tek's rating: meh

The Blair Witch Project (R)
A.V. Club; IMDb; official website; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Vudu; YouTube

I saw this in a theater when it came out in 1999. I wasn't impressed. I don't remember any details, really, but I do remember not finding it scary at all. Actually, I have a vague memory of being concerned that the film students in the movie wouldn't get home in time for class, or something. Maybe I was scared that they'd fail to return their borrowed cameras and equipment, and have to pay for it, but not being able to afford it. I dunno, something like that was what I thought was the scariest part of the movie, to me. Of course, that's not what's supposed to be scary about it. But the stuff that was meant to be scary just bored me. Especially the very end, which was probably meant to be the scariest part. There was screaming, I guess, and the camera frantically, shakily panning around, and whatnot. But I'm pretty sure I never actually saw anything, at any point in the movie, that would be scary. I mean... maybe the characters did, but if so, I don't think they ever got even a brief glimpse of it on camera. So all we had was their reactions to whatever they saw (or thought they saw). And none of that was enough to give me even a mild jump scare. You know, I'm not the kind of person who thinks you have to actually see a lot of the monster to be scared by it. I love the idea of psychological terror, and that's often way more frightening to me than what you actually see. But to never see it at all... meh. (Of course, it's possible we did occasionally get glimpses of something, corner-of-the-eye style, and I've since forgotten. Or it's possible I just failed to see things that viewers with sharper eyes than mine did catch. I dunno.)

Anyway, the movie's about these three film students who go into the woods to make a documentary about a local legend called the Blair Witch. All we see of them is on video that they shot themselves, which was supposedly discovered a year after they disappeared. So I suppose they were all ultimately killed by the witch, but I couldn't really tell what happened. And that's why I can't really classify the movie as "supernatural," because I'm not convinced there was a witch, or anything like that.

Well, the movie popularized the "found footage" genre of movies, which I haven't seen a lot of, and what little I did see after this didn't really impress me any more than this movie. (There have been rare exceptions, however, so at least I've stopped automatically assuming I won't like found footage movies or TV episodes.) But whatever, I still vaguely appreciate this movie for making found footage a viable genre, whether it's a genre I personally care for or not. I'm all for expanding possibilities in filmmaking, and of course I don't feel like everything should appeal to me. I'm glad other people enjoyed this movie. To each their own.

I should also mention that there were sequels in 2000 and 2016, neither of which I saw, nor have any interest in.

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