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Movie Review

The Blair Witch Project also known as “A Bruxa de Blair,” “Blair Witch Project,” “Blair cadisi,” “El proyecto Blair Witch,” “El proyecto de la bruja de Blair,” “Ideglelés,” “Le projet Blair,” “Le projet Blair Witch,” “O Projecto Blair Witch,” “The Blair Witch project - Il mistero della strega di Blair”

MPAA Rating: R for language.

Reviewed by: Jason Murphy

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Horror Mystery
1 hr. 21 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 16, 1999
Copyright, Artisan Entertainment click photos to ENLARGE
Relevant Issues
Featuring: Heather Donahue (Heather Donahue), Joshua Leonard (Joshua “Josh” Leonard), Michael C. Williams (Michael “Mike” Williams (as Michael Williams), Bob Griffith (Short Fisherman), more »
Director: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez
Producer: Haxan Films, Robin Cowie, Bob Eick, Kevin J. Foxe, Gregg Hale, Michael Monello
Distributor: Artisan Entertainment

“In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found.”

Sequel: “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” (2000), “Blair Witch” (2016)

So begins “The Blair Witch Project,” a low budget quasi-documentary horror film. The creators of the film (which is fictional) have taken this purportedly found footage and edited it into one of the creepiest, most unnerving films I think I have seen. While most modern horror films rely on over-the-top gore, special effects and cheap “jump” scares, “The Blair Witch Project” works on almost a purely psychological level. Everything about the movie is so convincingly realistic that it does seem very plausible that the events in this film could have actually taken place.

The three main performances in the film are phenomenal. They are utterly convincing as college film students, and they also give their characters a very solid emotional core. Since they also operate all the cameras, the audience is drawn into the film in a very effective way.

The concept and execution of the film is brilliant. However, on a warning note, there is a very heavy dose of profanity, which doesn’t seem out of place (not worse than anything one would hear in an average college dorm), but makes the film pretty grating on the ears at times. There is really not much else that is offensive about the film; no sex, very little violence, although some implication of the latter is present. While I didn’t really find the witch concept offensive, I would add a word of caution that both witches and witchcraft are very real, and there are strong warnings against both in Scripture.

In conclusion, if you are an indie or a horror fan, or a fan of psychological dramas, this film is one of the best I can think of. Just to warn people again, however, that “The Blair Witch Project” is a seriously unnerving film, and probably not good to take anyone who is easily creeped out.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
This movie had raised some controversy in our church, mainly among the youth, so as the Pastor, I took it upon myself to preview the picture. This is the only time I have felt compelled to do so, and so this is my take on the movie.

I know that some people put a great deal of stock in movies as art, and so their opinion sometimes is based solely on this one criteria. Not being a critic, at least a movie one, I have no other criteria to go on but that of entertainment value. For one, the reason most of us go to the theater to see a movie is because of the giant screen and the big sound that add so much to the movie experience. In this regard, “The Blair Witch Project” was absolutely a let down. One could do better to see it on video. The picture, filmed with small hand held cameras takes up only the middle of the movie screen, and the sound is only what was recorded live through the camera microphone, so there is no BIG PICTURE and no BIG SOUND.

Some movies lose their dramatic effect when transfered to VHS (i.e., “Jurassic Park” 1 or 2), but “The Blair Witch Project” will not suffer such a fate. As for the content, there was no sex, that’s a plus, no violence, that’s a plus, but the f-word, used in the dialogue is too numerous to count, all in all, it’s just a terrible movie. It’s kind of like the story about the emperors clothes if enough people say that something is art, or good, other people will tend to believe it.

Now I must admit I do like a good story, even a scary one, but this movie has neither a story, let alone a good one, or did I find it in the least bit scary, actually it was almost funny as I sat there watching the shaking of the camera frames listening to screaming kids, say “what’s that sound.”

My recommendation, don’t waste your time, or your money. It is quite a lot of ado about nothing.
—Pastor Doug, age 40
I finally saw this movie. I have to say that I wasn’t actually scared while watching it. (I think I was concentrating on not getting motion sickness from the shaky camera). Later, when I went home I began to be scared. The idea of this movie—being lost in the woods with something out to get you—is very scary. I think that people are being too hard on this movie when they criticize it. You have to take it in the context of the larger story.

If you go to this movie expecting it to be like other movies you will hate it. If you go with an open mind and realize that the movie has a story that goes beyond what you see on the screen, you may like it. The larger story, of course, is that the movie is supposed to be footage taken by the 3 kids in the film.

I liked this movie and the idea of this movie because it’s as if the filmakers created their own bit of folklore. It really helps you get into the movie if you visit the Web site and if you’ve seen the tv “documentary”. I don’t think that those add to the hype. I think that it’s part of creating that “folklore”. I did go to the Web site and read about the supposed “Blair Witch Legend” (I know, it’s totally fictional). It helped me get into the story of the movie.

Finally, as a Christian, I have to tell you that all through the movie I kept wondering, “why don’t they pray?
The movie is terrifying, creepy, psycologically complex, and it blurs the line of reality and fiction so much that it is hard to tell the difference.

If you haven’t been brainwashed by the Hollywood big budget pictures then you will love this movie. It’s refreshing to see a movie that relies so heavily on the viewers creativity and imagination. If you don’t have much of either, stay home, this movie is not for you. The acting is great, and incredibly believeable. The atmosphere is perfect and the whole movie is tense from begining to end.

It is a relentless assault upon your fears… that is if you have the power to suspend disbelief.
—Joel Walker, age 22
I found that this was one of the most original movies I’ve ever seen. What it lacked in terms of special effects, and other more conventional means, it made up in terms of getting you to think. I don’t know why so many people didn’t like it; I guess it’s because they have trouble for accepting something that’s totally different from they’ve ever seen in a movie theater. Although there were many uses of expletives in this movie, there were no sexual or violent images in it, and I found that extremely satisfying.

I recommend everyone see what I think is one of the best movies of the year. I caution you to do two things, however, before you see it: one, is to know beforehand that you’re not going to see some kind of blockbuster, special-effects driven movie like The Haunting, it is totally a psychological movie, and it makes you think; the other, is to abandon all preconceived notions of what others say, and just enjoy it! Believe me, you’ll enjoy it.

Finally, I just want to remark on all those people who say the shooting of the film is childish, and that they could do the same thing. I doubt that… I’m sure many will try, but they will never get the same effect that has been pioneered by the Blair Witch. All others will be compared to this movie.That’s my 2 cents. A masterpiece!
—John Sisante, age 19
I can see a lot of people considered the Blair Witch Project to be a poor quality movie. I notice people complaining about the fact that it was recorded on hand-held video cameras and the sound was only what came through the camera microphone. Obviously they’re totally missing the creative and artistic aspect of this movie. The way it was filmed makes it seem very real and creepy. It isn’t overproduced and such, but instead filmed like it would actually look. Without some artificial mood-creating soundtrack, it left it all to the actors and the circumstances to create the mood, and I thought they did an excellent job.

Instead of some stupid guy running around stabbing people, they worked at creating a mood that let’s the imaginative juices flow. I think it’s a neat example of how you can make a movie really good with a really good idea. A lot of movies today are just big budget special effects movies… As a friend of mine said, this movie isn’t scary because of what you see, but because of what you don’t see.

There is a lot of language, but other than that, I thought it was a really exciting and refreshing change…
—Brian J., age 21
According to []: “At least 134 “f” words, 62 “s” words, 11*sses (3 used with “hole”), 5 hells, 3 d*mns, and 6 uses of “G-d*mn,” 5 of “Jesus Christ,” 4 of “Oh my God,” 3 of “Jesus,” 2 of “Oh Jesus” and 1 use each of “Swear to God” and “Oh God” as exclamations.”…
—Juan, age 39
When the film abruptly ended, the only thing anyone could say was “That was it?” A terrific disappointment. A lot of set-up for the skimpiest of pay-offs at the end. Not only that, but the movie has nothing in it that would be of interest to the faithful—not even the triumph of good over evil. Instead, evil triumphs, man profits and we suffer. Peace.
—Anthony, age 28

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This is one of the most hyped movies of the summer and also the biggest scam Hollywood has ever pulled off. After sitting in the theater watching a home video camera jumping around taking pictures of nothing (I do mean nothing, the screen is totally black for at least 10 minutes of the movie) and watching people who are too stupid to realize they are walking in circles, I felt cheated and foolish at the same time.

As a Christian, the language bothered me and the fact that they never addressed the supernatural issues—evil or good—also bothered me. All in all I think this is one of the worse movies ever made and I think the public is due an apology.
—Sherrie LeMaster, age 34
Personally, I think this is easily one of the most inventive US films to be released in recent memory. Like “Pi” (also an excellent film), it proves that you don’t need special effects, a big budget, or popular actors to tell a convincing story. You just need to stimulate the audience’s imagination.

I know some people will be concerned because the movie talks about witchcraft, but any references to witchcraft is done in order to support the folklore discussed in the movie, and even that is done in passing. I hesitate to even call this a horror film, but rather a psychological film, because the main point of this film is watching the 3 characters deal with an unknown and frightening situation.

Aside from the language, the only other thing that might scare away Christians is the atmosphere this film creates (especially the last 10 minutes). It’s full of tension and terror because we, like the actors, have no clue as to what’s happening. What the film doesn’t show us is far more effective and terrifying than anything it could show us.
—Jason Morehead, age 23
First, I’d like to say that this movie does not have 131 f-words and over 50 s words. Yes, there is a lot of swearing, but not that much (unless I missed something), and God’s name is used in vain once. Second, this was not the terrifying movie that I thought it would be. Yes, it was scary, but it sure wasn’t terrifying, although the end is quite creepy. I’m please to see a movie though that has no blood or gore, no sex, and no violence.

I’d recommend this movie, but if you’re looking for something that will scare the living daylights out of you, this is not it.
—Maggi, age 23
I am utterly amazed at the reaction this film is getting. I guess when it was first introduced at the Sundance Film festival at a late-nght showing (at high altitude) that people thought it was pretty frightening. Why? Because they thought it was real. And they thought that the producers were taking advantage of the misfortunes of three young film makers. The hype for this movie far exceeds what it ultimately delivers. Scarey? I don’t think so. Well-marketed? Absolutely!
—Kent, age 50
I went with my 19 year old daughter, this movie is not scary one bit, save your money, and a headache from the terrible hand held video cam shakes through out. The filming method for this picture? Pretend that you are a five years old and have been told to make a movie so that you can almost see something.
—Blair, age 45
I am utterly terrified by this movie, and I have no idea what I am supposed to be terrified of other then the most mundane noise in the night. This movie is the most revolutionary horror film since Halloween, and will be copied, parodied, and done-to-death-by-Hollywood for 20 years. Also, expect plot elements from this film to be the grist by which the wheel of summer camp and campout practical jokes turn. The acting is 100%. The entire film was unscripted. 3 kids playing scared to bumps in the night.

Although I personally do not subscribe to the existence of malevolent otherworldly powers, I have a very vivid imagination which is all that is required to be terrified by this movie…
—Joe Foster, age 20, non-Christian
Movie Critics
Blair Witch Project: (-3 acceptability rating) “a whopping 131 f-words and 54 s-words
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review