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USA 1999
Directed by
Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick
87 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project is a legendary faux-real film that was made on a shoestring and went on to make squillions at the box office as young dufuses queued up to see what they'd been reading about on the internet - the supposedly real life footage abandoned by a trio of young would-be documentary makers who mysteriously disappeared in the woods of Maryland after going in search of the legendary child-snatching Blair Witch.

The debut effort from filmmakers Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick has a clever premise (show the fear not what is causing it) that won it much critical kudos although the allegedly convincing point-of-view verisimilitude established with the naturalistic dialogue and extensive wobblecam is seriously flawed by the question of why 3, then 2, seriously frightened people would so assiduously film their own demise (surely you'd want the use of two eyes), let alone what they were using for a power source, film/ video stock etc.

Aside from this, the 3 protagonists show no rational attempt to resolve their predicament, cursing Fate, each other and screaming and running about in a contrived attempt to whip the audience into the same state of panic that presumably is supposed to justify their belief that something is out there and out to get them. In other words as a film The Blair Witch Project relies entirely on the gimmick of "found footage" to justify its existence - in every other respect writing, acting, photography etc, it's an unremarkable effort.

FYI: There is a 20 minute parody starring Linda Blair and called The Blair Bitch Project (Scott LaRose, 1999) which succinctly and amusingly gives this film the deflationary treatment it deserves.




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