• Ellis Barthorpe

October Fright Nights: The Blair Witch Project

Ellis watches 'The Blair Witch Project' for the first time and documents the evidence

So we're back with some more October Fright Nights. Last year I watched Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Scream and Get Out, and documented the evidence as I went along in five blog posts labelled 'October Fright Nights'. This year I have five different horror films that I've never seen, each uniquely different and spooky. Please feel free to go on this journey with me, give them a watch for yourself and then come back to read my thoughts on Fright Night Number 6: The Blair Witch Project.

 

Fright Night Film: The Blair Witch Project

Release Date: 1999

Directed by: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

Starring: Rei Hance, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard

Successful Jump Scares: 0


CREEPINESS

There's a scene about 2/3 of the way through this that I found creepy. It sees the characters venture out of their tent and creep into the woods to see if they can spot any spooky goings-on, but it never ventures further itself, only propelling in creepiness because of it's filming choice.


STORY & PLAUSIBILITY

As soon as there's a hint of something that they went out there to see, they become frightened and want to turn back. It makes the whole thing seem pointless. The guys are nasty to Heather from start to finish, and the tensity spirals far too quickly, leaving no real build up for the scream-filled climax of the movie. The most creative section is towards the beginning with the talking head interviews from the public.


CINEMATOGRAPHY

It looks unbelievably authentic. The decision to film it in a documentary, found-footage style makes it feel so real, and even the costumes add to that aesthetic. The iconic shot of the quarter of Heather's face as she talks in to the camera is an excellent moment, and one of the most creative uses of camera in the horror genre.


MUSIC

There is zero music in The Blair Witch Project, but the sound design and SFX is excellent, creating those horror creeks and croaks that fill you with fear. But it does go to show how much a great horror score can increase the terror, as I wasn't scared at all.


PERFORMANCE

The dialogue is so fluent and real that the performances go along with it. As the film rolls on it does become a little less believable and everything becomes more melodramatic. My main problem with the film is the amount of shouting. By the end, the only real word being uttered is "Josh" as the friends look for their lost companion, and that screaming becomes kind of unbearable after a while.

The Blair Witch Project available to rent or buy now

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