I am utterly devoted to The Blair Witch Project. the first time I ever saw it actually involved no sight. I was writing an essay in college, and noticed that some vagabond soul had uploaded the entire movie to Youtube. I had never seen it, so I decided to listen to it. Every part, in order.
Writing while listening to audio of people running scared through the woods. And you thought you were a weird kid in college.
The gist: Heather, Mike and Josh are making a documentary about the legendary Blair Witch. Heather and Josh are buds, and Mike’s pretty new to the group. At first everything goes well. The locals open up to them, telling them stories about murders that happened in the 1940s and people claiming to see feral women in the woods. Some crazy stuff has gone on in there.
Then the three start to actually head into the woods. They shoot one scene near where an atrocity happened years before, and then promptly get lost. That’s when the noises start to come in the night. Then Mike kicks the map into the river because he found it to be “f*cking useless.” Then they find human-like stick figures hanging from trees. While all of this is going on, they still can’t find their way through the forest. By the way, where’d Josh run off to?
What I “learned”: If you haven’t listened to the Radiolab interview with one of the creators of the Blair Witch Project, I highly suggest that you do. He describes the appeal of the Blair Witch story coming from the fact that it’s just vague enough to potentially be true. We think it’s potentially true, so we buy into it. That is why we are scared.
When did horror movies stop trying to be realistic? When did they have to be as crazily cinematic as possible? It really doesn’t take much to scare someone. Just take them out of their comfort zone, bit by bit. Then remind them just how far from it they are. Perhaps by sending them their lost friend’s teeth.
See this movie if you like: Horror movies where the “breakdown of sanity” feels real. Sure, lots of horror films try to feature people going insane. But let’s be real—most of the time the just seem to get angrier. The brilliance of this movie is that it’s completely dedicated to showing the stages of the three going crazy. More often than not, they’re reassuring each other as a group and then breaking down in private. Isn’t that what you would do if you were trying to find your way through the woods while being hunted by a witch?
Avoid this movie if: You don’t have a good sound system or don’t like watching movies with subtitles. I’m seriously not kidding here—parts of this movie are effing inaudible. There’s no getting around it. I still hear new dialogue every time I watch this film. It can get on your nerves.
New Films Watched: 86
Films Re-Watched: 5
Total Number of Films: 91
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