Blair Witch (film series)

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
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
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (15)
D: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez
Pathé/Haxan/Artisan (Gregg Hale & Robin Cowie)
USA 🇺🇸 1999
81 mins
 
Horror/Documentary
 
W: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez
Ed: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez
 
Heather Donahue (Heather), Michael Williams (Michael), Joshua Leonard (Joshua)
 
***SPOILER WARNING***
As the film begins, a title card informs the audience that following story is true: A ghost story about three students who film a documentary in the woods of a town with a fabled legend about a witch who haunts the area. They document their findings but are never found again following a series of strange, eerie events. The footage they filmed was recovered a year after they disappeared.
Conceptually, The Blair Witch Project has to be heralded as one of the most spectular phenomenons in movie history.  A simple story which doesn't really go anywhere beyond a legend which is completely fictional.  Filmed on a shoestring and forgoeing any expensive makeup effects or creepy bogeyman costumes.  Using a bare minimum of scare tactics, the Blair Witch Project WORKED... At least until it was revealed that the story was not actually true (sorry folks, I did warn you).
Still, you cannot deny its brilliance that a movie that cost 1/100th the cost of most modern horror pictures managed to put so many bums on seats, actually making a huge profit of $248m at a massive ratio of 10,931:1 against its production budget.
It's a shame that it also opened the trapdoor for so many also-rans, parodies and wannabes.
6/10

The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project
Did You Know:
It only took eight days to shoot this film, all on a lowly budget of $60,000

BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2 (18)
D: Joe Berlinger
Artisan/Haxan (Bill Carraro)
USA 🇺🇸 2000
90 mins
 
Horror
 
W: Dick Beebe & Joe Berlinger
DP: Nancy Schreiber
Ed: Sarah Flack
Mus: Carter Burwell
 
Kim Director (Kim Diamond), Jeffrey Donovan (Jeffrey Patterson), Erica Leerhsen (Erica Geersom), Tristen Skyler (Tristan Ryler), Stephen Turner (Stephen Ryan Parker)
 
Pointless sequel to capitalise on the success of The Blair Witch Project (qv), released just a year earlier.
It's practically the same story but without the 'found footage/documentary style' angle which the original film built its marketing around, with the usual poorly-written characters who walk from place to place, providing exposition as they wait for imminent death.
Terrible, lazy filmmaking. A quick cash-grab and nothing more. 
2/10

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Did You Know:
Unhappy with Joe Berlinger's version of the film, the production company (Artisan) opted to re-shoot certain scenes to add more "traditional" horror movie elements and re-cut the movie to make it more commercial. Berlinger stated on the DVD commentary that he didn't like the changes that were made and how they ruined the ambiguous tone of the plot.