The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Who’s afraid of the big bad witch? Well apparently a nation of audiences and studio heads. I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories from people lying in the corners of theaters until the movie was over, to people running out screaming, to the distribution of barf bags by theaters (of course it might be due to the hand held camera and motion sickness). Well after all the hype I finally ventured out to see it after some failed attempts at evening shows that managed to be sold out. I’ll say right now that I was never very afraid. Of course there may have been some effect being that I saw it around three in the afternoon.

But I did come away with a great appreciation for what these kids have done. They themselves with a mere $100,000 budget have practically reinvented horror and given it a complete turn from where the Kevin Williamson post-irony pseudo hip teen slasher films were leading us. And I for one couldn’t be happier. The anticipation of the unknown is far more frightening than being slowly chased by a man in a rain slicker. That’s exactly what Blair Witch offers. It’s no typical horror flick. It lets you create the fear in your head and let you drive yourself mad with it. The tension is slowly building and building as the trio get even more lost, paranoid, and frightened. It really is a truly innovative effort and done so realistically that people still swear to their hearts it’s all true. I think more credit should go to the actors then the directors for how effectively real the movie was. When they’re not yelling profanity all the time they do manage to come off as very believable and we see how they are all slowly breaking down internally like a case study. Just remember people, money doesn’t equal scares.

Nate’s Grade: B

This movie also revisited and analyzed in the article, “1999: The Greatest Year in Film? A Review Re-View.”

About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on July 25, 1999, in 1999 Movies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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