Review 263: The Blair Witch Project (1999)
My wife and I decided to introduce our daughter to The Blair Witch Project since Blair Witch was released this weekend. It’s been a while since I last watched it, but I did see it in the theaters back in ‘99. I still have mixed feelings about this film as a whole, but find enjoyment in it. I give The Blair Witch Project the Decent Watch rating.
Three film students go into the woods in Maryland to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend. The groups gets lost in the woods and struggle for days to find their way out. However, they were never found and the footage of this film is all that is left of the trio.
I remember when I saw this film the first time and I, like many others, fell for the opening title card. This was a true story and what I was seeing was actually documentary footage. I wasn’t the only one, and the world was shocked to find out later that it was all a scripted film. The tone and mood of the film really helps create the feeling of real terror. However, taking away that element of belief really makes the film feel slow.
I wish I hadn’t told my daughter in advance it was a normal film. She was bored with lots of it, but once things started happening she seemed to get interested. The end of the film definitely seemed to leave an impact on her. It left a bigger impact when I reminded her of the story told at the beginning of the film. The set up really pays off in this film and was what I remembered most going in.
After watching it tonight, I learned that if you are showing it to someone who knows nothing about it let them go in with no information. I’m even less of a fan of found footage films than I realized. I always used The Blair Witch Project as the exception, and it’s still better than most of the others. Yet, I would much rather watch a film with traditional cinematography.