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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> August 1999 >> The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
August 1999
IMDB Name:
Blair Witch Project, The (1999)
Daniel Myrick
Eduardo Sánchez
MPAA Rating:
R for language.


I don't know any more why I wanted to see The Blair Witch Project. I let my desire to see a movie this hyped override my common sense. As I type this in my quiet (too quiet) apartment, every little noise makes me jump a little. I have a few ticking clocks, so I'm not doing so well. Pouring salt on the wound, my lights that are automated are turning off at random moments. I may have only been in that dark theater for eighty-some minutes, but I'll be creeped out for a while.

This is not a movie built soundly on traditions of narrative. Well, there's certainly some foreshadowing, but not all of it pays off in the end. The friends that I went with had forgotten a crucial detail that seemed innocuous at the time, leaving them confused as to the significance of the final scene. That doesn't matter. This movie is about creating a mood: fear. It's not all supernatural fear, either. There's the fear of abandonment, the fear of betrayal, and the fear of being lost in the woods with inexplicable things happening around you. Myrick and Sánchez did what they set out to do: make something scary.


One of the most powerful elements in the movie is darkness. While a few of the creepies are only seen in daylight, it's the dark screen in the dark theater with the unidentifiable sounds that really rallies the willies. There are also excellent scenes where we have only the foreground because the background is black. Two of these scenes, the apology and the night chase, are in the trailers. It's a lost art these days to show a subject with nothing else.


I saw this movie in late August. It wasn't a particularly warm night, but the theater was very cold, with cold air pouring directly onto my arms the whole time. I began to suspect that movie houses had been instructed to crank the temperature down a few clicks for showings. I don't know if I would have been tingling more or less if my body had been at a comfortable temperature.

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