Retro Review: The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Yeah, I am going to go ahead and take advantage of the news from San Diego Comic-con.  The horror film by Adam Wingard, The Woods was revealed to be Blair Witch, a sequel to the 1999 found footage horror film.

If I go back to the summer of 1999, I can remember a friend of mine calling me.  He knew I was a big time horror fan and he asked if I heard about the website.  Three missing college students and the footage of their last days was uncovered.  I couldn’t believe this, they were going to show the actual footage of these kids final days, being lost in the woods.  The website, everything pointed to this being true.  I followed it very closely, the film makers did such a great job promoting the movie as “real”.

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There was a documentary about the legend of the Blair Witch, it was possibly better than the movie itself.  The film makers built a legend, a deep history of this Blair Witch and it was believable.  With all of this, I was there, in line opening night to see, what I thought was a historic movie event.

A bunch of friends and I went to see the movie and when I walked out, I felt sick.  The Blair Witch Project is a found footage film and it is very shaky.  I couldn’t handle the shaky camera work.  But I did enjoy the story.  It was late and we were all a little spooked from the experience.  We all still believe the story to be real.  I was 19 and to think about life ending that early or the paranormal actually existed.

We walked the streets of our small town and I remember thinking, anything is out there.  The Blair Witch Project was a game changer.  I could not stop thinking about the movie and its effect on me.

The following morning I woke up and saw the newspaper sitting on the dining room table.  There was a big headline, front page.  “Blair Witch Project Hoax!”  I read the article and shortly after I saw Heather Donahue in Steak n’ Shake commercials.  I was bummed, but thought, man that is a good way to get people in the seats.

The movie is an interesting film.  I still believe it works today.  It  worked better when we all thought it was real.  But in watching the movie years later, I have come to really respect what it does.  If you watch the movie, check out the mockumentary, Curse of the Blair Witch.  It came with the original DVD and I believe it is on YouTube.  I will check.  You have to pay $2.99, worth it.

The Blair Witch Project gets a bad reputation.  It is, what it is.  An ok horror movie that is a traditional slow burn that picks up at the end of the movie.  I am in to those kind of horror movies.  Even for the Millennials, I would suggest it.  I don’t think I really need to do an in-depth review of the Blair Witch Project.  It is found footage…which is not for everyone.

IMDB.com rates it 6.3 

The Horror Syndicate 6.8

About Ray Marek III 353 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)