"In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared
in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a
documentary. A year later their footage was found."
College filmmakers, Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael
Williams set out on a trip to document the legend and myths
surrounding an entity known as the Blair Witch. At their first
stop, Burkittsville, Maryland, we are told of the legend of the
Blair Witch through a series of interviews with local residents.
From here it's on to the woods themselves where the real story
lies. Because it's here, in the woods, where the events surrounding
the Blair Witch took place. The crew visits Coffin Rock, so named
for it's shape and the civil war soldiers that were mysteriously
killed, gutted, and arranged on it. After leaving Coffin Rock, they
become lost despite their best efforts with map and compass.
Frustrated, confused, and tormented by supernatural forces, they
wander the forest, desperately trying to find their way out. They
are never heard from again.
The magic of The Blair Witch Project is the wonderful
blurring between fact and fiction that left so many of us
wondering if this was real. In a world accustomed to Hollywood
hype the art of storytelling has been almost completely lost in
the wonders of special effects and science fiction. The Blair
Witch Project brings us back to a time in our childhood when we
told ghost stories around a campfire. Tales of witches, demons,
and evil in the darkness, waiting, watching, and always just beyond
explanation. What is in the darkness just beyond the campfire
and what does it want?
The unique documentary within a documentary approach the
filmmakers chose to tell the story combined with the real time
filming and the completely improvised acting lent credence that
what were were seeing was real. The characters didn't look like
polished Hollywood stars. They were real people like you and I.
You could identify with their reactions, their motivations,
because they were perfect. Honest, real, without even a hint of
A fine film it is but, The Blair Witch Project is slow, almost painfully so.
This dogged pace would kill most modern movies. In The Blair Witch
Project it adds a real life suspense element. The viewer
experiences the same long hours of frustration and boredom the
characters do, interspersed with with fast passed bursts of sheer
terror. The documentary style, for once, serves to draw the
majority in instead of alienating them.
Josh playing with
camera at beginning of trip
Heather, scared out
of her mind, pleads for forgivness
Michael hunting down
the lost Josh
Another unique aspect is the constant first person view. At
no point are you experiencing a point of view other than one of
the principal characters. If at first this seems unusual it
helps make sense of who is seeing what because each is carrying
their own camera. It also adds a certain "you are
there" type feeling which only adds to the suspense,
mystery, and terror of the film.
While people generally fall into two distinct camps as to
their opinion of the film, I believe the Blair Witch Project is
a masterpiece and one of the must see films of our time. If you
haven't seen the Blair Witch Project it's time to crawl out of
your cave and rent it. If you haven't seen it in awhile it's
time turn the lights off, lock the doors, and see it again!
For fans of the Blair Witch movies The Blair Witch
Experience is an excellent buy. Two movies and three games
plus and neat Blair Witch pendant for less than the price of one
new release game. However, for the majority of people, it might
be a better value to purchase or rent The Blair Witch Project
and skip the sequel and games.
The DVD special features of Blair Witch Project include:
- Director's and Producer's Commentary
- Curse of the Blair Witch
- Newly Discovered Footage
- The Blair Witch Legacy
The Blair Witch Experience Special Limited Edition
Collector's Set includes:
- The Blair Witch Project DVD
- Book of Shadows Blair Witch 2 DVD
- The Blair Witch Series Video Games:
- Volume I: Rustin Parr
- Volume II: The LEgend of Coffin Rock
- Volume III: The Elly Kedward Tale
- A neat Blair Witch pendant on twine necklace
Do you think we got this movie totally wrong?
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a discussion of this movie in our forums!