Best movies: The Blair Witch Project (1999), Seventh Moon (2008), Lovely Molly (2012)

The pop culture juggernaut that was, and, frankly, still is, 1999’s found-footage smash The Blair Witch Project can’t be an easy project to shake off for a filmmaker. To put things into a hip-hop perspective, it’s like Raekwon and 1995’s seminal Only Built 4 Cuban Linx….

Fortunately for Eduardo Sánchez, one-half of the Blair Witch team (the other half being Daniel Myrick), he’s made his Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II in the form of Lovely Molly. And it’s been a long road to reach Molly. It took Sánchez seven years to follow-up Blair Witch, reemerging in 2006 with the underrated extraterrestrial horror film Altered, which he actually bested two years later with the honeymoon-from-Hell supernatural thriller Seventh Moon.

But with Lovely Molly, he’s mastered the genre—yes, it’s better than The Blair Witch Project. Restrained when it needs to be, and brutally hardcore in expertly timed spurts, Sánchez’s downbeat, psychological chiller strips down horror’s often garish “demonic possession” subgenre to a leaner, meaner pitch. It’s taken him 13 years, yet, in the eyes of astute horror aficionados, Sanchez has finally shaken off that Blair Witch stigma.