The Blair With Project

Rated: R
Runtime: 1 Hour and 27 Minutes

Reviewer: Erik
Grade: A-

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.