fascinating documents of trying to make a franchise out of something that kind of welcomes it with one hand and totally resists it in another). I’m still always seduced by found footage simply because there’s stuff that BWP did that I don’t think has ever been replicated since, even as the sub-genre has become a cliche in itself.