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The Blair Witch Project
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Anyone who has even the slightest trouble with insomnia after seeing a horror movie should stay away from The Blair Witch Project--this film will creep under your skin and stay there for days. Credit for the effectiveness of this mock documentary goes to filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, who armed three actors (Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and Josh Leonard) with video equipment, camping supplies, and rough plot outlines. They then let the trio loose into the Maryland woods to improvise and shoot the entire film themselves as the filmmakers attempted to scare the crap out of them. Gimmicky, yes, but it worked--to the wildly successful tune of $130 million at the box office upon its initial release (the budget was a mere $40,000).
For those of you who were under a rock when it first hit the theaters, The Blair Witch Project tracks the doomed quest of three film students shooting a documentary on the Burkittsville, Maryland, legend of the Blair Witch. After filming some local yokels (and providing only scant background on the witch herself), the three, led by Heather (something of a witch herself), head into the woods for some on-location shooting. They're never seen again. What we see is a reconstruction of their "found" footage, edited to make a barely coherent narrative. After losing their way in the forest, whining soon gives way to real terror as the three find themselves stalked by unknown forces that leave piles of rocks outside their campsite and stick-figure art projects in the woods. (As Michael succinctly puts it, "No redneck is this clever!") The masterstroke of the film is that you never actually see what's menacing them; everything is implied, and there's no terror worse than that of the unknown. If you can wade through the tedious arguing--and the shaky, motion-sickness-inducing camerawork--you'll be rewarded with an oppressively sinister atmosphere and one of the most frightening denouements in horror-film history. Even after you take away the monstrous hype, The Blair Witch Project remains a genuine, effective original. --Mark Englehart
Curse of the Blair Witch
Are you wondering just exactly who the Blair Witch was? What the Burkittsville, Maryland, legend was all about? Or what exactly fascinated student filmmaker Heather and what possibly took her, Mike, and Josh from this earth? Get all your background questions answered by Curse of the Blair Witch, a one-stop-shopping "documentary" originally produced for the Sci-Fi Channel as a tie-in marketing tool. Entirely fictionalized, Curse of the Blair Witch focuses both on the past and the present, with copious info on the Blair Witch myth as well as on the disappearance of Heather, Josh, and Mike. As it turns out, the original witch was one Elly Kedward, who was accused in 1785 of taking blood from several children; she was subsequently banished to the harsh winter woods and left for dead. Her grisly and bloody legacy involves missing children, polluted water, disemboweled men, and a serial killer of children who claims to have been haunted by "an old woman ghost." Aside from some ineffective "newsreel" footage of the serial killer, all this intriguing information is presented convincingly and chillingly. Curse may in fact freak you out more than the movie, and it evokes the great, pulpy In Search Of series of the '70s, one of the prime inspirations for filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez. News clips of the search for Heather, Josh, and Mike lend a vérité atmosphere to the proceedings, but shed little light on their mysterious disappearance or their characters. Basically, it's a tease to go see the movie. Still, The Blair Witch Project provided only ever-so-slight information on the legend that haunted the forest, so you'll want this cleverly constructed mock documentary to supplement your knowledge of the film. --Mark Englehart
- Includes both the theatrical film, The Blair Witch Project, (87 min.) and the TV documentary, Curse of the Blair Witch (approx. 44 min.)
- "Newly discovered" footage
- Animated interactive menus
- DVD ROM features, exclusive web site access...to the map, excerpts from the dossier, excerpts from the comic book
Top Customer Reviews
If you bother to read through these almost 2,000 reviews, dating back to 1999, you will note that this difference in opinion has generated a number of "flame wars" amongst our reviewers here. Whoa, talk about striking an emotional chord for a lot of movie viewers and buffs. There simply are not that many films that seem to polarize like this film. And again, personally I think that is a good thing.
I first watched this film shortly after its release and I must confess to you that at that time I was on the side of those who were not overly impressed. I remember my first reaction was "What the....." Since that time I have watched this film five or six times, with the last viewing being last night. I have changed my mind. The reason for this number of viewings is not that I was all that enamored with the movie, but rather that I keep very late hours...very, very late, (Insomnia you know) and do a tremendous amount of channel surfing in the wee hours of the morning. And that is where you will find this movie residing now...lost in the jumble of late night T.V.Read more ›
If you like Hollywood cookie-cutter horror movies, this is definitely NOT for you. It's a very unique, experimental movie, one which had elements from my childhood nightmares (getting lost, being in a strange house, etc.).
Why it works, I think, is because so much is unseen or vague, leaving much of what is going on to your own imagination, sort of like Jaws, where the most intense scenes are those where the shark isn't even in sight. Hitchcock understood this concept, that less is more.
Unfortunately, today's viewers (especially younger ones) are jaded by the glut of gore and special effects in modern Hollywood horror movies, which may explain the negative reviews (worst movie ever? Not by a long-shot). Gore is almost non-existent in this movie...but be warned, I believe the "R" rating comes from the use of the "F" word, which becomes more and more prevalent as the three filmmakers get more and more lost/scared/frustrated.
I was a little disappointed at the ending initially, but the movie stuck with me for weeks after (I also had trouble falling asleep the night I saw it)....give it a shot.
The movie isn't about the budget--- sure it was made on a small small budget and made a huge profit, what helped was that we as viewers were first introduced to an aggressive online ad campaign--- the film makers had the website, had the back story of the three lost film makers, the history of the Blair Witch, it was all very clever because I remember when clicking through the website I couldn't tell if this was real or not, or based on a true story then as word got around when this movie was getting popular it was all a clever rouse by the film makers themselves. Now you see these online viral ad campaigns everywhere, all in part have to thank the Blair Witch movie. remember 1999 was still new to online information, Yahoo was coming around and there was the big Website boom, look how far we come now with the Net.
And the whole documentary style film making is not new, the film makers have alot to owe to the Italian Cannibal movies Cannibal Holocaust for the inspiration, where that film an anthropologist finds lost footage of a trio of film makers that disappeared in the jungles of the Amazon. This film was made back in the early 80s. So this kind of style is not new.
The movie itself is shot in grainy black and white, and showing no gore no violence, everything is implied.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A horror classic because of how influential and culturally significant this film became. Definitely worth seeing at least once to see how horror cinema has evolved in the past 15... Read morePublished 1 day ago by skillwithaquill
The Blair Witch Project is more conceptual art and marketing phenomenon than movie. Directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick drew from canny filmmakers such as Val Lewton and... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Marley's Mommy
My wife likes this movie a lot, I don't. I find it to be boring and full of "shaky cam" filming, but she thinks it is a good suspense building movie and a mystery of what... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Matthew J. Beattie
Pretty cheesy. Was always curious, so I decided to check it out for myself. Pretty much a waste of 90 minutes. But my curiosity is gone!Published 7 days ago by Annalee Sutton
But I had to show it to my daughter and it freaked her out. Also, I needed to rewatch in anticipation of the new 'Blair Witch' in September.Published 15 days ago by Jimmy Dennigan
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