“Never did I want to be here again… and I don’t remember why I came.”
Few horror films in the history of the genre are more important and influential than The Blair Witch Project, which popularized the found footage style that films like Cannibal Holocaust played around with years prior. Countless horror movies that have come in the wake of the 1999 horror flick, including the Paranormal Activity franchise, owe a huge debt of gratitude to the tale of three friends hunting a witch out in the woods of Maryland, and if you’ve been watching “American Horror Story: Roanoke,” you know that the film’s influence also extends to the small screen.
Another television show that drew inspiration from The Blair Witch Project, many years before “American Horror Story” was even a thing, was MTV’s “FEAR,“ which premiered in September, 2000 – just over a year after the legend of the Blair Witch terrified audiences across the world. Essentially, the show blended the found footage chills of The Blair Witch Project with the thrills of a reality competition series, making for a fresh and new reality show that was many years ahead of its time. It was also the first of its kind, paving the way, like BWP, for countless imitators.
The basic gist of FEAR is that contestants would be placed into allegedly haunted locations like abandoned mental hospitals and penitentiaries, tasked with braving their worst fears and trying to document anything resembling paranormal activity. What made the show so unique is that, like a found footage film, everything viewers saw was filmed by the terrified contestants themselves.
At the start of each episode, the contestants gathered together in a safe-house location and logged into a computer that spoke out the rules of the game for them. Each contestant took turns completing specific, increasingly frightening dares, and the ones who were able to complete all their dares without heading for the hills were awarded cash prizes at the end of the game.
It’s worth noting that one of the spooky locales, seen in the fifth episode of Season 1, was New Jersey’s real-life Camp NoBeBoSco (renamed Camp Spirit Lake for the show), which played the role of Camp Crystal Lake in the original Friday the 13th. How cool is that?!
MTV’s FEAR aired for just two seasons before being cancelled in 2002, reportedly not because of low ratings but rather due to the high cost of production – somewhat ironic when you consider that the found footage sub-genre was literally born out of a desire to make horror films on the cheap. Sixteen episodes aired in total, and to date, a DVD collection has yet to be released.
Of course, paranormal reality shows are a dime a dozen these days, with “Ghost Hunters” being perhaps the most popular to come in the wake of “FEAR,” but it’s the MTV series that established the format other shows have adopted in the years since it premiered. Simply put, it’s proven to be as influential on reality TV as The Blair Witch Project has been on horror cinema.
You always remember your first, as they say.
Check out a playlist of “FEAR” episodes below!
‘OMDO’ is ‘Doom’ With a Magic Eye Book
We all know about Brutal Doom, the amazing mod that’s breathed a whole new experience into classic Doom. But have you tried your hand at OMDO? Or more accurately, have you ever used one of those Magic Eye books?
Yep, someone has taken classic Doom, put the entire shareware episode through a random dot autostereogram (aka a Magic Eye filter thingie), and the result is quite literally something you’ve never played before. Really, this is all just one of those goofy mods that takes the whole “can you do ‘x’ with ‘y’?” phrase and runs with it.
As mentioned, the entire shareware episode of Doom (which is Knee Deep In The Dead) has this effect applied to it, so either you cross your eyes or relax them to the point that you’ll be able to see what you’re playing. It also helps to have memorized the maps. It can also be difficult to play for long periods, so don’t go crazy.
To find out more about this mod, head to its homepage.
‘Devil May Cry 5’ Likely Coming Out “Before End of March 2019”
It took its sweet time, but Devil May cry 5 is on its way. And sooner than you think.
The E3 trailer gave a Spring 2019 release date, but according to Capcom’s investor relations arm, that window has been narrowed to before the end of March. In the same press release, Capcom’s other big reveal, the Resident Evil 2 remaster, is again confirmed for its January 25th, 2019 release date.
Devil May Cry 5 is being directed by Hideaki Itsuno, who also directed Devil May Cry 3, Devil May Cry 4, and most recently, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen. Judging from the trailer, the game appears to have DMC4‘s Nero as the main protagonist, with Dante being secondary. Or, it could be Capcom messing with us again.
We’ll find out as the game creeps closer to release.
‘Angels of Death’ Set for Release on the Nintendo Switch June 28th
I can’t say that I’m familiar with Playism’s psychological horror game Angels of Death. The game was originally released as Freeware, but has since made its way to Steam. It’s also spawned a manga adaptation, and an anime adaptation that’s scheduled to air later this summer. And now, the game is headed to the Nintendo Switch, where it will be on the Nintendo eShop June 28th for $14.99. You can also pre-order it now for a 10% discount.
The game is divided up into four parts, and centres on Ray, a girl who awakens in a room resembling a basement, with no memory of how she got there. While searching for the exit, she happens upon Zack, a murderer whose entire face is bandaged up, and whose clothing resembles the Grim Reaper. Begging her to kill him, Ray promises to fulfil his wish only if he helps her to escape.
D3 Publisher Bringing Horror Adventure ‘Disease: Hidden Object’ to the Nintendo Switch
Psychological horror gamers will have something new to take with them on the go later this year with D3 Publisher’s upcoming horror adventure game Disease: Hidden Object for the Nintendo Switch. The game is currently being developed by OperaHouse Corporation, and will be available worldwide via the Nintendo eShop. No word yet on a release date.
In Disease: Hidden Object, you play as a former doctor caught in your doubts, drifting between the real world and your hallucinations. While moving between these two worlds, you must search for clues and documents to find the truth about the “abolished hospital” (presumably your former place of occupation). Find out more about the game on its official site.