Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s Blair Witch premiered this weekend to mixed reviews. But while plenty of critics appeared to despise the film, it’s actually an effective potboiler that will surely scare audiences looking for some thrills to enjoy with their Pumpkin Spice whatever. (Besides, aside from Dream Warriors, how may third installments in a horror series become classics?) The A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd gave it a middling B-, saying that the film “play[s] less like a throwback to the subtle analog tactics of the original than a fun house designed around the Blair Witch brand.”
Chief amongst the complaints lodged against the film is that it lacks the inventiveness of the duo’s previous features, 2013’s You’re Next, which combined a home-invasion thriller with Die Hard, and the following year’s The Guest, a blend of My Bodyguard with The Terminator. “Blair Witch is very much a mainstream horror film,” Wingard explains to Collider. (The new take on Blair Witch features plenty of cheap scares and big, loud noises that audiences eat up.) But according to Wingard, their next project—an adaptation of the anime/manga Death Note—will be a return to “something weird.”
“[Death Note] is more along the tone of The Guest, but something completely different,” he says. Wingard also promises that Cannon-esque mash-up of genres in the anime adaptation: “There’s lots of different types of movies within the movie itself. It’s going to be a fun, crazy movie,” he says. The director also promises plenty of the “nudity, swearing, and a ton of violence” that appeals to teenagers, as well as all of our inner teenagers. Wingard was also happy to turn his co-conspirator on Death Note, Hobo With A Shotgun’s Jason Eisner, loose on the set to “just do some crazy stuff” as his second unit director.
Death Note is slated to premiere on Netflix in 2017, and Blair Witch is in theaters now.