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The Blair Witch Project (1999)

tomatometer

87

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 146
Fresh: 127 | Rotten: 19

Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain -- thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

92

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 3

Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain -- thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

audience

55

liked it
Average Rating: 2.5/5
User Ratings: 397,509

My Rating

Movie Info

Combining Hi-8 video with black-and-white 16 mm film, this film presents a raw look at what can happen when college students forego common sense and enter the world of voodoo and witchcraft. Presented as a straightforward documentary, the film opens with a title card explaining that in 1994, three students went into the Maryland back woods to do a film project on the Blair Witch incidents. These kids were never seen again, and the film you are about to see is from their recovered equipment,

R,

Horror

,

Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez

Oct 26, 1999

Artisan Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (146) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (127) | Rotten (19) | DVD (25)

You can dismiss The Blair Witch Project as a trick. Or you can give in to the treat and savor that rarest of accomplishments in a field notorious for tedium and repetition -- an original horror movie.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The thought that Blair Witch Project just might be real makes it much scarier than any of the teen horror flicks that have stumbled along in recent years.

October 5, 2013
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Blair Witch Project" is the scariest movie I've ever seen. Not the goriest, the grossest, the weirdest, the eeriest, the sickest, the creepiest or the slimiest... Just flat out the scariest.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Using the most modest means, Sanchez and Myrick manage to tell a compelling story, create recognizable characters and hold our attention even when there's literally nothing on the screen.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I have seen the new face of movie horror and its name is The Blair Witch Project, a groundbreaker in fright that reinvents scary for the new millennium.

October 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A cunningly conceived and crafted exercise in suggestibility and terror.

October 9, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No doubt part of the reason that the film has affected some viewers so intensely is because it requires them to fill in a lot of blank spaces, to exercise a perceptive muscle which, especially among younger viewers, may have grown flabby from neglect.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Scary without being explicit, it's a 1990s cinematic landmark, and best judged away from the hype.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Don't go see The Blair Witch Project alone; it's too scary to sit through without company. Thrillingly, nauseatingly so.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

It's like watching actors rehearse Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf in the forest.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Its shaky camera work and fuzzy images get monotonous after a while, and there's not much room for character development within the very limited plot.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

It's a thrill to behold this supernaturally accomplished triumph of guerrilla filmmaking technique.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This terrifying ghost story is guaranteed to haunt filmgoers long after they've persuaded themselves that it's only a movie.

October 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

This hyper-realistic mockumentary will scare you witless -- without grossing you out. One of those rare films with the power to haunt long after the final frame.

October 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Somewhere, P. T. Barnum is smiling.

June 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Sanchez and Myrick's film knows that what's not seen frightens more easily that what is, and that the imagination's thoughts of what might have happened generally horrify on a deeper level than knowing what did.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club | Comment (1)
AV Club

This one could be too scary even for your teen.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A brilliant marketing campaign, to be sure, but this Z-grade con of a film offers no payoff for audiences looking to be scared.

October 26, 2010 Full Review Source: IGN DVD | Comments (4)
IGN DVD

It's a gem.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for The Blair Witch Project

Starts out creepy enough but quickly descends into a boringly trite and suspense-free rip-off of "Cannibal Holocaust". It also does not help that the three students are ultra-whiney and complete idiots (I have trouble sympathizing with characters that get lost in a forest despite possessing a compass and a map).

Similar to "Paranormal Activity" where most of the scare tactics comprise of repetitive teasing that has little to underwhelming pay-offs. It also contains one of the lamest endings to a film ever.

In the end, this horror schlock is more famous for it's gimmicky "true-story" marketing and found-footage style (which was cutting-edge for the time before it was over-used thanks to the popularity of this film and "Paranormal Activity") than as a quality piece of cinema.
December 28, 2013
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

An atmospheric, genuinely creepy horror movie that gets unfairly bashed just because people can't appreciate the art of building suspense through the use of setting. Basically, you either come to hate the characters for what idiots and whiners they are (and they are, but you still want them to get out safely), or you are fascinated by the dread and horror that slowly creep in when the group gets lost and realizes that they are not alone. The hand-held camera shooting style is the main reason why it's so terrifying. The ending is truly haunting as well. This movie was the first of its kind when it came out, and the influence it had on the horror genre is irrefutable.
April 6, 2013
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

Possibly one of the most innovative horror films ever made. The Blair Witch Project is not only consistently scary but also a recreation of modern horror in the sense that it explores how not knowing the source of what is frightening you is a far worse experience than actually staring the threat in the eyes. It's a film that benefits from it's micro budget restraints, and is much better than what it could have been as a result. Namely a generic stalk horror movie. The acting is also much better than I first expected, I sincerely hope the cast get a chance to take part in some great things any time soon. I have to say that despite it's lack of developed characters you believe in them and care for the horrible situation that they're in. A situation that you also don't fully understand. It is wonderfully directed, and probably the only found footage horror i've ever seen where I genuinely believed the events that took place were part of reality. The only mistake made was a slight repetition of plot points. Nevertheless this is really worth watching, it isolates you, makes you ponder, stays with you, and distresses your psychology almost effortlessly. Some people might give The Blair Witch Project a bad time, but those same viewers probably require serial killers and monsters handed to them on a silver platter to feel alarmed, rather than allowing the power of atmosphere and imagination to slip underneath their skin.
January 5, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Reputation precedes this work justifiably as the effect achieved is immersion into the DNA of terror namely: your own imagination. One might ask, "What's the worst that can happen?", but in truth you already know. You already know.
October 2, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Le Projet Blair Witch (FR)
  • El proyecto de la Bruja de Blair (ES)
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