Blair Witch Project, The

Reviewed By desdemona
Posted 08/10/99 15:12:11

"Frighteningly real; psychologically terrifying."
5 stars (Awesome)

The Blair Witch Project is horror in the true sense of the word. Its lack of effects; its dancing images on hand-held cameras held by the very people that were in the movie; its shocking sense of REALNESS; and the mysteries left unsolved were the recipe for the most terrifying movie in a VERY long time. This was one scary trip to the middle of nowhere.

The Blair Witch Project is the story of "three student filmakers," Heather Donahue, Mike Williams, and Josh Leonard (playing themselves), who disappeared without hardly a trace while making a documentary on the mysteriously mythical Blair Witch.

One year later, their footage was found...

First of all, I must clear something up. THIS IS NOT REAL. I know that many websites and certain TV shows on certain Sci-Fi channels are not stating otherwise, but trust me, this did not really happen.

It definately looks like it IS real, though. Recorded on home cameras and the kind of cameras film students borrow to make documentaries, it's almost as if you're actually watching someone's home video. But that is just part of the genius behind the movie.

The writers/directors made up the entire story of the Blair Witch themselves. Every myth and every story was made up by them to further enhance the story of Heather, Mike, and Josh (and to make it even scarier). They also had the four actors go into the woods and record the movie themselves, just to make it real. The actors even used their own names so they could record EVERYTHING. They were given a rough script to follow, then did the rest themselves. And let's just say those kids are damn amazing actors.

The movie starts out simply enough. Heather, Mike, and Josh are making a documentary on the Blair Witch, so they ask some people about it and decide to go hiking to some historical spots where something supposedly happened having to do with the witch. They visit Coffin Rock, where the bodies of five men were mutilated then mysteriously disappeared. They continue hiking, then they get lost. From there, everything starts getting more and more terrifying. From mysterious noises in the night to hanging voodoo dolls and strange piles of rocks outside their tent, the movie just spirals into the depths of psychological terror. The three students slip into terrified delerium as their situation continues to get worse and worse, not to mention progessively WEIRD.

The low-quality film, the jerky movements, the black screens, the screaming and the running all just made the story seem even more real, and that much more terrifying. And the fact that the audience couldn't see or hear everything made it even more frightening.

The actors made this movie, however. Without their terrifyingly realistic performances, this movie would have never had the effect that it did. The characters just seemed so REAL. Their screams of horror and anguish and their confused cries came at all the right times, and seemed so real that the story almost could have been true. It definately was believable enough. And the discoveries they made were simple yet eerie enough to chill anyone in that situation right to their bones and out of their minds.

The writers of this story are complete geniuses. This was so different and so realistic, it deserves all the praise it receives. This style will probably be copied to death by all the major movie-makers, and Hollywood will probably throw in all its glamorous special effects "just to make it better." But no matter how hard the rest of Hollywood may try, they will not beat this movie. Blair Witch is one of the most original, creative, terrifying, and realistic movies ever made. It is a cult classic already happening. Bravo to everyone involved.

One thing, though. After reading the story and knowing what I had to do, I don't think I would want to be thrown out into the middle of the woods to film this movie if I was one of the actors. Knowing the story alone would just flip me out way too much. Heather Donahue, Mike Williams, and Joshua Leonard definatley have some courage to go out there and film that movie by themselves, because I know I wouldn't.

This is real terror, and it's not for the weak. You'll NEVER want to go camping again.

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