Friday, October 28, 2011

Blog-o-ween: The Blair Witch Project

Lost says thank you.
I don't tend to see horror movies in the theatre, because I like to have the "hide under the blanket on the couch" option. But the hype surrounding The Blair Witch Project in 1999 was too potent to be ignored. I know that this film did not actually invent the "found-footage" genre--there are those who insist that it's just a rip-off of The Last Broadcast-- but its balls-to-the-wall "this really happened" Internet campaign was a harbinger of shows to come. Plus, the movie is creepy as all get out. Three ambitious and more than a little annoying amateur documentarians disappear into the New England woods in search of a legendary kid-killing witch, and they don't come back out. The hand-held, uber-intimate footage documents mysterious cairns, humanoid stick figures that accrue spookiness by orders of magnitude with each appearance, inexplicable sounds in the night, and what I'm pretty sure is teeth from one of the trio who goes missing. What really sticks with me, though, is the final sequence--the abandoned house, bloody child-sized handprints, and Michael facing the wall as Heather screams and drops the camera. Eff. This is totally why they burn witches. Blair Witch 2, however, is why they burn clueless studio execs.

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