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The Blair Witch Project Theory That Makes The Movie Twice As Creepy

"The Blair Witch Project" is an innovative and frightening horror film. For those unfamiliar with the cult-phenomenon-turned-blockbuster hit, the 1999 film follows a trio of amateur filmmakers exploring the Black Hills of Burkittsville, Maryland, to capture the Blair Witch on camera. Unfortunately, their idea of making a compelling local legend documentary turns into a fight for survival. As their trip progresses, they are attacked by an unseen supernatural force. However, one spooky fan theory claims that there's a creepier way to interpret the film's events.

According to Redditor u/CartelKingpin, the scares of "The Blair Witch Project" are orchestrated by Josh Leonard and Mike Williams to kill Heather Donahue (who was paid quite bizarrely for the film). Everything seemingly unexplainable that the trio experienced could be attributed to premeditation on Josh and Michael's part — from scouting the location, placing stick figures in the trees, and even faking their deaths. "They used all the witch/Rustin Parr lore to terrorize Heather right up until her death. Josh and Mike are killers and the only 'project' was theirs," they added. In explaining this theory, the user also pitched how this theory could've been used as the basis for "The Blair Witch Project" sequels.

The Josh and Mike theory could've propelled a Blair Witch Project franchise

Shortly after "The Blair Witch Project" took the cinematic landscape by storm, it spawned its first direct sequel, 2000's "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2." Unlike its predecessor, this feature was torn apart by critics and general moviegoers alike. Over a decade and a half later came 2016's maligned "Blair Witch," which serves as a cross between a sequel and a soft reboot. But what if the franchise focused on the idea of Josh Leonard and Mike Williams being a serial killer duo and the ones behind Heather Donahue's death?

"The sequel would be the sadistic tale about Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams, documenting themselves (as they documented) how they did all of this to Heather – the planning-stage tape...and their other victims," wrote u/CartelKingpin. This pitch prompted other fans to praise and build on this idea. For instance, u/McFry_ voiced their support for the sequel concept, while u/RantSpider would've liked to see "The Blair Witch Project" get the trilogy treatment in this regard, with the truth of Josh and Mike's crimes being exposed over multiple films.

In May 2023, reports surfaced that a new "Blair Witch" film was allegedly in development. If the franchise returns, it will be fascinating to see which type of frightful route it takes. While it likely won't explore the Josh and Mike as murderers theory, one can hope it comes close to recreating the terrifying magic of the original.