MOVIE REVIEW: “The Blair Witch Project” stars Heather Donahue (Taken , Boys and Girls), Joshua Leonard (Togetherness [TV series], If I Stay), and Michael C. Williams (Altered, The Objective). It is written and directed by Daniel Myrick (The Objective, Solstice) and Eduardo Sánchez (Lovely Molly, Exists). In 1994, three filmmakers trekked into the woods of Maryland in hopes of making a documentary on the Blair Witch. What unfolds is a horrifying endeavor that leads the filmmakers on a path of loss and sorrow.
It’s that time of the year: spooktober (or October, for those who want to make sense to the commoners). So, why not watch a scary movie? It’s not like I get severely creeped out by them or anything, right? I guess I should devote myself to watching at least one a year, considering how I have a reputation to uphold as a reputable film reviewer (on WordPress, the most professional of sites for sure). What’s the horror flick this time around? Well, if you didn’t read the top (which would be unbelievable), it’s “The Blair Witch Project.” The found footage feature that started all found footage features; at least I think it did. My curiosity sparked with this movie because of all the parodies I’ve seen spawn from it, the biggest one being “The Blair Thumb.” It was a short film made by Steve Odenkerk where thumbs replaced the characters and reenacted the scenes. It’s hilarious stuff, and I hoped that maybe the thought of that parody would subside the scares brought on by this spooky flick. And while it did, it was only to a certain extent. While “The Blair Witch Project” might not be scary to some avid horror fans (at least nowadays), it scared the heck out of me. Of course, the thrills were to a varying degree. As the movie progresses, tensions rise and the horror seeps in. Honestly, it’s one of the most real pictures I have ever seen. The filmmakers did a terrific job making this look like it actually happened, and they did in fact make that illusion when it first screened almost twenty years ago. Moviegoers thought it was real, and I would’ve thought so to if I was there to see it at that time. The performances are raw, the editing is surreal, and the practical effects push the story just enough to give it a haunting factor. There really isn’t anything to hate on when it comes to the aesthetics of this movie; what it boils down to is your taste in cinema. If you don’t like found footage, shaky-cam style filmmaking, you won’t like this movie. I expected this to be cheesy, or perhaps unbelievable, but I got the complete opposite. Obviously, when you walk in knowing that it is all fake, the story isn’t as thrilling or chilling, but I think the filmmakers did well in at least getting a rise out of me. The story itself doesn’t have too much meat to it, as it’s simply just following three filmmakers trying to make a documentary on the Blair Witch, but there’s enough content to keep you entertained. If there was any flaw to it (besides the plausibility to anyone finding the cameras with the footage to begin with), I would say the rewatchability value is lacking. As I stated, the story doesn’t have much to it, so once you see it, you may not feel inclined to watch it again. Everything is rather straightforward in the plot, so trying to find another meaning to it in another watch may prove to be a failure. Of course, you could find this great and want to watch it again; there’s an exception to every rule. As for myself, I think I’m good with one viewing. “The Blair Witch Project” is a well-made feature for being found footage. It’s realistic, hard-hitting, and gets the job done in regards to scares. Besides the story not having much meat to it, I say give it a try (even if you feel hesitant about horror flicks). FINAL SCORE: 86%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: