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The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Coming out in an almost non existent found footage era with the exception of cult classic 'Cannibal Holocaust', this film broke new grounds not only with the way it was filmed and shown on the big screen, but also with the marketing. Presenting itself as a true story, many found footage that followed would take the same approach, yet none would quite have the same impact as this did around the world. This is my first watch for the 'Blair Witch Project', I never got swept up in hype surrounding it upon release or never really found any draw to it there after. I guess the question is, does it hold up today in a now very over saturated genre? The dialogue is mostly improvised adding a much needed sense of authenticity to the performances from the three main cast members. I never once felt that they were portraying a character, each and every interaction felt genuine. The key focus is more towards film maker Heather played by Heather Donahue who give a outstanding performance, taking on some demanding scenes and requiring some very emotional moments from her character. This is filmed using two cameras, a colour camcorder operated by the director, Donohoe, a 16mm black and white camera operated by cameraman, Josh, and Mike does all of the sound - or so we are led to believe in the 'documentary'. It is actually written and directed by Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick, who I feel made a smart decision to assign these roles to the cast members of the film, providing a realistic and amature feel to the production. Having the cast use there own names within the film is another of the smart choices that would later go on to help with the authenticity of the marketing campaign. This is said to had caused a lot of issues for the cast after this film in regards to finding more work after its release. Whist the simple premise works for the direction this film takes, the over simple execution had me feeling quite bored and considering this is such a short run time,I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the overall lack of substance. Barring the strange occurrences, moments of creepy imagery we see on screen and the now iconic monologue from Donahue, very little happens in this film. The closing moments do leave you with a sense of wonder and intrigu, but this isn't enough for me to consider the time it had taken to get to this scene worth my time. Although I didn't particularly enjoy 'The Blair Witch Project', it does make me very disappointed that I didn't see this upon initial release. I can see why this film would have had the impact it did on people with the incredible marketing and unknowing that came with its truth, at that time. However, having seen this premise done relentlessly and in many cases much better, I have to say I didn't particularly find it as entertaining as most people claim it to be. Had I seen this in cinema when it first came out I believe this review would have played out very differently.



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