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The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project

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Published by MeganHowett
Film Review
Film Review

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Published by: MeganHowett on Feb 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Te Blair Witch Project, 1999
Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 'Te Blair Witch Project' is a horror and the one of the rstof its kind, built up of 'found-footage'. Set up as the discovered documentary footage of three studentlmmakers, 'Te Blair Witch Project' starts as the three students set oto Burkittsville, formally Blair,Maryland, to venture into the woods to explore the legend of the Blair Witch. Te protagonist is HeatherDonahue, a bossy folk-lore enthusiast who has convinced fellow lmmakers Josh and Mike to aid her inmaking her documentary. Te audience is taken along for the ride as they nd themselves completely lost inthe woods and haunted throughout the night, with strange rock formations and wooden dolls made from Figure 1.
sticks. One night, Josh is separated from the group and disappears, only to be heard the next nightscreaming out to his friends. On discovering a house, where they believe Josh is, the lm concludes with thepair trapped inside the house, perhaps with the very thing they had come to see.Te footage has the haphazard continuity of tormented fragments; its all handheld stu, caught on the run.ents, woods, isolation, increasing fear, and then ambiguous terrors suggested by such commonplacematerials as some sticks tied together or rocks placed outside the crews tent.” (Denby, 1999) Trough theuse of hand held cameras, the footage has the illusion of documentary lm caught during moment of pureterror. Te audience is made is suspend their disbelief in the situation, as it doesn't seem likely that in theirsituation the students would continue lming. Te eect of the constantly moving camera is somewhatnauseating, however manages to place the audience inside the head of the characters as they are tormented.Te lm recreates the absolute terror of being completely lost. Te trio start to turn on each other as therealisation that they can't nd their way out of the woods hits them.
ension mounts as Heather, Joshuaand Michael lose their psychological bearings.” (ravers, 1999) Te footage captures the three as they groever more scared. Troughout there are long stretches of blackness and even when the light is on, theconstant movement makes it hard to decipher what is happening. Te lm has a claustrophobic feel to it, asthe audience strains to hear in regular moments of darkness. A strong aspect of the lm is the power ofFigure 2.
sound. All of the sound heard is what was picked up by the two microphones on the cameras, making thevoices of the students much louder and the strange noises haunting them in the night almost impossible tohear, until it builds leading to Josh's disappearance.he ending of the lm is somewhat ambiguous, due to the fact that throughout the lm, the audience neverreally sees anything. Of course strange noises can be during the night, but unlike in many other horrors, theevil haunting the trio is not something we ever see. A big question in regards t the ending is why is Mikestanding in the corner and what happened to Josh? Some theories include the possibility that Mike being inthe corner is repetition of the horror story a local from Blair told the students upon their arrival in the town.Tey are told of a man who took children into his house in pairs, making one stand in the corner while hekilled the rst, only to be killed aer. Tis man pleaded insanity, claiming that he was possessed by a witchfrom the 18
century, the Blair Witch. Tis could suggest that the witch is still haunting the house, and Mikeis standing in the corner awaiting his death.“Te Blair Witch Project's strength is also its most glaring weakness: namely, it is played out on such a small,intimate scale, with none of the gory frills or bombastic artice of your average Hollywood frightfest, thatFigure 3.

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