YouTuber Chris Stuckmann will write and direct Shelby Oaks, a found footage horror movie reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project. In development at Paper Street Pictures, the movie will reportedly delve into the story of a fictional mid-2000s team of paranormal investigators who’ve turned up missing after leaving creepy footage behind. Paper Street saw potential in Stuckmann based on his creativity and his YouTube following, which is near two million fans.
The investigative team at the center of Shelby Oaks, a group called The Paranormal Paranoids, have been featured in multiple found footage videos uploaded to the internet in recent months. A recently uploaded video appears to have captured the abduction of one of the members of the group. It’s unclear exactly who the people featured in these videos are, leading to speculation over the veracity of the mystery.
“I had been looking for the right project to partner with Chris on for a while,” Paper Street CEO Aaron B Koontz said in a statement, “and when I fell down the rabbit hole of this scary little story, quickly emerging right in Chris’ backyard of Ohio, with an intriguing and quickly growing YouTube element baked in, I knew we had to act fast on the perfect vehicle to launch Chris as a feature filmmaker. The videos and mystery are scary enough, but the ideas we have for where this can go, are truly frightening.”
“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to finally get a film off the ground and when Aaron and I began discussing the potential of this story we immediately jumped at it. There is a reason so many of my fellow YouTubers are talking about this. Shelby Oaks is going to be something fresh yet deeply unnerving,” Chris Stuckmann added.
It’s hard not to be reminded of the marketing campaign for The Blair Witch Project, and Shelby Oaks almost feels like a more modern version of the story. Released in 1999, the cult classic horror flick, which was written and directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, delved into the purported disappearance of three filmmakers exploring the local urban legend of the “Blair Witch.” All that was recovered was their haunting footage, and the movie is known for popularizing the “found footage” sub-genre of horror.
Leading up to the movie’s release, the filmmakers were vague about whether The Blair Witch Project was a fictional story or a genuine documentary. The uncertainty generated tremendous interest in the movie, bringing about major success at the box office with people wanting to find out more. These days, it’s more difficult to pull off something like that, given how quickly people can pull up Google in 2021. Even so, the remaining questions and mysteries of the Paranormal Paranoids will probably have some people wondering what’s real and what’s not this time around as well.
Koontz, Cameron Burns, and Ashleigh Sneid are producing Shelby Oaks for Paper Street alongside Stuckmann. Sean E. DeMott and Paul Holbrook will serve as executive producers. A release date for the movie hasn’t been set at this time, but production will reportedly begin in late 2021 in Ohio. This news comes to us from Deadline.