Saturday, April 26, 2014

'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)

Hello, all! I've been gone for awhile and recently came upon the movie that capitalized the 'found footage' genre that I've already began in my disturbing film journey.

It's hard to remember, but when The Blair Witch Project was first released, it created a sensation. There was massive media press and even a website that claimed everything was true, and the filmmakers were really missing and presumed dead. The cast went so far as too disappear while the film was being publicized. This caused immediate pop culture status and with the help of Scary Movie, a joke in on-itself. How mainstream culture was becoming too sarcastic, too jaded, that a subtle look at essentially a ghost story (that turned out to be untrue) could wake people up again.

I for one always liked the film for what it was. At the time of it's release, I was still merely a child and once the rumor wore off, it was downhill from there. However, watching it as an adult, I still really like Blair Witch and appreciate for what it is: a horror film. It's characters are annoying, loud, and stupid, but they are never bland. It's villain is invisible, never appears, but seems to exist. It takes place solely inside a dense, unforgiving, evil (!) forest (always a plus for me), and the acting, and uh, improvised dialogue is really top notch.

The first half of the movie for me is a study on human behavior and how people deal in times of crisis. Heather is loud, pretentious, always with camera in hand. Josh and Mike are merely second players compared to Heather who carries the film, in my opinion. The second half of the movie is sheer terror and panic.


The key to watching The Blair Witch Project is imagination. You have to forget about the internet marketing, the story behind it, and all the hoopla. The scenes in the tent, after Josh has disappeared, are unforgettable. The terror that something might be out there really reaches through the screen. And the last 10 minutes of the film inside the house where the murders took place are amazing. It's incredible how they made such a low budget go as far as it would.

Call me crazy, but I really like the film and always will. I'm glad I got around to seeing it again after witnessing the Guinea Pig series and one-part of the August Underground trilogy. Really makes The Blair Witch stand out even more.



Disturbing Elements: **
Film Overall: ***1/2