The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Three college film students (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael Williams) head out to the woods to make a documentary about the Blair Witch. The group gets lost and strange and terrifying things start to happen to them.

Director: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez

Cast: Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael Williams

MPAA Rating: R for language

Fun Fact: Heather Donahue’s Mother received many sympathy cards from people that thought her daughter really died.

When The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999, the great debate was if it was real or not. People thought it was real due to the incredible marketing that was behind it. It was the first example of viral marketing and the major kick off to found footage films. Once people found out it was a work of fiction, there was the divide of it was good or not.

The Blair Witch Project is an innovative and well-done horror film. The thing that really makes it stand out is the atmosphere. One of the scariest things that people don’t really think about is being lost in the woods. There is no one out there to help you if you need it and you will feel isolated. Those fears start to kick in on the characters and it brings the scariest parts of the film. While some do think that an actual Blair Witch should’ve been seen, I feel like it wasn’t needed. Horror is very effective when you don’t see what is attacking the characters. That leaves it up to the viewer to figure out what is going on. When you have a bunch of jump scares it isn’t that scary and the film makers where right to not show what was attacking the characters.

Another part that works well is the acting and how much freedom they had to express their emotions. For this to come off as real, there wasn’t much of a dialogue script. The film makers looked for actors that could improvise on certain parts. During the middle part of the film when the characters are lost, the chemistry between all the actors starts to shine. You want them to work together and figure out a plan but, the psychological effects get to them and the acting flows well with being able to improvise more. When you improvise you get more genuine reactions and that was a great choice to do that.

Overall The Blair Witch Project is a very effective horror film. It has a creepy premise and solid acting from all the actors. If you haven’t seen it yet, the best way to get into the film is to suspend your disbelief. Pretend what you see is real and try getting into that way and it might leave an effect on you like it did for me.

Verdict: Hit

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