Newest Review: ... Plot ====== The Blair Witch product was released as a 'documentary' about a group of teenagers visiting a town in search of the 'Blair... more
Afraid to Close My Eyes, Afraid to Open Them (The BW Project)
The Blair Witch Project (DVD)
Member Name: b00t
The Blair Witch Project (DVD)
Advantages: Original, believable acting and intriguing story
Disadvantages: Open narrative, may not appeal viewers with a limited imagination
REVIEW INFO: This review was first published on Ciao.co.uk, under the account name b00t, which is rightfully mine. Its design has been optimized for Dooyoo.co.uk, but its contents remain the same! Please don't plagiarize and rate honestly! Enjoy.
ATTENTION! This review assumes that you have some vague knowledge of the film and would like to expand it before watching it. Beware of minor spoilers. If there is a major spoiler, you will be warned in advance.
I'd like to warn you in advance - if you're expecting some sort of unbelievable special effects, curses, black magic, gutting or anything of this caliber, then this is most definitely not the right movie for you.
The Blair Witch Project is an extraordinary horror film with a large dosage of mystery in it. But it's even more so an extraordinary thriller, which will keep you at the edge of your seat not one or two times. The movie is made in the style of a documentary or in other words, it's a "POV" (point of view) type of film. With a humble budget ranging from 500,000$ to 750,000$ and a gross of nearly 250,000,000$, The Blair Witch Project contains absolutely no special effects. And despite the fact that it's deliberately presented as an amateur movie, it undoubtedly delivers its message accross and is probably the main inspiration for other great movies such as [Rec] and Cloverfield. The Blair Witch Project heavily relies on the viewer's imagination, so it may not appeal to all, but I think it still deserves a watch.
== Plot ==
The movie tells the story of three student filmmakers, armed with nothing but two cameras and some essential hiking gear, who went to Burkittsville, Maryland (formerly called Blair, according to the film), in order to uncover the enigma behind one of the town's greatest urban legends, the Blair Witch, but disappeared on their journey and later their video footage was recovered and compiled into a movie, hence the name "The Blair Witch Project". The legend states that during the 1940s, in the forests near by the town, many children vanished and even to this day, people still fear going deep into the woods. The locals explain to the film crew that these events could be associated with a hermit named Rustin Parr, who kidnapped children to his house and murdered them straight afterwords, and as he eventually turned himself over to the police, stated that the only reason for his actions was the spirit of Elly Kedward, a witch from the 18th century, who kept haunting him and wouldn't leave him alone. So the three students set out to find evidence to prove that horrifying tale, leaving their car behind in the woods. But as the story progresses, they soon find that their adventure won't be as pleasant as expected, but at least they find what they're looking for... the Blair Witch!
WARNING: The movie is an open narrative and leaves a lot of questions unanswered, which proves my point yet again that this movie is not for everyone.
== Cast, Characters & Acting ==
The Blair Witch Project does not feature any famous actors, but that's no reason to conclude that the acting is bad. In fact, it was quite the contrary, you could feel the characters' emotion and in my opinion, this significantly added to the whole 'realistic feel' of the film.
Here are the actors (who, by the way, play themselves in the movie) in descending order of how much they impressed me with their performance.
I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but I think Heather Donahue takes the cake. In my opinion, she played her role magnificently and the Razzie award for Worst Actress she received in 2000 was completely unjustified. I can understand how people could find her performance in this particular movie annoying (she did act a little whiny at times, but that was part of her role), but I don't think that makes her a bad actress. And also, how could you not feel for her during the "I'm sorry" scene near the end? If you call that bad acting, I don't know what kind of person you are.
Then there's Michael Williams or simply 'Mike' in the movie. He's the person I adored most after Heather. In fact, I think it's a tie. But anyway, he plays the coward of the trio or at least that's the vibe you get after watching the first half of the movie, but after that, things start to change and you get to see what his character is all about. What can I say, I find him a good actor and I'd love to see him in more movies. His most memorable scene is the one near the end, in my opinion.
And finally, Joshua Leonard or 'Josh', the calm dude. But again, as the movie progresses, his character's behaviour also changes. In fact, he becomes quite the opposite of what I said about him - angry, unable to think straight. But it's understandable, considering their circumstances. A good performance by him, as well.
== What I Liked/Disliked About 'The Blair Witch Project' ==
- Liked -
1. It was thrilling, mysterious and suspenseful.
2. The story was interesting.
3. It was realistic.
4. It wasn't overly long, considering what it unveiled by the end.
5. The "directing" was nice.
- Disliked -
1. The movie is an open narrative. There are many questions left unanswered.
2. You really have to use your imagination to appreciate it for all it's worth.
3. *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* You never actually get to see the witch.
4. The soundtrack could have been a lot better.
== Conclusion ==
All in all, I think The Blair Witch Project is a well made horror/thriller-mix type of movie and if you enjoy POV films, you should see where it all began. The acting is good, the story is interesting too, but the most memorable part is the realistic feel of the movie. It's not an unforgettable masterpiece by any means and most likely won't appeal to you, if you're not a huge fan of psychological horror, but regardless, I think it deserves a watch.
Summary: A must-watch for any POV and psychological horror movie fan!