The Blair Witch Project

| August 17, 1999

Exhausting the eternal need to frighten in what seems like a decade of horror movies, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT nearly comes in at the end of the race, while blatantly leaving room for a sequel. This disqualifies whatever slim, yet noble justifications they may have had for making a low budget movie in the first place.
Kudos to the directors, but not for the film. Rather for “artistic direction” of one of the most in-depth websites I’ve seen in a long time. It obviously must have taken longer to create such a journal of information than it did for the crew to go running around in the forest scaring the cast members.
The following are just a few of my remembrances of this film, which is about the efforts of three ambitious college students making a documentary in the Black Hills Forest, and reveals no more to the viewer after its ending than it does ten minutes in. And I do know people who have claimed nausea from this irritating hand-held, single angle camera effect throughout the film; although it was not as disturbing to me. For its entire 1 hour and 27 minutes, the movie droned on in search of the Blair Witch. I grant that it is possible to capture the mystery of surprise by showing nothing, but this is a difficult task best left to experienced professionals. Another note to the filmmakers: filming and taping every little leaf falling to the ground lends nothing but boredom to the whole premise. This occurs far too often and is sandwiched in-between arguments over the damn map and being lost.
CARDINAL RULE NUMBER ONE: if you see and recognize a sacred cemetery, DON’T walk through it, much less touch anything or kick anything over.
This so-called “summer sleeper” depletes the use of naive ambivalent behavior and attempts to combine it with some preconceived notion of horror. The directors should quit while they’re ahead, currently in third place at the box office.
Kate’s View: If you’re even remotely interested in viewing this “commercial” horror movie, rent it.

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