Title: The Blair Witch Project
Play time: 1h 21m
Director: Directors: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez
Starring: Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, Joshua Leonard
Amateur writing, naïve acting, average directing but with a story that seems to have changed how horror was told – this movie is the formula that should’ve gone really wrong but actually ended up in a pretty good result. The Blair Witch Project is an amateur film that many people loved and others didn’t like it as much, but there’s no doubt about how original and innovative it was for its time.
Directed by two totally amateur filmmakers, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, the movie about an old tale of a witch living in a faraway forest of Maryland, has frightened more people than any other movie nowadays, and it is actually the mother of others like Paranormal Activity which was in a way inspired by this type of film-making.
The Blair Witch Project was one among thousands, and even though it was funded by a really low budget, the movie ended up being bigger than most people thought, even the same filmmakers behind its creation were overwhelmed by how big it became. But that’s no mistake, especially thanks to how good it was eventually designed.
The Blair Witch Project (1999) – Amateur But Original
Even though the movie was made in a very amateur-like way, there’s no doubt that its originality was eventually the point that most people took into account while seeing it. It is so innovative for its time, especially for how real it felt, making people feel as if they were part of the story and as if they were experiencing in the flesh what the characters inside the movie were.
A story about a group of amateur adventurers who wanted to investigate the story of a supposed witch who lived in the forest of Maryland which eventually went to be more real than what they thought.
The writing is not good, the acting is above-average at best and the directing sometimes feel a little boring – yet with a witty plot about the story, a good desperate acting in the worse and most frustrating moments plus an interesting way of portraying horror – this movie was made in a very amateur way to eventually deliver much more than what was expected in a very original way.
The Horror in The Blair Witch Project
The thing about this movie was how great the horror was portrayed. We were so used to monsters, ghosts, jump scares and the like – yet this movie introduces us to a new type of horror that doesn’t have anything to do with the former. This movie taught the industry that horror movies don’t have to be direct, that the monster is not what really matters when it comes to horror, that the psychological aspect and the horror in the face of other people, the experience and the real human factor in scary situations is what really makes us shiver when we are afraid. And that was masterfully captured here.
We never see the witch really. But we know it is there, close and that she may be dangerous – but even more important than that – she’s totally scary. That’s what this movie is all about, not showing us the horror but let us feel it. Allowing the audience to feel as if they were experiencing the horror themselves with a really interesting type of amateur filming, natural acting, witty writing and an overall interesting idea; this movie is simply a masterpiece without even trying to be one.
There’s almost nothing bad to say about it. Especially when we think about how low of a budget the filmmakers had and how difficult it should’ve been to think about a movie without any type of special effects, yet it was so scary that a lot of people actually thought the movie was bewitched. If you are a horror fan, The Blair Witch Project (1999) will for sure be perfect for you.