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Brian Collins of Badass Digest revisits the found footage horror pioneer.


I don't know about you, but that one line was enough to get me on board with The Blair Witch Project when I first heard about it in the spring of 1999. Being in film school, I was starting to broaden my horizons a bit (I had recently seen Casablanca for the first time!), but I still loved horror first and foremost, and the fact that it was a horror film about film students made it extra enticing. In fact, it was the first film I ever drove into Boston to see when it opened at the Kendall Square Cinema that July; usually if the movie didn't play at my hometown's multiplex, I simply didn't see it. But I didn't want to wait another week or two until the film opened wide - I had to see it NOW.

See, by now we all know the truth, but back then, when the film was only playing in a handful of theaters, it was easy to fool friends into believing that the movie was indeed actual footage of a lost film crew. Since they don't actually die or even take harm on camera (save for some shoving and biting among the increasingly at-odds trio of actors), it's almost conceivable that the movie could be legit without crossing any major moral lines - you can't call it a snuff film when there's no evidence that they're even dead at all, let alone killed on camera. And unlike far too many "found footage" movies of today, the actors weren't recognizable - their IMDb pages were sparse, listing only this one film (and even had them as "presumed dead" for a while), and the backstory even made some sense: the police gave the footage to some filmmakers in order to get it developed (!) and edited into a narrative they could understand, since they just found a bunch of film cans and out of order Hi-8 tapes...

Read the rest at Badass Digest!

News Categories: Markets and Theaters, Austin


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