Blair Witch Project (1999) Movie Review
Written By: MMR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez
Producers: Robin Cowie, Gregg Hale
Writers: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez
Date Released: January 23, 1999 (at Sundance Film Festival), July 14, 1999 (in theaters)
Heather Donahue as Heather Donahue
Joshua Leonard as Josh Leonard
Michael Williams as Mike Williams
Rating = 3.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Three amateur documentarists, Heather, director and host, Josh, cameraman, and Mike, sound recorder, went to the small town of Black Hills to make a documentary about the legend of the Blair Witch. The three went around the town to interview townspeople in pursuit of the tale behind the Blair With and learn about the legend itself. The team went into the woods to document the experience of being in the fabled murderous woods only for their production to take into a wrong turn after they began to hear noises and seen cryptic things. They went missing, never to be seen or heard from again. Only their video footage was found.
There’s no blood but the fear felt real. The idea of being stuck in the woods hearing noises and being disturbed by something unseen inflicts so much fear that some can’t even finish the film without throwing up. Being lost in the woods is scary enough as there may be dangerous animals around but to encounter such unseen force with only a few people, one would definitely feel helpless. The film only used props for the scares but what makes the film a gem is the creeps it would give seeing the characters’ experience.
The Grave Review
When The Blair Witch Project came out, no film has ever recreated a found footage film and certainly if there was one previously, the concept was still fairly fresh. Being the first of its kind, it gave a fresh new concept of horror: found footage films. Many films tried to follow the same concept but the Blair Witch Project is just something that cannot be replicated. The authenticity of the fear that instills can haunt people for years: it gives off anxiety of being lost and terrorized by an unknown force. The found footage format of the film just pulled off the scare until the very end, leaving viewers breathless and on the edge of their seats as the scares started. It literally shakes the whole horror industry with something new, something never seen before.
The setting of the film is also a factor. It is unsettling to be in the dark, more so, alone in the woods. The scene where they lost their map would give you the rage and anxiety of not knowing how to head home and be safe in the comfort of your bed. The fear of being alone in a place you are not familiar with plus experiencing a lore firsthand just completes the package.
The acting of the three students is impeccable. It is as if they are really lost in the woods and haunted in it. The emotions they gave off are so authentic plus the style of the film is a first-person perspective, you would feel as if you were with them the whole time, experiencing what they are experiencing.
The directors achieved their goal of breaking into the horror scene and making a legacy. Kudos to the whole film!
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Blair Witch Project (1999) three and a half graves out of five graves.
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