The Blair Witch Project
Review written by: Alex Sandell

What's the story?

In 1994, three filmmakers disappear in the woods next to Burkittsville, Maryland, while filming a documentary about the "Blair Witch" legend.  One year later, the footage they shot was found.  We get to see it. 

So how is it? (Get to the point, already)

The question should really be, "does it live up to the hype?"  The answer:   "definitely not."  Is it a good movie?  Yes, and no. 

When Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez came up with the idea to create a mock documentary made solely to creep the hell out of people, they were definitely playing around with a good idea.  The movie could be made on an extremely tight budget.  The shaky camera work and poor film quality would actually do the film a service, by making it seem all the more genuine.  And, finally, the movie could rake in a fortune because, when you think about it, who doesn't like to hear a good ghost story, every so often?

So the two filmmakers and 3 actors set out into the woods for a week or two, without anything more than a general story idea, no written script, and a lot of ambition.  A week or two later they came back with a film that succeeds amazingly and fails miserably, all at the same time. 

The movie starts on a high note when Josh (Joshua Leonard), Michael (Michael C. Williams) and Heather (Heather Donahue) interview the small-town "folk."  These fictional interviews capture hilariously all of the imbecilic intricacies of the local yokels.  It isn't until the trio of filmmakers enter the woods, in search of an old graveyard, that The Blair Witch Project starts to crumble.  

The actors came up with most of the lines off of the top of their heads, and, frankly, they didn't do a very good job of it.  There's an amusing anecdote, here or there, but, for the most part, it felt like hanging out with the pretentious pricks I went to film-school with 4 years ago.  The incessant collegial banter about anything and everything (as long as it's pretty much about nothing) left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  Maybe it just drudged up all of the bad memories I have of those trust-fund babies playing grown-up with ma and pa's money.  Whatever it is, whether it be too real, or totally artificial, the dialogue department is one in which Blair Witch fails miserably. 

The long, arduous filler scenes used between the scares also made Witch a less-than-perfect "project."  We have the 2 minute horror scene, during the night, then the 10 minute filler, during the day.  After 2 or 3 times, this cycle becomes an exercise in tedium.  Not to mention, despite what everyone is saying, the horror scenes weren't really that terrifying . . . with exception to one.

It is this scene, the last 5 minutes of the film, where The Blair Witch Project succeeds amazingly well.  What is revealed during the last 5 minutes of Witch (don't worry, I'm not going to tell you what it is), will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end.  This isn't something you'll forget easily.  Once you've seen it, it's gonna be ingrained inside of your brain for a long time.  You could come down with Alzheimer's, be hit by a truck, fall off of a bridge, and be thrown into a coma, and you still wouldn't forget the finale of this film.  It's that creepy.   That horrifyingly memorable.  That intense.  It's what The Blair Witch Project, in its entirety, reached for, but never quite grasped.

What does it make you feel like eating?

Count Chocula

What are you selling us here???

Horror movies really don't need MTV soundtracks to be scary.

If it won an Oscar, what would it be?

"Most Frightening Finale" - The Blair Witch Project

On a scale of 1-10?

5

Agree? Disagree? Wanna have cyber-sex? Email me at alex@juicycerebellum.com

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Text (Copyright) 1999 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, you'll never get to suck on an ass as nice as Nicole's as long as you live!

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