Blair Witch is sure to scare you
On September 16, Blair Witch was released. The movie is a sequel to the 1999 The Blair Witch Project, focusing on James Donahue’s search for his sister, Heather, who went missing in the first movie. A mysterious tape turns up on the internet, causing James and his friends to believe Heather could still be out there. They venture into the sinister woods in hopes of finding her.
There was a lot of buzz around the movie’s release, and as the night of the premiere drew closer and closer, excitement grew. The wait for a sequel was well worth the wait; Blair Witch was just as good as the first movie in the series. Packed with even more scares, Blair Witch was more supernatural compared to the very real nature of the first movie. This worked to the film’s advantage, though, as this kept the audience on the edge of their seats the whole movie. The plot had a lot of the same elements as the original as well, something audience members could appreciate. Some of the most iconic lines from the original movie are also in there as well.
Overall, the movie was one of the best sequels to a scary movie. It didn’t pretend to be the original. Instead, Blair Witch continued the story line from the first movie. Even if audience members hadn’t seen the original movie, they could still enjoy Blair Witch.
The series has an unusual history, beginning when the first movie was made. The shaky, documentary style camera work was done all by the three actors, Michael Williams, Joshua Leonard, and Heather Donahue. The actors also camped out in the woods during the shoot, filming everything that happened to them. They kept in touch with directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez through walkie-talkies, although they reportedly got lost three times during the shoot, according to imdb.com. In order to increase tensions during filming, the directors reportedly did things to agitate the actors. For example, the actors received less and less food each day. The directors also violently shook the tent they were staying in and provided real life shocks and frights to the actors.
All of the lines in the original movie were improvised; the only thing the actors had to go by was a 35 page general outline of the plotline, as well as private instructions given by the two directors. Interestingly, the mythology of the “Blair Witch” was all made up by the directors, but the actors believed it to be real until the end of the shoot.
Overall, the movie only took eight days to film, during which the three actors hardly ever broke character. The film then took eight months to edit, and was a box office smash when it was released. According to imdb.com, the original movie made $240.5 million (about $347 million today), sending it into the Guinness Book of World Records for Top Budget: Box Office Ratio.
The Blair Witch Project was the one of the first found footage films, so audiences had no idea what to expect. The internet was in its infancy, and the directors used this to their advantage. They set up a website supposedly detailing when the three actors went “missing,” and all of the myths of the “Blair Witch.” Because of the unusual advertising leading up to the release of the film, many people believed the film to be real footage of the actors in the woods. Donahue’s mother even received sympathy cards from people who believed her daughter to be missing or dead. Blair Witch followed suit in using advertising to their advantage. Until this year’s San Diego Comic Con, the movie was being produced under the fake title, The Woods.
Overall, Blair Witch was a great movie that revives the series. The Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, the sequel that came out in 2000, can’t hold a candle to Blair Witch. This is a great movie to see with friends, but be ready to be scared.