The Blair Witch Project title

Tag Line : In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittesville,
Maryland, while shooting a documentary. One year later, their footage was found.

The Blair Witch Project Every so often, a film comes out that greatly divides audience opinion as to whether it was any good or not, and this is certainly one of those films. Filmed on shaky hand held camera's, by 3 people playing student film-makers, the movie makes a brief mention about the fate that is about to befall them, and then the rest of the picture is made up ENTIRELY of the footage made by the supposedly missing students.

The footage shows them doing a few introductions of themselves on their camera's, thereby giving us the only background about them we're going to get, before they head off to make a film for their college project about a local legend known as the "Blair Witch" who supposedly haunts the woods near their home town of Burkittsville, Maryland.

Anyway, they subsequently find themselves being terrorised by something unseen. Strange noises can be heard at night, little stick figures are found strewn about all over the woods, rock formations appear in their camp, and then one by one they start going missing.

Again, this is one of those films that you will either love or hate. Whilst there was a few creepy moments in it, I felt that there was far too much time spent watching them aimlessly wander round the woods and arguing profanely at each other about getting lost (reminded me far too much of my last camping trip to the Lake District), and not enough time spent getting on with the actual plot. I will admit that it did pass an hour and a half quite well, but it did not live up to all the media hype.

Love it or hate it though, there was no disputing the films success, which broke box office records in both the US and UK, and proved to be the most successful horror film of 1999. I would suggest you watch it and decide for yourselves!

Overall Marks : 5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The films budget was a mere $35,000. It grossed almost $30 million on its opening weekend in the US alone.

  • A lot of the films initial hype was due to the fact that the production company had touted the movie as being genuine, and that the film makers were actually missing. Apparently, they even went so far as to have the actors (who were using their real names in the film) listed on the official "missing persons" list in the US (unconfirmed).

  • The actors were requested to interview the townspeople, which often, unbeknownst to them, were planted by the directors. As a result, the expressions on the actors' faces were unrehearsed.

  • The films working title was "The Black Hills Project."

  • The myth about the film being genuine was perpetuated by the official website, and a spoof documentary filmed by the US Sci-Fi channel entitled "The Curse of the Blair Witch" (which aired on Sky 1 in the UK).

  • The actors were given no more than a 35-page outline of the mythology behind the plot before shooting began. All lines were improvised and nearly all the events in the film were unknown to the three actors beforehand, and were often on-camera surprises to them all.

  • The movie was actually filmed in Rockville, Maryland.

  • Some moviegoers in the US apparently experienced motion sickness from the handheld camera movements, and actually had to go out and be sick. Moviegoers in Toronto, Canada where not amused by the requests of the ushers in some of the theatres who told patrons "if you are prone to motion sickness, sit in the aisle seat and to try not to throw up on other people." Charming!

  • A soundtrack for the film was released, which was kind of odd considering the film had no music. Basically the soundtrack is touted as being made up of the songs found on the tape in Josh's car (an interesting marketing ploy), and features all heavy rock/industrial type music.

  • The production company Haxan Films borrowed its named from Benjamin Christensen's witchcraft documentary, Häxan (1922), a source of inspiration for the film.

  • Such was the films initial notoriety that many people still believed that the footage they were watching on screen was actually real and not staged, even after the media had blown the whistle on the fact that it was just a cunning marketing ploy. In fact some people were so convinced, it was only when the sequel came out, which admitted the this film was a work of fiction, that they finally realised they had been tricked!

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Other films in the series.

Book of Shadows : Blair Witch 2

 

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