BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999)
Starring Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams, Bob Griffin, Jim King, Sandra Sanchez, Ed Swanson, Patricia DeCou, Mark Mason and Jackie Halex.
Screenplay by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez.
Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez.
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment. 86 minutes. Rated R.
I am very happy that this little movie has become a big phenomenon. It speaks well for the D.I.Y. spirit of filmmakers everywhere, and hopefully will shake up the whole industry. The Blair Witch Project has a truly clever premise – it is supposed to be the final videos of three filmmakers who went into the woods looking into a local legend who were never seen again.
I just wish I could say I liked the film more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, they did a nice job on a shoestring budget. Some parts of the film did achieve a real spooky feeling of paranoia. But in the end – maybe because of the vortex of hype swirling around Blair Witch – not one thing in the film was really shocking or even particularly surprising.
The main characters were mostly rather unlikable, and their own stupidity and stubbornness cause most of their problems, so you don’t really feel too sorry for them. In the end, the only thing that you know for sure to be menacing the three of them is a bunch of twig figures… which does not quite merit the hysteria the filmmakers exhibit. The Blair Witch Project is clever and does deserve a lot of its success, but it really could have been much scarier than it is – even on it’s own low-budget terms. (8/99)
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright © 1999 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: August 3, 1999.