Not only one of the best horror films of the 1990s, but one of the best overall films of 1999, "Blair Witch" should go down in history as proof that it doesn't take a big budget to make a great movie, in fact it may not even take a budget at all. Filmed with amateur actors using (allegedly) stolen equipment, "Blair Witch" is splatterdom's first ever pseudo-documentary, in the spirit of "This Is Spinal Tap" or "Bob Roberts." It's really pretty unnerving, although the fact that it became a national craze made a lot of people sick of it.
The story: Three filmmakers go on a road trip in 1994 to film a documentary about a legendary Blair Witch, who had been killing people--particularly kids--in the area since the 1800s. Donahue is quite convincing as the leader of the film project. In fact, her performance (along with the performances of her two co-stars) are so good, it's virtually impossible to tell they aren't really three filmmakers who disappeared.
I actually don't want to go in much detail story-wise. It suffices to say that "Blair Witch" is one of those films that should be experienced by anyone with even a modicum of cultural taste--and giving away any of what happens will diminish that experience. I can say that first-time directors Myrick and Sanchez used their non-existent budget to their advantage by introducing the film as the lost footage from the doomed filmmakers. This sets the film up as a true story, which was (previously) most effectively done a quarter century ago by the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
In fact, this is by far better than that early masterpiece. It really, truly comes across like a true story. It generates a real sense of mystery very reminiscent of "Twin Peaks" if you're familiar with that series. It's no wonder the film sparked a cultural phenomenon when it was released in 1999.
A must see for any film lover, not to mention fans of horror flicks, "Blair Witch" shares a lot with "Night of the Living Dead." Like George Romero's timeless classic, "Blair" is raw, ground-breaking and terrifying. I'd recommend seeing it in a theater, preferably at a midnight screening. Midnight screenings in Palo Alto were actually sold out when this film opened here, a good sign for the continued popularity of the horror genre. In addition to crafting an exquisite movie, Myrick and Sanchez directed a TV special, a kind of fictional documentary about the fictional documentary depicted in this film. The special, which is also a must-see, is entitled "Legend of the Blair Witch."
A disappointing sequel came out one year after this flick.
THIS MOVIE SUCKED! I Give me a super 8 camera, 5 friends, & I could do as good as this piece of junk! A couple of friends of mine walked out of the theater they were watching it in. If you haven't seen it yet, DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY!
Posted by Randy Hall on January 8, 2008
No Mr. David M. you suck. It is a great movie. Why do all of your reviews suck?
Posted by David D on January 9, 2008
As far as Splatterdom's first psuedo-documentery. I'm sure you ment Cannibal Holocaust, the movie that this stole its ideas from. Only this is dull and boring. And to say it's better than "Chainsaw" proofs what a fool you are Mr. unnamed reviewer..
Posted by Randy Hall on January 14, 2008
Mr. Ive seen this movie several times and i think that this is a pretty astounding movie due to the fact that they were college kids out a small area. And the name is Randy thank you very much. If you think this sucks then lets try something better like Wrong turn and its sequel did you think it sucked too?
Posted by Randy Hall on January 14, 2008
and i never said it was worse than the "chainsaw" movies. For once though you are right, though. Chainsaw is better. especially the new ones.
Posted by David D on January 14, 2008
If you really want to know Randy, I thought "Wrong Turn" was really good, I have enjoyed it several times, and "Wrong Turn 2" had a rocky start but was still pretty good.
As far as "Chain Saw" the original is simply awesome and the new ones also kickass. Either way "Blair Witch" is still one of the best sleep aids I've ever found.
Posted by Randy Hall on January 15, 2008
At least you know a few movies that wickedly awesome. You see I am a great fan of scary movies and even though I have not seen all movies I have seen most. those that i have not seen, i intend to before i die. There are some movies that i agree with you that sucked horseballs, but some that i don't. i do apologize for my first comment because you are intitled to your oppinion. but i have to ask you. are you a gore fan so hate every other movie thats not or just try to give bad reviews so that someone will try to make a movie thats up to your standards?
Posted by David D on January 15, 2008
I'm a massive horror freak. I have over 2000 movies in my collection and like all types of horror and sci-fi. From early Universal classics like "Frankenstein's", the Val Lewton films from the 40's, 50's sci-fi, is great, ton’s of foreign films especially Italian & Euro-horror, all the classic zombie movies, yes i do love gore and sick films like "Aftermath", "Guinea Pig", "August Underground Series", "Murder-Set-Pieces Dir. Cut", etc but i equally love movies with great atmosphere too. Some of my favs from this year are "Planet Terror" awesome film, "The Girl Next Door", "Black Sheep", “Hostel 2”; I could go on and on. Hell I wrote a 450 page reference/review guide on the subject over the last several years. I’m a very open minded guy but there is a lot of crap out their too.
Posted by Randy Hall on January 16, 2008
Iagree with you and the more we talk the more i like you
Posted by boomstick on February 24, 2008
Like thousands of other people, I was suckered into wasting $6.50 and an hour and a half of my time to go and see this in the theatres. Very boring movie with only two scenes that were worth watching. I'd rather watch Attack of the Killer Tomatos than this crappy movie. Esplatter's review of this film is the exact opposite of how i'd review it.
Posted by horrorfan on June 16, 2008
This is a great film and that's all the more evident now with titles like "Cloverfield" and "Diary of the Dead" imitating it.
Posted by David Mitchell on July 16, 2008
GIVE ME A BREAK!!! This movie sucked. It was one of the worst movies I ever saw. I could make a better movie myself.
Posted by Jack M on March 25, 2009
I like men now :)
Posted by Chelsey Decaire on June 11, 2009
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was such a good movie!!!!!!1
Posted by BLAIRWITCHSUCKED on June 28, 2009
this movie sucked . period. the filming is crappy, and everyone thinks the actors are so good, but really all they do in the movie is swear and scream at trees and other inanimate objects. Also, nothing happens in the movie, they get lost, big deal, you never see any "blair witch" and its just a bunch of retarted teeneagers runnig around a backforest screaming
Posted by Worst movie ever on October 17, 2009
Sooo bad... nothing happened at ALL. The scenes they were "scared" were idiotic and not scary at all. Hate this movie.
Posted by MrDimes on June 1, 2010
Very good movie, for sure its nothing for people who like splatter. If i wanna laugh i will watch splatter but not if i want to be scared.
Posted by Who cares on June 20, 2010
This is probably a record for the amount of comments on a single film. I was watching this movie though and........ Didn't have the nerve to watch the whole thing. Like maybe 15-20 minutes I spent on it and was like whatever. I'd rather watch lets see a good movie doesn't even have to be horror it just has to be decent compared to this.
Posted by angeleyes on July 15, 2010
im a big fricken horror fan and love gore,but this im afraid didnt scare me at all,,,didnt even creep me out:(
Posted by boo! on October 19, 2010
the blair witch is a snore fest
Posted by on September 24, 2011
God i hated this flick, if i wanted to wat some kids cry and drip snot all over themselves i would volenteer at a day care center. Not only that but the fucking film gave me and my friends motion sickness from all the fucking blurry photography and fast movements, it didn't scare anyone except mabey an autistic five year old and it isn't worth seeing. END OF STORY
Posted by Sabres on September 5, 2013
This movie is the biggest piece of shit ever. The only positive thing about it is that had it not been made, we may not have gotten good "home footage" films like V/H/S 1 and 2, REC/Quarantine and Grave Encounters. Anyone reading this who has never seen the blair witch, don't, as others have mentioned it's just people lost in the woods screaming and giving us close up shots of snot coming out their nose.
Rank this film on a '666 scale' of one to six (left to right). Based on 2923 votes.