While the concept of The Blair Witch Project is genuinely original, the movie itself hardly deserves such praise as “scariest movie ever made” or “work of genre-redefining brilliance.” Okay, so it’s a great idea. A great idea that never comes close to its potential. In fact, it sucks.
In case you somehow missed it, the bogus documentary revolves around three college students who disappear into the Black Hills Forest of Maryland while filming their search for a local legend known as the Blair Witch. Although the students are never found, the footage is discovered and edited together for mass consumption in a theatre or DVD player near you. The recovered footage shows the three students stumbling around the woods looking for a witch until they are cold, scared and lost. I got lost in a K-Mart once when I was five and it was way scarier than this piece of crap. Not only did this film fail to frighten me for even a single moment, I actually began to get bored and started nodding off about half way through. Heather Donahue’s incessant bitching was like a dentist drill boring into my brain, and the film itself was never believable for a second. Let’s face it, if any of the things that were supposed to have happened in the second half of the film actually occurred, the kids would have been so freaked out, their instincts to survive so acute, they would never have thought to pick up their cameras and the second half of the movie would never have been shot. The fact that I saw Heather Donahue on Jay Leno plugging the BWP just prior to its release didn’t really help its believability either. I think the film would have been ten times more effective had it been edited down to about thirty minutes or an hour and run on PBS.
The payoff for sitting through the Blair Witch Project? There really isn’t one. The last few seconds of dude standing in the corner come close. But I kept waiting for a real payoff… like Phil Hartman coming out of the woods as Caveman Lawyer and saying something like, “ooh… these twigs… they frighten me.”