The Blair Witch Project (1999) …the birth of something horrific

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My rating: 6

IMDB rating: 6.4

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185937/?ref_=ttmd_md_nm&licb=0.7668708752779095

Dearest reader,

For the longest time, I have wanted to watch this film because of the cult-status it has achieved in pop-culture. I have to say that I was not disappointed, but I do think that years and years of being exposed to ultra commercialized violence, especially in the horror genre left me with the sense of… but nothing really happened in this film?!

The fear that the characters felt almost becomes a whole character on its own in this film as they start to unravel because of it. The relationship between these three characters is heightened and most likely the most interesting aspect about this film. From a feminist perspective (and it is a perspective I so love to take), this film really is revolutionary in the fact that it does have a strong female character.

I gave this review the title ‘the birth of something horrible’, because something truly horrible really was born from this film and that is the so-called ‘found-footage’ films. I will make no secret of the fact that I yet have to see a found-footage film that I will like. Every time I think about this specific genre, I think about the nauseating disaster that is the Paranormal Activities films (I am sorry if this offends you, but I just hate these movies). I found this list about the best found-footage films on about.com and will certainly make an effort to educate myself a bit more in this regard.

I once read somewhere that our obsession with ‘selfies’ and our need to film everything we do (as a found-footage film demonstrates) stems from the intense narcissistic, post-modern beings that we have become. I absolutely agree with this statement, but to add I would like to quote something from The Blair Witch Project,

It’s not the same on film is it? I mean, you know it’s real, but it’s like looking through the lens gives you some sort of protection from what’s on the other side.

We have this need to filter reality through a lens to create distance between us and it, it is the ultimate defamiliarization or ostranenie.

Want to read more on The Blair Witch Project? Try these…

Roger Ebert: Blair Witch Project

The Guardian: The Blair Witch Project

Rolling Stone: The Blair Witch Project

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