Plot: What’s it about?
First and foremost, I don’t think that I’m ruining anything for anyone by saying that this “story” is not real! The producers and directors want you to believe that it is (that’s basically the point of every movie). That premise is part of what made the whole movie so damn fun to watch. Anyhow, we meet Joshua, Heather and Mike; three college students doing a documentary on what is called the “Blair Witch”. A brief history of the Blair Witch is that in Colonial America a woman was accused of being a witch and was banned to the woods where she was presumed to have died in the horrible winter (seeing as how they had tied her to a tree, they assumed that they would have their punishment carried out). Everything is fine until the next Winter…then half of the children who accused Ellie (the witch) of being a witch, disappeared and were never seen or heard from again. The townspeople packed up and abandoned town, which brings us to the present (being 1994).
Heather, the self-appointed “leader” of the group; Josh, the pony-tailed cameraman and Mike, the quiet sound guy (contradiction in terms, I know) all set out to try and find out as much as they can about the mysterious “Blair Witch”. Things start out normal, until they discover that they are indeed–lost! Heather keeps assuring them that they are not, but Mike finally freaks out and throws the map away. What’s so good and compelling about the movie is that it’s in near real-time. You can see them getting more and more frustrated and more and more lost in the Maryland woods. Heather (who is a real bitch, by the way), brings up a good point when she says “It’s really very hard to actually get lost in America anymore”. That was my thinking. You have to figure that out of all the technology we have and all the land, especially on the East coast, is so developed that you would eventually run into someone, somewhere!
Bad goes to worse when Josh mysteriously disappears. From then on, it’s just plain tense to see what happens. There really isn’t an antagonist in the movie, it’s man vs. nature for sure, but one of the more original movies that I’ve seen in awhile. I never used the word “scary” like the trailers said, but it was just very tense. It was also a movie that made you think even after you’ve seen it. Mainly due to the very last scene, which you’ll have to see for yourself to really believe. All in all, The Blair Witch Project is a very interesting, if not short, movie to own. The extras, especially the commentary, make this another to own.
Video: How does it look?
The movie was shot using Hi 8 cameras and 16mm, so it was only full-screen. This eliminated the 16:9 support, since movies that are only full frame cannot be 16:9 enhanced. Anyway, the picture is crystal-clear (with a grain on the print that is supposed to be there). The Black and White and color shots are used at very good times, and do nothing more than bring you into the experience more than ever.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is presented in a Dolby Surround mix, which more than serves it’s purpose. Almost the entire movie is dialogue-driven, with surround effects only used at night and possibly at the very end. Still, there is an ambiance to the whole soundtrack that makes it almost better than when I saw it in the theater.
Supplements: What are the extras?
What does this not have in this department? There are deleted scenes (which they call “Newly Discovered Footage”), a commentary with the directors and the producers that keeps going…production notes and cast bios (they are of the actual characters Joshua, Mike and Heather), theatrical trailer and teasers, an hour long documentary “Curse of the Blair Witch” and DVD Rom features with excerpts from the dossier and comic book. What more do you need?