This must be the single most hyped Horror movie ever in Horror movie history… and it deserved to be. The problem is that the hype that surrounded it may have made The Blair Witch Project less of a success with Horror fans. I myself had heard so many bad reviews about it that I waited months after its release before going to see it… and I think viewing this movie without listening to any reviews or comments made by friends and going into the cinema with an open mind was the best way, because I loved this movie a lot.
The idea behind the movie is very simple – as with all Horror movie greats – and effective beyond comparison. Three students go into a town to do a project on a mythical witch who is said to haunt the town, and go missing without a trace in the woods the ‘witch’ supposedly lingers in. If you’re expecting to see a lot of witches in this movie, then you’ll be disappointed (as, I’m sure, many were!). The ‘primitive’ direction – using two simple hand-held cameras – is very infectious and well-done, and the overall effect is a very claustrophobic one, which draws the viewer into the three film-maker’s world. Many screenwriters have something to learn from the ‘script’, which was written on the day it was shot (and was far more impressive than scripts from many high-budget movies of today!), which was a breath of fresh air from the self-referential mumbo-jumbo going on today.
The acting is adequate for a bunch of unknowns (maybe movie producers will take note of this and stop handing out truck-loads of cash to ‘knowns’ in the future and look for cheaper but efficient unknown actors – look out Neve and Love!), especially impressive was Heather’s performance.
The Blair Witch Project isn’t particularly frightening until the ending, where I was petrified – and that’s saying something seeing as I am rarely scared by anything in movies. If you’re looking for scares throughout then you’ll be disappointed, but if you’re the type who is scared by a slow build-up which leads to an earth-shattering ending then this is the movie for you.
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, The Blair Witch Project delivers where expected, and does away with many a Horror movie cliché by using unknowns for both acting and directing, and the ending is truly memorable. A great nights entertainment with a brilliant twist in the finale.