Runtime: 1 Hour
and 27 Minutes
I've read a smattering of reviews for this movie and I believe I'll
be the first to focus on how this is revolutionary movie-making. Forget
the mystery, the scares and the story behind how it was filmed.
Although there appears to be some controversy as to where the makers
of this film got the idea for a mock documentary, it's the first movie
I've seen of its kind. The idea of a documentary calls to mind those
"In Search Of..." TV shows where you watch along because
you're interested but not necessarily scared. You have the comfort
of knowing you're not there, but you're eager to learn nonetheless.
This aspect of the movie gets overlooked because of the hype built
up around it. For the record, save for the last 10 minutes, the movie
is NOT scary. The story, as I'm sure you've heard by now, involves
three students who head into the woods in Burkittsville, Maryland
to try and find the legendary Blair Witch.
The movie has an atmosphere about it. First, the students will interview
local townfolk, who tell stories about encounters with the beast.
And then they'll dive into the belly of the beast.
Very little will be accomplished in the first few days, but then they
begin to lose sense of direction. They'll be lost for a day, then
two, then three, until every day is a nightmare. There is much arguing,
most of it involving a missing map, as the three begin to lose hope
of ever getting out of the woods alive.
A few nights into their journey, they'll have their first run-in with
the evil presence. First, it starts leaving little mementos...figures
made of twigs and strange piles of rocks. The evil will soon be ripping
at their tents, howling at night and trying to kidnap them. By the
end of the movie, when all hope is lost, one of the three will videotape
an apology that is arguably one of the most frightening things ever
put to film.
Many people have focused on the lack of true horror in this film.
Although I'll stand by my initial assessment that the movie isn't
scary, it should at least get high marks for aiming higher than any
goofy slasher flick out there. It's a shame when a psycho disemboweling
kids with a meat hook is what passes for horror.
Horror movie fans may find "The Blair Witch Project" disappointing.
Fans of movies in general, on the other hand, will find it hard to
dismiss this movie with such ease.