400. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Date First Watched: Long time ago
Date Last Watched: 31/10/2013
# Viewings: 3+

I don’t remember when I first watched it, I was fairly young but I knew it wasn’t real by the time I watched it so I assume it must’ve been a year or so after it was released. I always loved it, but never found it particularly scary. Somehow I find it scarier as I get older. The last time I watched it I was like ‘oh, it is actually pretty creepy’.

With the new sequel having just been released, I wanted to revisit this first. I also thought it might be fun to watch it stoned, so I did. And it was super creepy. I watched it late at night, alone in my bed and off my face, so all those little background noises seemed so much more heightened. I found myself getting completely absorbed into it and forgetting it was a movie.

Despite the hatred and overuse, I love found footage films. And being one of the first, Blair Witch Project is a good example of why the format works so well when it’s done right. It’s well paced – it’s very slow up until the end, but it’s realistically slow and everything is necessary to build up to the horror later on. The characters are annoying but, again, realistically annoying and you can easily believe they’re real people. The creepy bits are all creepy. I’m neither pro or anti ‘showing or not showing the horror’, but this works well because it doesn’t show anything. You hear the noises, you experience some of the terror, you see some of the aftermath. But you never really know what’s happening. And since it’s placing you in the action with the handheld camera, it’s very effective and is never boring and never feels like it’s teasing you.

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