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The Blair Witch Project
★★★★☆
Run Time: 81
Released: 1999
Reviewed: 6 Sep 2015
Viewed: 358 ¦  Comments
Category: Reviews, Horror
The Blair Witch Project
  

Year: 1999
Directed By: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Three film students travel to Maryland to make a student film about a local urban legend… The Blair Witch. The three went into the woods on a two day hike to find the Blair Witch, and never came back. One year later, the students film and video was found in the woods. The footage was compiled and made into a movie. The Blair Witch Project.

Though this is not the first of the “Found Footage” Genre, it is one of the best. A lot of people argue the point, but let’s take a look at the movie for what it was intended to be.

The Story.

Heather has decided that her class project will be an investigative documentary about a legend in Burkittsville Maryland, known as the Blair Witch. She, along with her friend Josh, and another classmate, Mike, travel to Burkittsville  and interview the local townsfolk. Some of which have stories pertaining to the Blair Witch.

The trio wander into the woods with camping equipment, food, water, etc. in search of a deep-woods graveyard. Then things take a turn for the bizarre. They come across seven small piles of rocks, the same number as the total number of children killed in the 1940’s, supposedly by someone possessed by the Blair Witch (as told by the townsfolk).

They set up camp and decide to come back during the night to film the stones by the eerie moonlight.. Josh accidentally knocks over one of the piles. Heather does her best to re-pile the stones, and they go back to camp.

During the night, strange noises can be heard from all directions. Snapping twigs, or perhaps clacking rocks.

The next morning they continue on their journey, and come across a circle of strange “voodoo” like figures hanging from the trees. They take their footage, but something is definitely wrong. Slowly they begin to realize that they’re lost. And Heather can’t admit it. The next few days is filled with tension as they try to find their way out of the forest, dwindling supplies and heightened fatigue lead to in-fighting. They try to keep cooler heads, but as their situation grows more desperate, they begin to break down.

Each night, the sounds in the forest become louder, and come to a head as something attacks their tent. They run for it, and wait until morning to return to their camp site, which has been trashed. Josh’s pack is strewn all over, and his canteen is covered in some sort of slime. Soon, Josh goes missing.

Mike and Heater search for Josh in vain, and continue trekking through the wilderness in hopes of finding a way out. The next morning, a parcel of twigs is left outside of the tent. Heather opens it to find a couple of bloody teeth wrapped in a scrap of Josh’s shirt.

The following night, after recording the infamous “I’m so sorry” video, Josh is heard screaming in the forest. They run to find their friend, but end up finding an old, run down, house.. they investigate and hear Josh once more and run for the basement.. where the two are apparently knocked out.. and the film ends.

Why this is so good

81 Minutes of a movie, that was 95% improved.

  • The primary cast (Heather, Josh, Mike) where given a general idea of what they were going to do
  • The townsfolk where real people who were given a story to share with Heather & Co.
  • The cast was given a camping location.. and the producers fucked with them every night.

What does this mean? There was very little, to no, script. The reactions where genuine, the fear and fatigue where real, because Heather, Josh and Mike had little idea what was going on. This was as close to reality as you could get. It was produced to not be a movie. The Blair Witch Project was supposed to be “found footage” of three people who went into the woods and got lost, while being terrorized by.. something.. and that’s exactly what you got.

As a role player, I loved it.. I mean, this is the essence of Live Action Role Play.. every one was given a character, and they went with it.

The Marketing

This was also one of the first examples of viral marketing. A documentary was made for the SciFi Channel (before they changed to SyFy). But, it wasn’t about the Blair Witch, it was about Heather, Josh and Mike gone missing. It was brilliant!

So, I like it.. but, it’s one of those movies where you love it or hate it. But, to the haters, I have to say.. Every “Reality TV” show is 100% fake. So, you can’t love them, but hate this.