The Blair Witch Project

Critics Consensus

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.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 158

56%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 401,708
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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, found in the woods a year later. The entire movie documents their adventures leading up to their final minutes. The Blair Witch incident, as we initially learn from the local town elders, is an old legend about a group of witches who tortured and killed several children many years ago. Everyone in town knows the story and they're all sketchy on the details. Out in the woods and away from their parked car (and civilization), what starts as a school exercise turns into a nightmare when the three kids lose their map. Forced to spend extra days finding their way out, the kids then start to hear horrific sounds outside their tents in the pitch-black middle of night. They also find strange artifacts from (what can only be) the Blair Witch, still living in the woods. Frightened, they desperately try to find their way out of the woods, with no luck. Slowly these students start to unravel, knowing they have no way of getting out, no food, and it's getting cold. Each night they are confronted with shrieking and sounds so haunting that they are convinced someone is following them, and they quickly begin to fear for their lives. The film premiered in the midnight movie section at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Chris Gore, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Blair Witch Project

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (41)

  • The scariest shots, from someone's little Hi-8 camcorder, document the students losing their bearings, giving way to panic and finally falling victim, though off screen, to some ineffably, unphotographably evil presence.

    Dec 13, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Whenever night falls, the movie takes off, but in a slow creep, with all your childhood fears of the dark suddenly revealing themselves as absolutely reasonable.

    Sep 29, 2014 | Full Review…

    Paul Tatara

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • The very crudeness of the film stock and technique contribute mightily to the feeling that things are out of control, disoriented and possibly subject to unnatural laws.

    Sep 29, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 5, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 5, 2013
  • 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.

    Oct 5, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Blair Witch Project

  • Jul 26, 2016
    The Blair Witch Project is a well-executed unorthodox horror movie. Though it has the strong potential to bore viewers out due to its slow-burn trait treatment. Even so, all that melts away when the film reaches its "wings" and soar over an eerie, unsettling transition of events in which will the dreadfully ill-fated characters will be facing up with. Instead of giving a usually predictable horror movie element, it more relies on the realism approach that binds with the audience's imagination --- that gives out a conclusion to a certain situation, hence, would potentially adds up more tension build-ups to the story. The Blair Witch Project is not for everyone due to its unorthodox found footage aesthetics, yet, also not for the faint of hearts!
    John Ross D Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    The film that made "found footage films" popular. This is one of the most successful independent films of all time. The craziest part, you wait around and wait around to see what is going to happen, and really nothing does happen. It is suspenseful if you, a) haven't seen it before, b) give it your full attention, c) watch it alone or with one other person, and d) watch it in the blind dark. If these all are not fulfilled, you won't get the full experience and you might as well watch something else. Film is effective for what it is, a found footage film.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 06, 2015
    The Blair Witch Project borrows from horror classics like F.W Murnau's Nosferatu and Michael Powell's Peeping Tom in rendering us helpless victims to an almost faceless entity and combines this sensation with the viscerality of Roman Polanski's Repulsion - but this time we have left the apartment and ventured into the woods with nothing but a map, a compass and a few bad words. Undoubtedly inspiring to all, but sincerely not for everyone, the film is more than a horror film as it is barren of all gimmick and a real trail-blazer of the "found-footage" genre, the characters are so raw and believable that the audience almost feels unified with them in fleeing from something so frightening that it can't be felt or conquered, just simply acknowledged. I will always love this film.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 02, 2014
    Oddly, what makes so many people hate "The Blair Witch Project" (the lack of any reveal and the constant frayed/raw emotions from the cast) are what I find to be it's strongest assets. A nightmarish odyssey that only disturbs me more as I think about it.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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