THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
Directed by Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez
Written by Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez
Starring Heather Donahue,
Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard
My Advice: Don't Miss It
Rating: out of
In October of 1994, three student filmmakers hiked into the
woods in Maryland to film a documentary about the local legend of the Blair Witch. These three students were never
seen again. A year later, their belongings and footage were found beneath the foundation of a hundred-year-old
cabin. Seeking answers, their families gathered up the film and eventually turned it over to Haxan Films' Myrick
and Sanchez, who then attempted to restore all of the filmed events that ultimately led up to the students' apparent
I'm going out on a limb here -- a well crowded limb -- and saying
this is perhaps one of the scariest and best delivered movies since The Changeling. It's unassuming in its horror
and gloriously bereft of hockey masks, off key music and jiggling cheerleaders in strappy highheeled shoes. No
one runs off to investigate that bump in the night alone. These kids do exactly what you and I would do faced with
this kind of horrifyingly oddly benign situation. They huddle together and unravel all at once.
The premise of this film alone is staggering. Take a small amount
of borrowed cash, get yourself a camera, take three unknowns and probably never-to-be knowns and then lose them
in the forest for days on end. Frighten them all night, keep them in the dark, cut off their food and supplies
and expect them to ad lib all the way. And, boy oh boy, did they.
I cannot even say enough for the actors themselves. Their terror
was real. (I no doubt would have curled in a fetal position in my sleeping bag and made a lousy "Surreal World"
cast member.) The improvisation of the three cannot even be measured by words. During the tent scene where Heather
shakily points the camera at her own tear swollen eyes and whispers, "I love you, Mom.", I was
The only draw back to this highly entertaining film for me was
a small gathering of other patrons in the theater that did not feel as appreciative as I did. These are the folks
too jaded by the Wes Cravens and John Carpenters of our life time. They are so numb to subtle and true horror I
wanted to repeatedly slam their heads in the folding cushions.
Even so, do not let this sway you from a marvelous event. It's
real, it's gut wrenching and you just can't get any better than that. Go go go!