“… there is not one thing that feels out of place, and this creates a fucking terrifying film.”
The Blair Witch Project, in my opinion, is one of the more influential horror movies ever made. The film really kicked off the “found footage” love that many horror movies exploit to this day. This medium allows for the film to knock down a portion of the disconnect that a viewer has when watching a movie, because it appears real. Many movies have used this technique after The Blair Witch Project, but few have come close in quality, and in my opinion none have surpassed it. The Blair Witch Project follows three film students who decide to make a documentary about The Blair Witch, a folktale with very real roots that include many children going missing and then being found dead. The trio make their way into the woods of Burkittsville Maryland but things start to fall apart when they notice weird installations amongst the trees.
The Blair Witch Project, for many, will not have the same kick that it did when it first came out. This is due to many reasons, but the first being the internet. When The Blair Witch Project first came out the story extended past the film itself and leaked into real life with the Blair Witch website which catalogued many things from the film. The Blair Witch Project was not a movie, it was real. Like I said, this went away with time (because you can’t hide the truth forever) but there is another reason keeping audiences from becoming completely enthralled: parody. The Blair Witch Project is one of the more commonly parodied films because it is easy. To parody The Blair Witch Project you need two things: A camera, and a bunch of trees. This, mixed with the success of the film, caused it to become more of a punchline than a chapter in horror history. Of course, this won’t affect my rating, I was just giving some background information.
The Blair Witch Project is one of the more effective horror movies that I have seen and that is because of one simple reason: never once during the film did I question whether or not what was happening was real. I believed every second of it, and I still do. The film has a very simple premise involving three film students, two cameras, and a lack of food. This by itself is fucking terrifying so when you throw in the fact that they are essentially being mocked by something while completely at its mercy ,it is enough to make you freeze in fear. The film works because it doesn’t bullshit you. You know it is a horror film going into it, but unlike other horror films it doesn’t rely on jump scares. As a matter of fact, nothing scary happens until about halfway through the film. To compliment that, the film slowly descends you into madness right along side the main characters.
Every aspect of this film is perfectly executed in my opinion. The acting is realistic, the camera set up is also realistic but at the same time adds to the strange atmosphere (two cameras, only one of which records sound). Couple that with the fact that nothing in this movie is outlandish in the slightest. There is no creepy ghost figures, there is no deformed murderer with a machete, there is only our characters with woods in every direction and something else. There is not a whole lot to talk about when discussing The Blair Witch Project (without getting into spoilers obviously), so I will leave you with this: The movie just works. from the way it was made, to the way it is presented there is not one thing that feels out of place, and this creates a fucking terrifying film.
Ultimately The Blair Witch Project is one of my favourite horror films because of how effective it is. Every aspect of this film screams ‘real life’, so even though I know its fake I can’t help myself from getting a chill whenever I pass a wooded area.
I give The Blair Witch Project an A