The Blair Witch Project (1999)

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Overall Rating 57%
Overall Rating
Ranked #570
...out of 13,129 movies
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Three film students set out into the Black Hills Forest to make a documentary on the legendary Blair Witch. Armed with a 16mm camera, a Hi8 video camera, and a DAT recorder, every step, word and sound is captured. After wandering around the Black Hills Forest, Heather, Josh, and Mike are cold, lost and hunted. Finally, one night after the last ray of light had left the forest black, they were never to be seen again. One year later, a bag full of film cans, DAT tapes, and video tapes were found. The behind the scenes, video footage and the film, are cut together, and this is..."The Blair Witch Project." --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: March 24, 2004
Three people decide to do a documentary on the legend of the Blair Witch. The film opens with some routine equipment gathering, getting the cameras ready, and even a bit of grocery shopping. The three students then go about the town, interviewing various locals about the legend, and each person has a different story to tell and details to add. Finally, the trio park their car and descend into the woods, where they want to film coffin rock (a rock where seven men were killed), and a graveyard. Both things are filmed, and then the trio proceed to get lost in the woods with no map. Things get even worse when they start hearing noises outside their tent at night and finding strange items along their path.

I remember back when this movie was just coming out, and it was hyped to hell and back. Of course, I had to go see it, and indeed it was good... but worth the hype? I think not. It was really interesting how they had various articles / websites / TV spots to go along with it, each having a bit more information, and the way it was made to seem real was neat. But no movie could live up to the hype it was given, as usual.

Some people have a problem with the way this was filmed; I enjoyed it and thought it was a nice touch. Everything is shot on shaky camcorders, from beginning to end. No professional camera shots are to be found anywhere in this title, which distracts almost everyone I've talked with. So keep that in mind if you haven't seen it and don't know what to expect.

The storyline was pretty swell; it wasn't overtly original in itself, but the way it was shot and put together made it alot better than it would have been. Another gripe that most people have with this film, is the ending. There's not really an easy way to describe it without spoiling anything, so I won't even try; but I thought it was the perfect way to finish the movie. If you actually listen to the conversations with the townsfolk, it'll make sense; but if you're the type to ignore the opening scenes in favor of when the action picks up, you'll be clueless. Just a warning.

And for the record, even though I thought it'd been cleared up soon after the movie was released: this movie is not true. It's not based on a true story. There is no legend about a witch in the woods. Nothing in or about this film is true. Sorry to disappoint.

Overall, if the camera thing doesn't bother you, and you're not a huge fan of multi-million dollar film budgets, you may enjoy this movie. It's a bit slow in spots, but it builds up the "true story" thing they were going for, so it works out. 8/10.
Big D #1: Big D - added 08/04/2004, 03:08 AM
Eh, the movie was alright. It was mostly a documentary the kids made up. To me, "Blair Witch 2" is WAY better than "Blair Witch Project."
Schillinger #2: Schillinger - added 08/22/2004, 02:55 AM
My brother went to see this when it was in the theatre and had to walk out halfway through since it gave him a headache. Anyway, it's not scary at all. It keeps on building up to something, and once the damn thing starts getting interesting, it ends.
. #3: . - added 10/12/2004, 08:37 PM
Mindnumbingly awful
wikkidpiggykilla #4: wikkidpiggykilla - added 12/13/2004, 08:13 AM
The worst movie I have ever seen
BuryMeAlive #5: BuryMeAlive - added 03/25/2006, 07:34 PM
Really not worth the time, really shitty.
Ginose #6: Ginose - added 10/19/2006, 11:30 PM
Peice of shit with a good marketing scheme... this film could be made by a couple of freinds, their family members, 2 cameras, a car and $300 dollars (less presumably)... Biggest waste of money I've ever spent in a move theatre. 0/10
Tristan #7: Tristan - added 06/24/2007, 12:17 AM
Why does nobody like this film? Not only is it very original (save Cannibal Holocaust) and creative, but it was actually scary, because you see nothing. One of my favourite new horror movies of the last 10 years or so.
Ginose #8: Ginose - added 07/27/2007, 04:35 PM
You see nothing in "The Haunting", too. How does that make this film original? The originality falls on the shitty camera work, that's all.
Tristan #9: Tristan - added 09/24/2007, 12:31 AM
Ehh, go fuck yourself. There's more than a shaky camera that makes this film original.
Ginose #10: Ginose - added 09/24/2007, 12:40 AM
Like? Please, elaborate...
Crispy #11: Crispy - added 09/24/2007, 12:52 AM
Dude, maybe I'm mistaken, but how many films were able to get so much hype of this sort behind it. I don't mean like kids making hundreds of thousands of "Snakes on a Plane" posters, but where a good 70% of the population actually thought it might be actual truth. The originality falls on its marketing scheme, and how they did SO much by doing so little.
Tristan #12: Tristan - added 09/24/2007, 12:57 AM
And this was 1999. There wasn't exactly an "internet buzz" yet. So all the publicity was word of mouth, trailers, etc. And for originality? I dunno, how about the script? I've seen plenty of films people claim are "so original" based on books or short stories. I don't think I've seen a movie like this, ever. Like I said before Cannibal Holocaust obviously influenced it, but that's an influence. Every fucking movie is influenced by something or other. Look at all your stupid martial arts movies. Call those original? It's the same formula applied to 40 different movies.
Ginose #13: Ginose - added 09/24/2007, 01:32 AM
Okay, Crispy, to your question: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"

And, Tristan, never once have I said martial artsfilms are original. 9 times out of 10 it's a remake of an older one with no official royalties. Now, as for the script being original, I could cite atleast 10 other films it stole from, but, like you say, they may just be "influences". Regardless of that, the script SUCKED. It was boring. It was roughly 90 minutes of shaky camera, people looking scared and horrible dialouge (for what little there was). Nothing is expanded on, nothing changes, no insight is given. The movie ends at its climax. That, my friend, was fucking boring.
Crispy #14: Crispy - added 09/24/2007, 02:02 AM
TCM was a completely different affair. TCM took an actual event, the family of Ed Gein, and movie-tized it. Naturally, people get confused with the overlap. BWP on the other hand was an original legend these people made up, with the story of these students who disappeared, again that they made up, and everybody thought was an actual happening.
Ginose #15: Ginose - added 09/24/2007, 02:08 AM
Both of those events are urban legends and were so long before this movie too off. More importantally, as far as TCM is concerned, the Ed Gein factor had very little to do with why so many people thought (and STILL think) it to be true. More or less it was the opening of the film that mentions that the events ctually happened. Now, when you have people going around saying that the dad of a friend's cousin was in prison with Leatherface, then you know the thing has gained a life of its own. "TCM" got the same type of publicity.
Crispy #16: Crispy - added 09/24/2007, 12:08 PM
The Blair Witch was not an actual legend. Sure, it's a carbon copy of a few, including a "Bell Witch" but the Blair Witch itself was a creation of the movie makers. And you're just reiterating what I said the first time:
"Now, when you have people going around saying that the dad of a friend's cousin was in prison with Leatherface, then you know the thing has gained a life of its own"
Exactly, people started believing it AFTER the fact. That's not part of its publicity, that's part of its legacy its made. And starting off with "the following events are true" isn't anything new. Not only that, but using that to open the movie is nothing compared to the lengths the Blair Witch went. They released news clips reporting the disappearances, they created actual documentaries on the subject. Months in advance they started laying the groundwork for the "truth" approach. Hell, TCM was a movie. It was presented as a movie. Even though everybody knew/thought it was supposedly based on truth, as you watch it you know its actors re-enacting the situation. BWP was supposed to be ACTUAL footage of these doomed students. And THAT'S where the originality hits. Not the story itself, but the execution and the lengths they went through to enforce it.
Crispy #17: Crispy - added 09/24/2007, 12:09 PM
Just getting my novel off the front page. Gotta keep it pretty and all. :)
bluemeanie #18: bluemeanie - added 09/24/2007, 12:32 PM
This film is flawless. 100% flawless. The last truly original horror film. People can talk smack about this film all they want (which seems to be the 'hip' thing to do these days), but the fact remains that all the nay-sayers were scared just as shitless as I was when it was first released. I watched this film the other night, and as a horror film, it still holds up remarkably well. I love, love, love this film. 10/10.
Tristan #19: Tristan - added 09/24/2007, 03:31 PM
Saying it's the last original horror film is a bit of a stretch, as is saying it's 100% flawless. But when all is said and done, it's a very effective horror movie.
bluemeanie #20: bluemeanie - added 09/24/2007, 06:08 PM
Give me an example of a totally original horror film since "Blair Witch"?
Ginose #21: Ginose - added 09/24/2007, 07:33 PM
What? Original? How?
It was a fake-documentary! People have been doing them for years before this one reared its head. That "dedication" was just far too simple. I highly doubt that there's a filmmaker alive who couldn't make "TBWP", it was all about who jumped on it that decade. More importantlly, it isn't even the best in that department, either. "Man Bites Dog" is far more professional, well-composed, terrifying, disturbing, and entertaining that "Blair Witch" could ever hope for.
Now, no. It was not scary. Not at all. There wasn't even a "jump-out-go-boo" scare. It was boring. Very, very boring. Moreso, who are you to say it's the hip thing? I was bashing this peice of trash since it was released in theatres.
And, yeah, I was actually making reference to those other urban legends when I cited "TBWP"'s script as lacking originallity. I mean, don't crack at things like "The Shining" because it's based on a book. There is no originality in the world. I fear there never again will be.

So, before I list all of the original horror films that have come out since then, please tell me why this movie is 100% original.
Crispy #22: Crispy - added 09/24/2007, 08:39 PM
Yes, anyone could have made BWP, but nobody has ever taken that extreme truth approach before. Of course it wasn't the first fake documentary ever made, but how many fake documentaries are there that was made to serve the pupose this was. Let's get something straight. Originality does not mean reinventing the wheel. Originality means taking something that's been done before and completely overhauling it. Like I said before, how many movies have gone to such lengths to create this "is it true?" feeling.
Ginose #23: Ginose - added 09/24/2007, 08:53 PM
Truth be told, several films have taken that approach, not so many before, but many filmmakers saw how ridicuously simple that style of "filmmaking" was and dcided that if it could be succesful, so could they. And from that we've gotten even more entertaining films, so I'll give "Blair Witch" that. If it weren't for it we wouldn't have gotten the "August Underground" films.
And, although shot to be used as a movie, don't forget that "Cannibl Holocaust" purposely tried to appear like the documentary was real (and, with all the lawsuits to consider, it seemd to do a pretty good job of it), so, therefore, "Blair Witch"'s originality wasn't too original.
Nirrad #24: Nirrad - added 09/27/2007, 11:54 PM
Guh, I went to see this with a friend when it was released in theaters. There was so much hype and man oh man, it didn't deliver. I remember coming home and telling my mother about it and my friend and I came to the conclusion that staying at home watching the tv made movie on at the time would have been more enjoyable. I will admit though that 2 scenes did kinda scare me. The tent scene at night time, and at the very end when the girl is running downstairs yelling one of the guys name, then seeing him standing in the corner. For some reason that scene reminds me of some of my nightmares. But then the movie just ends. Overall I'd give it 2/10, and those 2 marks are for those 2 scenes.
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