Does it live up to the hype? The answer: "definitely not." Is it a good movie? Yes, and no (emphasis on "no").
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 (a quick reminder as to why I dropped the fuck out). 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.
I'd give it 5 Juicy squirts out of a possible 10
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Copyright 2001 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]