Found-Footage Friday: The Blair Witch Project

Blair Witch Project: TerrorNova

What’s up my ghouls, it’s your girl Jackie and for Found Footage Friday I thought I’ll share my thoughts on a film that not only scared the shit out of me but actually made me believe this was real and I’m talking about The Blair Witch Project (1999). A little quick summary for this film is these three film students, Heather, Josh, and Mike are on a quest to see if this urban legend that takes place in Burkittsville, Maryland is even real, here they interview the townsfolks about a series of missing children cases and the woods where the supposed witch lived and possibly still haunts. The findings lead them to the woods where a lot of supernatural stuff goes down and the three are faced with whatever is messing with them, along with trust issues within themselves and well things go spiraling towards the ends with an “and they were never seen again” moment.

When this movie was released a mock-documentary called the Curse of the Blair Witch where the lore of this witch, this urban legend came off as real; images, interviews were mentioned and this “documentary” and a brief mention of the cast from the film who were deemed “still missing”. Looking back I feel this was the smartest thing the crew and director did. Being a graduate with an Advertising degree, I know a few things when it comes to marketing, and oh boy did Myrick and Sanchez did a phenomenon job with that. The lead cast was told to go m.i.a for the duration of the film’s release and marketing and by doing this some truly believed they were in fact missing. I mean he really played the same deck of cards as Ruggero Deodato did with his film Cannibal Holocaust (1980), however a different outcome, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez didn’t get charged with murder, but that’s for another discussion on how Deodato changed and revolutionized found footage.

A few scenes that terrified me and even now looking back still gives me the creeps are two, one being when Heather and crew are in their tents and all of a sudden a series of tiny hands are touching the tents, you hear children laughing, etc and that
scared the hell out of me where I couldn’t sleep for days! Mind you, I was a kid when I watched this, and second the ending. Mike standing in the basement of the witch’s old stone house and Heather just screaming and crying was the moment you knew, they’re all dead, the witch was known for lining up the children facing the wall as she got ready to kill them and
that’s exactly what Mike was doing, waiting to die.

Spooky stuff, but again I feel this movie was such an amazing movie and the marketing behind it just made it that much better, it spawned squeals witch (see what I did there) wasn’t as good as the first one in my opinion, and then in 2019, a video game titled Blair Witch was released which unfortunately I also
heard wasn’t that scary. Either way, the 1999 film was just wow and without it, we wouldn’t have had films like Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity, and so on.

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