The Blaire Witch Project was released in 1999. It had a massive response back in the day, and was a huge hit. That's because it was proper, and unexpectedly, scary.
It was ground breaking then, but there have been loads of imitations since, so remember this was the original. Its the first time "found footage" documentary style filming became mainstream, as far as I'm aware anyway.
So, what's all the fuss about? The film centres on three American students, who decide to make a documentary about the legend of The Blair Witch. Heather, Michael and Josh head out into the Black Hills, to interview locals about the story. The locals tell them spooky tales about hauntings, witches and murderers.
They head into the woods to further explore the tales. They encounter fisherman who tell them about a girl who went missing, and then they find 'Coffin Rock', scene of a sacrificial murder. They set up camp that night, and start to hear strange cracking noises.
The following day they head further into the woods, but now they are getting lost, and getting deeper in. They find these weird stick figures dangling in the trees, and strange rock formations on the floor. When they awake the following morning, after hearing the strange noises again, they find their tent surrounded by these weird shapes.
They realise they are lost, but when they try to locate their position, Michael admits to having lost it, or rather, he kicked it into the river. When their tent starts to shake, they basically leg it - and I would do to! When it gets light, they find the tent ransacked, but mainly Josh's stuff. When he goes missing, Heather and Mike try to find him.
This is where it gets utterly terrifying. They hear him screaming, but fail to find him. The next morning, Heather finds a bundle. In the bundle is blood and its clearly Josh's shirt. She doesn't tell Michael about this. They are still lost, they can't find Josh, and they are scared. Truly, and convincingly scared. Heather videos herself apologising to everyone, before admitting how scared she is.
They continue to hear Josh scream, and Mike races to try and find him. They find an abandoned house, and Mike is still charging ahead. Heather, with the camera, tries to keep up, but Mike keeps saying he can hear Josh. He goes upstairs, then into the basement. Just like the story the locals told, she finds Mike facing into the corner, the way the murderer who claimed to be haunted murdered those children. Heather screams, and the camera falls to the floor. Then it goes totally quiet.
This film must have been so low budget as there are no special effects, no luxurious locations, no big stars, and yet its one of the scariest films out there. It gave us something new, something we hadn't seen before, and it was hold your breath and watch behind a cushion time for most of us.
Check out my reviews at My Films page here.