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DVD Reviews: The Blair Witch Project Special Edition

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Alex Cuming
Review Date: 23 May 2003
Distributed by:
Magna Pacific
Running Time: 90 Minutes

It very seldom that a revolutionary kind of movie comes out that challenges the whole horror film concept.  The entire package is without a doubt one of the best productions to grace the silver screen.  What it does is put the viewpoint of the viewer inside that of the characters who use the camera. A little like a computer game, a first person camera shooter, if you will.  When I first heard about the film I thought it was all true and consequently was pining to see it.  Needless to say I do love horror films and this one is probably one of the most memorable.   

I first watched the documentary a week before the release, on TV, and was amazed by the story. Then heard it was all made up and was referred to as a Mockamentory.  I was really disappointed because suddenly when going into see the film, the illusion that it tried so hard to convey, was abandoned.  This caused a major downer for me because if it were actually real then we would all truly have something to be scared of.  A friend of mine saw it before knowing and was thoroughly and adequately disturbed from the film.  I envied him.   

The story and background is basically this, during the colonial era in America there was a fear of witches and any convicted witch was burnt at the stake.  The was one woman by the name of Ella who was tried, convicted and then taken out into the woods tied to a tree and left there to die.  Her soul was somehow immortalised by this morose occurrence and many of the townís children started disappearing.  There was a search party who went out to find them but they were all killed and left on a rock to decompose.  Another search party was sent out to see what happened and they found the rock with no one on it.  People eventually left the town in fear of what they called the Blair Witch. 

In recent times a young group of students were willing to do a documentary on this bizarre myth.  After gathering all the equipment, they went into the town of Burkittsville, which is Blairís current name, and investigated.  After speaking to some strange people including an old creepy lady who apparently saw the witch, they go out into the forest to see if they can see anything unusual.  They do, and this is where I will stop for you to let your imagination run riot. 

The whole concept of the Blair Witch is done so well and when seeing signs of the witch will send chills down the spine.  There are filters and interesting techniques used to produce the film to give the film an eerie vibe.  The three characters are very real and look as if they just stepped out of first year Uni.  They donít really attempt to act, and the realistic style is unique to film.  Never to be repeated again perhaps, which is a shame because this was such a box office success.   

Of particular note, the sound engineers did a great job and used their creative vision to create some truly disturbing audio.  Watching late at night can put the viewer on edge and there is no knowing what will happen next.  Each night out in the forest gets creepier than the last.  The sound technicians really knew how to use their skill to full advantage and whilst the viewer does not actually see the Blair Witch the sound does its purpose well. 

The special Features are without a doubt superb especially the documentary that accompanies the film.  The documentary involves many interviews with the townsfolk of Burkittsville discussing the mythos of the Blair Witch.  It is recommended that you see this before the film as it provides ample information for the viewer and adds that much more effect to an already impressive production. 

Overall this is one not to be missed and I must stress that for any horror fan this is an interesting and different approach to the usual.  Itís real, vivid and everyoneís worst nightmare approach will have you talking about it for as long as it takes for the hype to wear off. 

The Blair Witch Project Features

    • Special Features
    • Newly discovered footage
    • Director and producer Commentary
    • Animated interactive menuís
    • Scene Selections
    • Production Notes
    • Cast and Crew Information
    • Theatrical Teasers and trailers
    • Curse of the Blair Witch
    • Mythology


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