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Blair Witch Project (1999)

   

Written & Directed by: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez

Starring:

Heather Donahue
Joshua Leonard
Michael C. Williams

Release Date: Film Festivals: January 25, 1999 (Sundance Film Festival) ; October 8, 1999 (Raindance Film Festival) (UK); October 9, 1999 (Sitges Film Festival) (Spain); May 1999 (Cannes Film Festival) (France); Theatrical: July 30, 1999

*Images courtesy at: www.thefleshfarm.com

 

 

Rating:

 

Three students decide to shoot a documentary close to Halloween in 1994 in the woods of Burkittesville, Maryland which was once a burial ground for witchcraft called the Blair Witch.
They never came back and a year later the students films and video were found in the woods then was compiled into a movie.
What they found was truly shocking as they find the students encountering sounds and other terrifying events while these three were stranded there.
They all ended up lost in the woods and all go insanely paranoid especially when they see strange events happening and then one of them ends up missing and knows that they will not survive there either.

 

An excellent film and truly creative. Of course it starts off with the three people meeting and greeting one another and starting to travel on their journey acting full of life and asking locals if they have heard of the Blair Witch which seems like that this is real and not fiction boggling many viewers who watched this flick.
While on their journey they leave their vehicle behind to start to walk into the woods to film their documentary which is impressive to the viewers thinking that this is a bad idea in which we all know that they will end up being lost and hungry later on. Still before that incident happens they are having fun videotaping everything which we all know that moment will change during the next day or two. Plus they are camping out in the cold overnight in the rain during close to Hallows Eve which totally gives you an uncomfortable feel.
Then at night there's noises that they film and try to call out while one of them is too scared to come out of their tent which really brings on some good horror in which you don't see this but hear it.
There's many great psychological feels to the story too when they go around in circles and not finding their way back with them fighting and getting vulgar which is really scary just thinking about yourself being stranded somewhere and slowly possibly dying with no food or anything. It blows your mind totally. Also great camera shot on Heather running in to Michael as well as a great aggressive moment on Josh pushing him and really losing it. This looked totally intense.
Another effective moment was when Josh was videotaping Heather and pushing her buttons as she showed great provoked expressions and was also great crying on set too which looked very real.
Then suddenly more sounds happening and they run through the woods trying to find what is causing that which is even more creepy cause yet you don't see what is going on and you can totally use your imagination. There's many terrific fast camera shots with Heather and Josh running through the forest after hearing sounds which shows great adrenalline between the two of them while taping what's going on.
They do show nice camera shots on some objects being hung in the woods and the three friends reacting to them which seemed not too badly done but a bit silly since reacting to objects shouldn't be overly reacted.
But there's more as one of them ends up missing from their tent the next day as well as something left at their tent which is a terrifying surprise too. They also hear their missing partner with their project calling out at night but still can't find him which really gives you the chills big time and can give lots of people who are scared of horror movies nightmares too.
Bottom line is it's a perfect imaginative horror found footage which also inspired many indie filmmakers to create other flicks like this one. Half the viewers hated it as of course it was all about the students with their camera's filming the events but that's what made it truly frightening too and it seemed very real as well.
I loved the creepy noises in the woods as it made the film extremely effective and spine chilling.
Although some critics bombed this one the film became an instant cult classic!

The acting is believeable as you would think this film was real but of course this was all acted out.
Not only that it was improvised but these three do a bloody good job at it.
Heather Donahue
was by the the most outrageous performer and is terrifically intense.
She also brings a nice liveliness to her part along with changing it to being temperamental and aggressive too. Did great at tripping out when she realises what has happened to their map which she shows true temperamental emotions. She was perfect crying on set too also making that believeable. Plus was great when she gets scared freaking out on the surroundings of what she's encountering. Also she was terrific screaming out someone's name while looking for him in which she is losing it as this brings out alot of great intense emotions. She also does a great job panting and gasping after discovering something terrifying in which she brings this all out making this seem spooky with her reactions here.
Joshua Leonard brought out alot of great temperamental attitude as well as great sarcastic moments into his part showing a different personality to the rest in which he came across as someone you don't want to mess with when there's a problem. All in all he stands out greatly in his role showing off a ton of energy too.
Michael C. Williams shows a different type of attitude compared to the first two which is a nice change in which he really brought on his fear incredibly well with everything that's surrounding him. He also knew on how to act incredibly insecure along with showing upsetting expressions which was nice too. Plus knew on how to lose control with his laughter when he discusses on what happened to the map. Does well trying to act forceful while trying to take a camera away in which he does a perfect job by losing it totally and acting intense and intimidating with his attitude. He also showed a different type of anger which wasn't as intimidating but really showing a fearful aggression. All in all he was great like the others.

There is a one extremely gory scene as Heather opens up something that is dropped by her tent and sees a piece of Josh's jaw but it isn't very noticeable.

Tony Cora composed the music for the opening and ending credits as his music sounds similar to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre as his is just as creepy and effective.

Michael Williams: What are some of your favorite things to do?
Heather Donahue: Well, on Sundays I used to like to go hiking, but now...

Heather Donahue: How would we have, like, just... made a campsite in the middle of three piles of rocks, just by coincidence?

Heather Donahue: Mmmm. Marshmallows. Soft.

Michael Williams: I could help you, but I'd rather stand here and record.

Joshua Leonard: Are you happy?
Heather Donahue: I'm not happy, no. But the car's not far -- we're just not going to be able to find it in the dark.

Heather Donahue: I tell you guys, two more hours max.

Michael Williams: I agreed to a scouted-out project!

Joshua Leonard: I gave you BACK the map, Heather.
Heather Donahue: I gave you the map.
Joshua Leonard: I gave you BACK... THE MAP.

Heather Donahue: How's east?
Michael Williams: East?
Heather Donahue: Yeah, we've been going south all this time. How's east?
Michael Williams: Wicked Witch of the West, Wicked Witch of the East. Which one was bad?
Heather Donahue: Wicked Witch of the West was the bad one.
Michael Williams: Then we should go east.

[On "Gilligan's Island."]
Joshua Leonard: There was no beer on the island, man. If they had beer they would have had, like, big-ass orgies.

Michael Williams: What's with that slime on your backpack?
Joshua Leonard: That's not slime, it's just water. No wait, it is slime, what the fuck?

Joshua Leonard: I heard two noises coming from two sperate areas of space over there. One of them could have been a deer, but the other one sounded like a cackling.
Heather Donahue: No way!
Joshua Leonard: Yeah, it was like a serious cackling.
Heather Donahue: See, my problem is that I sleep like a fucking rock.
Michael Williams: If I heard a cackling, I would have shit in my pants!

Joshua Leonard: [Looking through Heather's camera] It's not the same on film is it? I mean, you know it's real, but it's like looking through the lens gives you some sort of protection from what's on the other side.

[Why the woods aren't big enough to get lost in]
Heather Donahue: Because this is America! We've exhausted all of our natural resources!

Heather Donahue: I want to avoid being cheesy, here. I want to avoid any cheese.

Heather Donahue: We have enough battery power to run a small third world country here.

Heather Donahue: Witches in days gone by were roasted just like my Vienna sausage.

Josh Leonard: I see why you like this video camera so much.
Heather Donahue: You do?
Josh Leonard: It's not quite reality. It's like a totally filtered reality. It's like you can pretend everything's not quite the way it is.

Josh Leonard: OK, here's your motivation. You're lost, you're angry in the woods, and no one is here to help you. There's a witch and she keeps leaving shit outside your door. There's no one here to help you! She left little trinkets, you took one of them, she ran after us. There's no one here to help you! We walked for 15 hours today, we ended up in the same place! There's no one here to help you, THAT'S your motivation! THAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION!

Josh Leonard: You gonna write us a happy ending, Heather?

Michael Williams: I found some cigarettes. I found them all the way in the bottom of my pack. We're still alive 'cause we're smoking.

Heather Donahue: I'm not allowed to smoke, but Mike's allowed to fart as much as he wants?
Josh Leonard: I gave Mike no fart allowance.

[Josh and Heather are talking about "Gilligan's Island."]
Michael Williams: Let's not call him "the Captain," you illiterate TV people. It's "the Skipper."

[On the sounds in the night]
Michael Williams: They're people fucking with our heads.
Heather Donahue: But no one knows we're out here.
Michael Williams: Yeah, but have you ever seen 'Deliverance'?

[Looking at Mike's chest]
Heather Donahue: This is the first time we've seen Mike's chest. It's like blank, hairy, blank, hairy.
Michael Williams: You should see my ass.

Heather Donahue: Flames are licking you like the devil there, Josh.

Heather Donahue: How the HELL are ya this morning?
Josh Leonard: Tired.

Michael Williams: There's people out here messing with us, and I'm not going to play with that.
Heather Donahue: How do you know it was people?
Michael Williams: Well, even if it isn't, I'm not going to play with that, either!

Josh Leonard: What the hell is this blue jelly shit all over my shit?

Heather Donahue: I just want to apologize to Josh's mom, and Mike's mom, and my mom. I am so sorry! Because it was my fault. I was the one who brought them here. I was the one that said "keep going south." I was the one who said that we were not lost. It was my fault, because it was my project. I am so scared! I don't know what's out there. We are going to die out here! I am so scared!

Heather Donahue: I'm scared to close my eyes. I'm scared to open them.