There's something to be said about a movie that is not afraid to keep the audience from seeing what would calm their fears. This film aims for much more than cheap thrills. The Blair Witch Project will stay with you for a long while after you exit the theater, which makes the movie one of the most original horror films in recent times. To be honest, the movie is not all that scary until, I believe, the last 20 minutes of the picture. I guarantee you I will never forget the horrific, yet unspectacular final images of this movie. I praise filmmakers like this. David Fincher did just that when he made both Seven and The Game. A real scare never really leaves you, especially when you never get to see that which torments you. At the very least, this film should be commended for its ability to tell a coherent story using the most basic of film and video equipment. The acting, almost completely improvised, is stellar; the three characters are at all times believable and sympathetic. The first hour or so of the film establishes Heather, Josh, and Mike very well via funny situations and moments to which the average person can relate, which sets you up for the inevitable nightmare that is the last reel of the movie. The story is so absorbing because it's, literally, a scary story you tell around the campfire. It's a brand new urban legend(sorry to reference such a terrible film) that will probably endure for quite a while. The use of handheld 8mm video and gritty 16mm film gives you a direct and literal perspective of the person holding the camera. You see what they see just as they see it. You are at the whim of the cameraman(or woman), unable to control what you are about to discover. I highly recommend the Blair Witch Project for anyone who, for a change, wants to be taken somewhere they haven't been in a long time: the darkest pits of their imagination.
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