This movie was one of the biggest movies of my teenage years. A “found footage” movie that made its legend with its promotional use of the internet that left many people believing that the movie was actually a real documentary.
It is one of the most successful independent movies of all time, it has spawned a sequel and a trilogy of video games.
It is still a very popular and highly regarded film.
Saying all that I personally have no time for it. I watched it in the cinema and for the purposes of the blog I’ve watched it again with the other guys.
I appreciate why the movie is thought of so highly. I just enjoy a decent story and I didn’t get that with the film.
As with all found footage film it is a easy concept. They are making a documentary on the legends of the “Blair Witch”. They start by talking to people living in the renamed town of Burkittsville who tell them of the legend of Rustin Parr, a hermit that killed seven children.
The rest of the film is seen mainly from the main character, Heather Donahue’s, handheld camera.
This is what I disliked about it. Not that it was a handheld camera or anything of the sort but the fact that the rest of the movie was just three people getting lost in the woods. Yes they heard things in the night and one night had something “attack” them. Yes they found mounds of stones and random wooden things all over the place. They actually didn’t tell us much about any of the legends, the beginning was the only time we got any information.
Of course the whole point is that you feel as lost and scared as they do, but I need a lot more to get scared then that.
The female lead was annoying, you spend about 60% of the movie at the least listening to the two males (Micheal C. Williams and Joshua Leonard) telling her to turn the camera off. “TURN THE CAMERA OFF!!!” “YOU’RE STILL FILMING!!!” By the 100th time they’ve yelled this I was ready to walk out of the cinema. And never do either of the men manage to steal the camera or stop her filming. There is one scrap when I believe Micheal tries to take the camera but that is it. She films regardless. “Its the only thing I have left” I never believed in why she would really believe filming would ever do anything.
The majority of the film is then spent looking at trees, grass, rivers and darkness. The film really mainly being the view of where she is walking usually pointed at a angle towards the floor. Like that is of any interest.
Anything pertaining the myth of the Blair Witch is shakily captured and then completely unexplained and ignored.
I understand why my friends at the time felt uneasy, it wasn’t so much the film as the shaking camera. After all who couldn’t help but feel motion sickness while watching it?
Then again I’m totally biased because the film didn’t work for me. I never felt a part of what was happening. A similar (and later film) that I did believe in was Grave Encounters. It wasn’t so much that it was more believable but the actual characters were just more enjoyable. There was a real actual purpose in everything and I believed that it was a possible endurance. I spent most of the Blair Witch wondering how long the camera actually could record, and for people who were only meant to be out for like a day and a night how much film did they bring for the handheld camera?
It earned its place as a classic film but for me it just leaves me bored and dizzy.