A found film that needs no introduction, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s “The Blair Witch Project” claims to tell the story of three student filmmakers who disappeared after hiking in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland , to film a documentary about a local One of the most successful independent films of all time given its no-budget origins, “The Blair Witch Project” stands as a terrifying paragon of found-footage horror (as well as the film responsible for popularizing the format).
Much of the film’s success can be attributed to the very compelling nature of its cinema-verité presentation: Heather (Heather Donahue), the crew’s director, wields a color camcorder, while cinematographer Josh (Joshua Leonard) uses a 16 mm, black and white. -white camera, and Mike (Michael Williams) does the sound. Together, this trio’s images represent everything the audience sees, from unsettling stick figures hanging in the trees to eerie sounds that echo as they become hopelessly lost in the forest.
But what makes the film so effective, even more so than its many imitators, is its insidious way of weaponizing the audience’s imagination, leaving ambiguous the exact nature of the terrors that descend on its characters for audiences to fill them with. – even the whites. “I’m afraid to close my eyes, I’m afraid to open them!” says Heather at one point, emphasizing the chilling and effective power of this all-time horror classic.