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"Blair Witch Project": A Dossier Perfect Paperback – September 24, 1999
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Fans of the film of course I think will enjoy this additional lore but fans of ghost stories, history/alternate history, and unconventional books like House of Leaves of J.J Abrams 'S' will find this to be a favorite in their collection!
I am satisfied with my purchase.
It really dives into the history of the legend of the Blair Witch and gives us a better idea of just what the students were getting themselves into when they went out into the Black Hills to shoot their film. We also get pages of Heather's journal and it shows us just what was going on in her head before she made the trip into the woods and while she was out there. The book ends with a note from the private investigator telling anyone who goes into the Black Hills to be cautious because something is out there in those woods.
Any fan of the Blair Witch will love book. Check it out!
Ofcourse, the real fun is how the film blurred the lines between fact and fiction on both sides of the camera (film students go into the forest, believing the witch to be a legend, until the legend comes for them; ads for the flick hinted that the story of the missing students was true when it wasn't). "Dossier" follows tradition - picking up the story from the perspective of private investigators hired by Heather's mother to solve the mystery. Like the film, "Dossier" keeps the tension high by masking its subject well - the "narrative" consists of memos, letters and transcripted phone calls compiled by the Buck Buchanan detective agency. It's obvious that nobody attached to the project believes in the witch legend, though their memos only detail weirder findings, and an enigma whose solution becomes more elusive.
While "Dossier" knows the tricks of the film, it brings less to the legend than the film did. It's a short, thin read, one giving us bits without fleshing much out. We learn of the origins of Blair and of Elly Kedward, the future witch. But Kedward's story never goes beyond one we can label as man's cruelty to man. (A mysterious, if otherwise decent figure, Kedward is driven into the woods, presumably to her death; successive generations are haunted by her.) We also learn more about Rustin Parr who murdered a group of Burkittsville children during WWII. (Parr's story is an oddball footnote to the legend - he's obviously a nut, but devotees of Blair Witch can't divorce themselves of the idea that his actions were a genuine manifestation of the witch. More on Parr, later.)
Unfortunately, the patchwork narrative misses details or at least fails to highlight them. "Dossier" was probably going the subtle route for deep chills and preserving the surface rationale for the story as a record of a professional investigation, but some of the details inexplicably glossed over seem as much as interest to us as to Buck Buchanan. We learn for example that Heather's camera and film were found inside of a wall of a ruined house by a group of students, the implication being that the ruin dated to civil war times, and the sections in which the camera was found looks to have been undisturbed since then. At this point, having only caught the flick on cable, and missed both the "Curse of the Blair Witch" and any of the special editions of the original (and having read none of the books) I naturally assumed at first that the ruin was the abandoned house in which Heather and Josh enter at the end of the film. However, it's soon apparent that the ruin nothing like that house, which closely resembles the one in which Rustin Parr committed his multiple murders (remember all those handprints? Those are supposed to be the handprints of children), a house which no longer exists. Nevertheless, "Dossier" passes the house by entirely, and does little more with the footage itself, even though it's the only tangible evidence of mystery. I thought "Dossier" and "Blair Witch Porject" consciously decided on keeping Parr conspicuously nearby but separate, only adding to the sense of mystery - until Parr became the subject of a "Blair Witch" - licensed video game.
Two things kill the fun offered by "Dossier" - it's a slim read, and it lacks any of the tension suffered by the heroes of the film. Though the heroes of "Dossier" raise and then eliminate various possible solutions, they never seriously consider the fact that they are victims of an elaborate con perpetrated by Heather and crew (sure they're working for Heather's mom, but even so they're still investigators). The "con" idea would have given "Dossier" a severely needed shot of tension, and is only one idea that could have really fleshed the book out. It's clear from "Dossier" that both it and the movie drew from the same inspiration that led to the novel "A House of Leaves" - a huge, dense mystery composed of overlapping narratives (with their own fonts and piles of footnotes) centered around a mysterious documentary about a house whose interiors rebel against laws of time and space. With a bit more effort and time, "Dossier" could have done much to enliven the mystery of "Blair Witch" while providing a great alternative to readers intimidated by the insurmountable size and narrative of "House". Instead, it does neither.
Most recent customer reviews
If you have TBWP films, games & the collectables-buy this book.Read more
It has evidence, journals, happening, a timeline, goverment papers, a picture of the blair witch and much,...Read more