The Blaire Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project presents the found footage of a group of now missing film students that travelled to Burkittsville, Maryland to document a local legend.
Spoiler Level: None
Now seen as a horror classic, this film revitalized the “found footage” style of horror movie that became popular in the early 2000s. Although other found footage films have existed throughout history, this one is seen as the original, which is not necessarily a good thing. After all, “Roundhay Garden Scene” is the first ever movie, but that doesn’t make it my favorite. Is this original still as good as its successors? Let’s find out.
Whether you like this film or not, you have to appreciate the creativity. Compared to the tens of millions of dollars usually spent on a movie, this only took sixty thousand and was adapted from a thirty page script. Most of the dialogue was improvised. The fact that they were able to create a classic from that makes it worth watching, just to see how they made it work.
Usually I wait until later in the piece to present the cons, but they feel more necessary here. Most of this movie’s cons are cons that you’ll see in any found footage film. If you don’t like the shaky camera, the hyper realistic dialogue, and the bad quality, this won’t be for you.
The hyper-realistic dialogue is actually one of this movie’s best qualities. The director did an excellent job of making you feel like you’re really watching found footage. In the back of your mind you know you’re watching a film, but the directors are careful so as not to take you out of your suspension of disbelief. The hyper-realistic dialogue plays a major part in that. Screenwriters usually want to cut away dialogue that’s viewed as unnecessary, as that bores the audience. Because of this, movie dialogue sounds different from real life dialogue. This movie adds all of the superfluous words that real life has, and as a result it makes you think, even if for just a second, that everything is real. This makes it all the more terrifying.
The acting is also phenomenal. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the dialogue was improvised, and the actors were able to improvise perfectly. They were also able to perfectly portray every single emotion, from happiness, to sadness, to pure fear.
I watched this movie for the first time two years ago, and to this day the ending still gives me the shivers. This is for a few reasons, two of which being that: it was foreshadowed earlier on and you don’t realize what’s just happened until after it’s over. Because of these reasons and more, this ending is one of my favorites.
The Blair Witch Project, unlike other found footage films, is a true slow burn. There are no jumpscares and no gore. It walks the line of being too slow and it walks it well. They always increased the tension just when I was growing disinterested. And they increased the tension just enough, adding just enough creepy things to keep you interested, but never anything too terrifying, helping to make the ending as good as it is. No other found footage film does this so perfectly, which is why you should watch it. In the case of The Blair Witch Project, the original is just as good as it’s successors, if not better. Accolades need to be given to the brilliant marketing of the film which saw a mock website set up about the missing students and asked if anyone had any information. It is also mentioned that several reels of film had been discovered which would be released as the film The Blair Witch Project. It blurred the lines of reality just enough to make some people wonder if this was a real missing persons case and just what really happened to these college students. This no doubt helped bring movie goers in droves to find out for themselves. It was an inspired use of a young internet as a marketing tool for film.
This is an excellent movie. I highly recommend you watch it.
The Blaire Witch Project: The Original Found Footage Film
Writing - 9.7/109.7/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Acting - 10/1010/10
Music - 9.7/109.7/10
Production - 9.5/109.5/10
User Review( votes)