It was just ten years ago that director Eduardo Sanchez left his mark on the horror genre. His independent docu-thriller The Blair Witch Project not only raised the bar in terms of independent filmmaking, but it became a cultural phenomenon that still resonates a decade later.
Now Sanchez is back with his latest project, Seventh Moon (review here), starring Amy Smart. The director describes the film as “a low-budget trip into hell” based on the Chinese theory of the seventh lunar month when Buddha opens up the gates of hell and unleashes an army of hungry, vengeful ghosts.
It’s up to the living to leave offerings for Buddha and the spirits, and while city dwellers leave food and burn incense to appease the angry spirits, in the country, where sometimes civilization is left far behind, those people make horrific sacrifices.
“What if these people saw this as an opportunity to rid their towns of ‘undesirables?’ And what would happen if you were caught in the middle of it?” Sanchez explained. “That just seemed like the ultimate hell where you are surrounded by evil.”
“China was the perfect environment for this kind of ghost story. The land is still so full of mystery, and there is an incredibly long and storied history there. It was ripe for the picking, so to speak,” Sanchez added.
While working on the story for Seventh Moon, Sanchez always had Smart in mind to play the lead.
Sanchez said, “I always liked what Amy did in The Butterfly Effect – taking the same character and portraying it in several different ways. She really has ‘it.’ She can be both beautiful and approachable all at once, and not all actresses have that.”
Sanchez found the experience of working in Hong Kong exhilarating but also overwhelming. The language barrier was a big obstacle on set.
“The culture shock of being in Hong Kong for a few months was a little crazy,” explained Sanchez. “But both my family and I adapted after a few weeks. We had to keep a translator on set, though, because only about 5% of those working on Seventh Moon spoke any English. I had such a wonderful and great crew so I was really lucky.”
“Working in that environment definitely taught me a lot of lessons, especially when it comes time to make my next movie. The culture shock turned out to be needless because by the end of our stay, we realized China wasn’t such a scary place. I’d love to make more films there,” Sanchez added.
Now that Sanchez is looking toward future projects, there’s one in particular that is garnering a lot of interest in the horror community: Blair Witch 3.
“Dan (Myrick) and I are indeed working on a script for The Blair Witch 3,” said Sanchez. “We had taken a break from working together so this was a good time to team back up again. I almost feel like I am taking Blair Witch seriously for the first time, and it’s an exciting process to return to this world.”
“A lot of stuff has happened in horror in the last ten years so I’ve always struggled with the questions of ‘when’s the right time to go back?’ and ‘what’s the right story?’ We definitely think now is the right time so both Dan and I just have to hope that Lionsgate will want to get behind the project since they own the rights,” Sanchez added.
So, ten years later, does Sanchez ever get tired of talking about Blair Witch? The writer/director offers up his thoughts on why he could never get tired of discussing the movie that put him on the map.
Sanchez explained, “Blair Witch will always be my calling card film so I could never get tired of talking about it. I am so proud I was a part of that moment in movie history. The mythology of those films lives with me every day so it was a natural progression to make another Blair Witch movie. It definitely feels good to dive back into that world.”
Check out our exclusive Blair Witch reunion video below, and look for more soon!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Don’t lose your map to the Dread Central forums!