The Blair Witch Project review

Figure 1:Poster (1999)

“The Blair Witch Project” is an interesting film at first, but the magic seems to be lost after multiple viewings. In that sense it lacks the replay value that other films have, but nothing is wrong with that. The first viewing can, no is filled with suspense, this suspense is lost when you realise that not much really happens.
Figure 2:Missing Poster (1999)

It is commonly agreed that “The Blair Witch Project” is an “extraordinarily effective horror film” (Ebert, 1999), being as lost as the character triggers a sense of empathy in a viewer. Also as a viewer being told that this is “found footage” and the events where real is freighting, it leaves to many questions. Looking back maybe the problems isn't quite the replay value, rather it is when viewer watches the film (time and date). As modern viewers we know about the sub-genre called “found footage”, and maybe that’s the problem. As a viewership we may have been desensitized to the idea of finding footage, it is no longer a novelty. The genre losing its novelty mantle allows easier escapism and immersion, because to the viewer of the title “found footage” no longer holds any value, it feels more like faked footage. We can’t blame “The Blair Witch Project” for the saturation of the “found footage” sub-genre, when something is done successfully others will copy the formula hoping for the same success, its only human nature. “The Blair Witch Project” should not be commended for starting a movement, and inspiring film makers with small budgets to create their own films.
Figure 3: Clapper board (1999)

The human imagination can be stronger than any special effects budget “If ever a film proved that what you don't see is scarier than what you do” (Lloyd, 1999). Part of the films charm is no one sees the witch. For all we know the witch could be nothing more than a figment of the characters imaginations, and the film could actually be about the slow descent into psychosis. Fear driving humans to do irrational things. Not seeing the witch did two things, saved the film makers on a make-up and SFX budget, and more importantly allows room for theories, ideas, imagination. Debating the existence of the witch in the film can sometimes be more exciting than watching the film.

Seeing someone truly afraid can have and interesting effect on a viewer, it could trigger Sympathy “is frightening only insofar as its characters' panic seems real.”(Maslin) The viewer feels bad for the actor wanting to comfort them and tell them that everything is ok. True fear and panic is hard to put on a screen so seen someone actually break down, can be hard to watch.

Altogether “The Blair Witch Project” is a good film, and great Psychological horror. But for some, it can only really be experienced once.

Illustrations list

Figure 1: poster (1999)[Poster].At: (accessed on 11/04/2015)

Figure 2: Missing poster (1999)[Poster]. At: on 11/04/2015)

Figure 3 clapper board (1999)[Film still]. At: on 11/04/2015)


Ebert, R. (1999) The Blair Witch Project. At: on 11/04/2015)

Lloyd, R. (1999) Documentary Style Aids 'Blair Witch'. At: on 11/04/2015)

Maslin, J. (1999) FILM REVIEW; Vanished in the Woods, Where Panic Meets Imagination. At: on 11/04/2015)


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