Thursday, 3 October 2013

30 Days of Horror | Day 3

An Image or Scene Burned Into Your Mind
The Blair Witch Project

**Spoilers Ahead**

There's really no question on this one, the final sequence from The Blair Witch Project where Heather and Mike find themselves in a decrepit house in the middle of the woods is one of the most terrifying sequences of any film I've seen.

As one of the most widely recognized first examples of the 'found footage' sub-genre this film gets a lot of stick from viewers as not being scary enough, or even as good as everyone says it is. To categorise, the people of this opinion seem to share the notion that obvious jump scares are horror and a film cannot be frightening unless things are jumping out from the dark every few minutes. While this works in many films The Blair Witch Project is an example of a more subdued and disturbing horror. Not a single question is answered by the end of the film, and no Blair Witch has been seen on film. I'm sad to see that many people equate these factors to the film being bad.

The simple fact is that if they put in a little patience and attention I'm sure the film could actually scare a lot more people than it does. I wanted to write this post without becoming too preachy or snobby, but it frustrates me that this film isn't recognised for how good it really is, although it's clear that the parodying of it in Scary Movie definitely hasn't helped matters. Poor Heathers fear has become something to be mocked by the majority.

I really enjoy the lack of answers the film provides as it leaves the story wide open for countless interpretations that are great fun to read through. It is also a brilliant example of slow-burning horror and shows how a single line of dialogue from early in the film can transform a simple image into something truly terrifying.

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