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MantisToboggan
Feb 1, 2013


I'm watching The Blair Witch Project on Netflix right now and I'm reminiscing about the first time I saw it. It was 1999, I was 13, and I saw it on its first day in theaters. I hadn't been spoiled by the countless parodies that would follow the release; the only thing I knew going in was that it was a fake documentary that had been well received on the independent circuit.

The movie terrified me. In every scene shot at night, I was literally on the edge of my seat because I had no idea that I would never see the titular character. I fully expected that, at any moment, some horrible spirit of the deep dark forest would pop up and scare the poo poo out of me. That never happened, but the mysterious incidents that occur throughout the film - the sounds of branches snapping in the middle of the night, the laughs of children as the tent is attacked, the fate of Mike and Heather - were more than enough for my teenage imagination. To this day The Blair Witch Project is one of my favorite films, along with classics like The Seventh Seal, The Big Lebowski, and Apocalypse Now.

I know we have a horror thread but since it's now the twentieth anniversary of those three students disappearing in Burktisville I wanted to make this thread on the week of Halloween and talk about the movie. Regardless of anyone's opinion there's no denying how much this film changed the landscape of cinema since its arrival at theaters. Did you enjoy it, think it was okay, hate it? Talk about it in this thread.

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Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



MantisToboggan posted:

since it's now the twentieth anniversary of those three students disappearing in Burktisville

i never before realized how perfect it is that the movie takes place in 1994

Kal-L
Jan 18, 2005

Heh... Spider-man... Web searches... That's funny. I should've trademarked that one. Could've made a mint.

Whatever you do, don't see the terrible, terrible sequel.

I loved the mysteries that the first movie sets up, and was dissapointed in how they follow up the story in the sequel.

The only other movie that came close to replicating this experience for me was the first Paranormal Activity.

Vince MechMahon
Jan 1, 2008



You missed a real opportunity by not calling this "I threw the map into the river."

MantisToboggan
Feb 1, 2013


TheJoker138 posted:

You missed a real opportunity by not calling this "I threw the map into the river."

Went for the creepy instead of the funny, rookie mistake.

But honestly, the interviews in the beginning are some of my favorite scenes. It's all BS but it feels very authentic, like the Blair Witch legend is equally valid as the tales of Bloody Mary, La Llorona, etc.

MantisToboggan fucked around with this message at Oct 28, 2014 around 04:33

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



That creepy woman who tells them the legend is what really clinches it, especially because they frame that scene just like they frame the discovery of the house in the woods.

BENGHAZI 2
Oct 12, 2007

Ain't nothin' to fuck with

I don't like this movie at all, minus the Creepy House scene, but I do love the way it was filmed. Basically, for the four people who don't know this story, the reason the actors so realistically protrayed three filmmakers who got lost and were hungry and tired and were tormented by crazy poo poo in the middle of the night is because the directors basically took them out in the woods and got them lost and starved them and shook the tent and played creepy noises in the middle of the night and literally kidnapped Josh out of the tent in the middle of the night. When they wake up and he's gone? They do not know what happened to him. That's not acting.

I like to call it the Kubrick school of filmmaking and it's DOPE.

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



Literally The Worst posted:

I like to call it the Kubrick school of filmmaking

...why?

BENGHAZI 2
Oct 12, 2007

Ain't nothin' to fuck with


It was a joke that made more sense when I typed it at 1:30 in the morning after working all day in the middle of a six-day week.

davidspackage
May 16, 2007



Doctor Rope


Because Kubrick tormented his actors to make the Shining? I suppose William Friedkin would make a good example too.

I rather doubt they didn't actually know Josh was going to get kidnapped though, in real life you don't pick up the camera and start talking when something off-script happens.

I felt like I wasn't supposed to like this movie for years after it came out. Everyone was calling it cheap garbage that wasn't scary because "nothing happens and you can't see anything". But it scared me more effectively than most horror movies, and really showed how effective that format is.

Pierson
Oct 31, 2004



College Slice

Does Blair Witch hold the record for most profit for money spent? BOM says a 60,000 budget and two hundred million in receipts, although obviously it doesn't say what the marketing budget was.

Literally The Worst posted:

I don't like this movie at all, minus the Creepy House scene, but I do love the way it was filmed. Basically, for the four people who don't know this story, the reason the actors so realistically protrayed three filmmakers who got lost and were hungry and tired and were tormented by crazy poo poo in the middle of the night is because the directors basically took them out in the woods and got them lost and starved them and shook the tent and played creepy noises in the middle of the night and literally kidnapped Josh out of the tent in the middle of the night. When they wake up and he's gone? They do not know what happened to him. That's not acting.

I like to call it the Kubrick school of filmmaking and it's DOPE.
I really hope the actors got a cut of those megabucks because ahahahahahahaha.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


Pierson posted:

Does Blair Witch hold the record for most profit for money spent? BOM says a 60,000 budget and two hundred million in receipts, although obviously it doesn't say what the marketing budget was.

I think Paranormal Activity snatched it, as it was both cheaper to make and made more money.

Jenny Angel
Oct 24, 2010

Out of Control
Hard to Regulate
Anything Goes!


Lipstick Apathy

Uncle Boogeyman posted:

i never before realized how perfect it is that the movie takes place in 1994

Explain?

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007




i think of 1994 as being kind of a tipping point for independent cinema entering the mainstream (Pulp Fiction, Clerks, Hoop Dreams, etc.) so a movie where three generation Xers are basically murdered by independent cinema taking place in 1994 feels very appropriate

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



Pierson posted:

Does Blair Witch hold the record for most profit for money spent? BOM says a 60,000 budget and two hundred million in receipts, although obviously it doesn't say what the marketing budget was.

Paranormal Activity beat it, which cost a little less (15k). There's a long tradition for horror movies holding that title, it used to be Halloween.

davidspackage posted:

Because Kubrick tormented his actors to make the Shining? I suppose William Friedkin would make a good example too.

I rather doubt they didn't actually know Josh was going to get kidnapped though, in real life you don't pick up the camera and start talking when something off-script happens.

They didn't know. They were left notes each day telling them more or less what to shoot, and then the crew tormented them all night. Originally the other guy was going to get kidnapped, but Josh and Heather didn't get along so severely that they had to yank him out.

davidspackage
May 16, 2007



Doctor Rope

Ah, well shut my mouth then. Is there a dvd or bluray out that has some good making of-stuff?

xzoto1
Jan 18, 2010

How's life in a bigger prison, Dae-su?

MantisToboggan posted:

I'm watching The Blair Witch Project on Netflix right now and I'm reminiscing about the first time I saw it. It was 1999, I was 13, and I saw it on its first day in theaters. I hadn't been spoiled by the countless parodies that would follow the release; the only thing I knew going in was that it was a fake documentary that had been well received on the independent circuit.

The movie terrified me. In every scene shot at night, I was literally on the edge of my seat because I had no idea that I would never see the titular character. I fully expected that, at any moment, some horrible spirit of the deep dark forest would pop up and scare the poo poo out of me. That never happened, but the mysterious incidents that occur throughout the film - the sounds of branches snapping in the middle of the night, the laughs of children as the tent is attacked, the fate of Mike and Heather - were more than enough for my teenage imagination. To this day The Blair Witch Project is one of my favorite films, along with classics like The Seventh Seal, The Big Lebowski, and Apocalypse Now.

I know we have a horror thread but since it's now the twentieth anniversary of those three students disappearing in Burktisville I wanted to make this thread on the week of Halloween and talk about the movie. Regardless of anyone's opinion there's no denying how much this film changed the landscape of cinema since its arrival at theaters. Did you enjoy it, think it was okay, hate it? Talk about it in this thread.

What made the movie even better was the fake made for t.v. documentary "Curse of the Blair Witch" which was made by the same people.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0202493/

BENGHAZI 2
Oct 12, 2007

Ain't nothin' to fuck with

penismightier posted:

Paranormal Activity beat it, which cost a little less (15k). There's a long tradition for horror movies holding that title, it used to be Halloween.


They didn't know. They were left notes each day telling them more or less what to shoot, and then the crew tormented them all night. Originally the other guy was going to get kidnapped, but Josh and Heather didn't get along so severely that they had to yank him out.

When heather throws away the bundle with teeth and shirt scraps or whatever and goes back for it that's because she didn't actually know what it was and was just freaked out. They had to tell her to go back for it

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007



Kal-L posted:

Whatever you do, don't see the terrible, terrible sequel.

Book of Shadows should be approached as supplementary material for the rather-good Shadow Of The Blair Witch, AKA Curse Of The Blair Witch 2, which is based on the premise that Book Of Shadows is crass and stupid.

Watched together, it's like the play between 'reenactment' and 'actual footage' in the The Fourth Kind.

LloydDobler
Oct 15, 2005

You shared it with a dick.



Cybernetic Crumb

Just showed it to my daughter for the first time and it was awesome. She was sitting with her back to me, feet on the couch, and was crawling backwards against me while burying her face in a blanket for most of the second half of the movie. She was nicely scared without it being nightmare level. Also she was going "I bet Josh dies first" and then when he was gone she was all "called it".

One of my favorite parts of this movie is how amateurish Heather is during her narration scenes, it's almost cringe worthy but perfect in context.

Definitely a classic movie even if only for pioneering an entire genre.

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town


Saw it in theaters with no expectations, loved it, was scared shitless of going outside in the dark for weeks afterwards (especially since I lived in a mostly rural area at the time).

Gonna disagree that the sequel is bad though. It's bad as a sequel, but on its own it's a great and hilarious film that, I think successfully, makes fun of the culture that the first film created.

The makers of Blair Witch said they were heavily influenced by the 1994 film Loaded and it shows. Highly recommend that one, it's on Netflix.

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



davidspackage posted:

Ah, well shut my mouth then. Is there a dvd or bluray out that has some good making of-stuff?

The DVD commentary is really good. I'd kill for a more in-depth thing though. Apparently the Cannes cut is 2.5 hours long and I'd love to see all that lost footage. The few deleted scenes are interesting: http://blairwitch.proboards.com/thread/2421

Vagabundo
Mar 20, 2007

Any of you Welsh sheepfuckers got a custom text?


precision posted:

Gonna disagree that the sequel is bad though. It's bad as a sequel, but on its own it's a great and hilarious film that, I think successfully, makes fun of the culture that the first film created.

The sequel deserves to restored to its original cut, since that at least deserves to see the light of day, but I can not agree with you that the sequel is "not bad." It's a piece of poo poo, regardless of how it ended up in the state that it is.



The movie itself, I think, was a victim of its own success to some extent. I think that it really is something that deserves re-evaluation considering the vitriol that The Blair Witch Project and found footage films get subjected to. I use it as teaching material in my Media Studies class, and since the kids haven't heard of it, they can go into it quite fresh and they tend to enjoy it. Some of the kids in the class I taught had some interesting takes on Heather's big scene where she basically apologises for letting everything get to the stage that it is, since the kids were being taught the codes and conventions of horror, and the character-types. A lot of them said they felt awful for her, and were grossed out when the regular teacher and I joked about watching that scene in its snot-covered glory on the big screen back in the day.

weekly font
Dec 1, 2004


Everytime I try to fly I fall
Without my wings
I feel so small
Guess I need you baby...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-aA5g37sbk Here's a cool panel with the stars about how the movie affected them during and after.

A scene that doesn't get enough love is when Josh turns the camera on Heather out of anger. He's screaming at her, "Your motivation is your lost in the woods!" over and over and you can see her starting to break and then she just snaps that the camera is all she has left. It's a really heart-wrenching scene and it's the last time there's any hope whatsoever.

SuperMechagodzilla posted:

Book of Shadows should be approached as supplementary material for the rather-good Shadow Of The Blair Witch, AKA Curse Of The Blair Witch 2, which is based on the premise that Book Of Shadows is crass and stupid.

Watched together, it's like the play between 'reenactment' and 'actual footage' in the The Fourth Kind.

Oh my god you're so right. As much as Curse of the Blair Witch enhances the tone and universe of Blair Witch, the cat rear end that BW2 is makes this oddly enjoyable.

weekly font fucked around with this message at Oct 28, 2014 around 23:26

Blue Star
Feb 18, 2013


I feel like this movie got kind of ruined for me. I saw it in theaters, but after it had already been out for a little while and everyone was talking about it and hyping it up. I also remember people being completely fooled into thinking that it was a true story and that these kids really did die, and were like "OMG can you believe it? ". For what it's worth I enjoyed the movie but after all the hype I couldn't help but feel "Well, that sure was a movie, alright". I haven't seen it since it came out.

Honest Thief
Jan 11, 2009



I actually like the sequel, at times better than the first one, it's pretty ingenious and where it not for the terrible soundtrack picks and the studio bickering I think it would be seen differently today.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007



weekly font posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-aA5g37sbk Here's a cool panel with the stars about how the movie affected them during and after.

A scene that doesn't get enough love is when Josh turns the camera on Heather out of anger. He's screaming at her, "Your motivation is your lost in the woods!" over and over and you can see her starting to break and then she just snaps that the camera is all she has left. It's a really heart-wrenching scene and it's the last time there's any hope whatsoever.


Oh my god you're so right. As much as Curse of the Blair Witch enhances the tone and universe of Blair Witch, the cat rear end that BW2 is makes this oddly enjoyable.

Book Of Shadows is actually a really good comedy and satire of 90's horror.

Like, the opening credits are set to Marilyn Manson's 'Disposable Teens', which is, like, I don't even know how many layers of comedy in a film ostensibly 'based on a true story' film about the effects of media hype. Then they introduce the The Craft goth chick and it just keeps getting better.

weekly font
Dec 1, 2004


Everytime I try to fly I fall
Without my wings
I feel so small
Guess I need you baby...



SuperMechagodzilla posted:

Book Of Shadows is actually a really good comedy and satire of 90's horror.

Like, the opening credits are set to Marilyn Manson's 'Disposable Teens', which is, like, I don't even know how many layers of comedy in a film ostensibly 'based on a true story' film about the effects of media hype. Then they introduce the The Craft goth chick and it just keeps getting better.

I haven't seen it since it came out and clearly I need to rewatch it. That mockumentary makes me think that what ended up being produced is on Gremlins 2 levels of "gently caress your cash grab."

justlikedunkirk
Dec 24, 2006


It's currently the movie of the week on The Dissolve, and they have a good essay about the movie here: http://thedissolve.com/features/mov...ond-the-hype-a/

I have the urge to rewatch this. Haven't seen it in years.

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town


SuperMechagodzilla posted:

Book Of Shadows is actually a really good comedy and satire of 90's horror.

Like, the opening credits are set to Marilyn Manson's 'Disposable Teens', which is, like, I don't even know how many layers of comedy in a film ostensibly 'based on a true story' film about the effects of media hype. Then they introduce the The Craft goth chick and it just keeps getting better.

Yes, exactly. This is why I unironically insist that it's a good film.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Book of Shadows is a gigantic loving mess but it's a weirdly compelling mess. It has car wreck value.

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



Uncle Boogeyman posted:

Book of Shadows is a gigantic loving mess but it's a weirdly compelling mess. It has car wreck value.

It's got an admirably ballsy concept and wastes no time pissing all over it, which is sort of a fun combo.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007



precision posted:

Yes, exactly. This is why I unironically insist that it's a good film.

The main problem is that Shadow Of The Blair Witch is really obscure, but almost mandatory viewing to really sell the crucial point that 'real people died, and this is the movie they made about it.'

I'd liken it to Pain & Gain, except that that one had the advantage of actually being based on a true crime.

MisterBibs
Jul 17, 2010

dolla dolla
bill y'all


Fun Shoe

penismightier posted:

The DVD commentary is really good.

I'm preparing an effortpost on this movie (since I semi-randomly watched it recently and I find I have Thoughts about it), but before I try for the second time to fall asleep: is the commentary good enough to spend the 5-8 bucks for the Blu ray, considering I can find the movie on Netflix?

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



SuperMechagodzilla posted:

The main problem is that Shadow Of The Blair Witch is really obscure, but almost mandatory viewing to really sell the crucial point that 'real people died, and this is the movie they made about it.'

i dunno if it's that obscure, it's on the Blair Witch Project DVD

Soylent Green
Oct 29, 2004
It's people

MisterBibs posted:

I'm preparing an effortpost on this movie (since I semi-randomly watched it recently and I find I have Thoughts about it), but before I try for the second time to fall asleep: is the commentary good enough to spend the 5-8 bucks for the Blu ray, considering I can find the movie on Netflix?

It'll ruin a lot of the illusion for you, maybe that's what you're looking for though? I usually tell people not to listen to it for that reason. Basically the legend of how much the cast was being tormented was greatly exaggerated, if it was a cold night they went and stayed in a hotel 'round the corner. Things like that. I don't think it should affect how we read the film but I know a few people that were put off by it. These were people who presumably had never spent much time in the woods and couldn't spot that they're right next to the end of the forest/a road for big chunks of the film.

Uncle Boogeyman posted:

i dunno if it's that obscure, it's on the Blair Witch Project DVD

That's Curse of the Blair Witch, he's talking about the equivalent for BW2.

MantisToboggan
Feb 1, 2013


weekly font posted:


A scene that doesn't get enough love is when Josh turns the camera on Heather out of anger. He's screaming at her, "Your motivation is your lost in the woods!" over and over and you can see her starting to break and then she just snaps that the camera is all she has left. It's a really heart-wrenching scene and it's the last time there's any hope whatsoever.


I completely agree. It's also a great response to the question that a lot of critics have about the found footage genre: "Why do they keep filming in this horrible situation?" Obviously that explanation doesn't work for some films but in context it seems like having a camera would be a good psychological defense mechanism.

Does anyone know where if the mockumenteries they made to promote the film are on a DVD or Blue-Ray? I've only owned the film on VHS way back in the day.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Soylent Green posted:

That's Curse of the Blair Witch, he's talking about the equivalent for BW2.

ooooooh my mistake

Murphys Law
Nov 1, 2005


MantisToboggan posted:


Does anyone know where if the mockumenteries they made to promote the film are on a DVD or Blue-Ray? I've only owned the film on VHS way back in the day.

Just buy the movie DVD. It inlcudes Curse of the Blair Witch http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


penismightier posted:

It's got an admirably ballsy concept and wastes no time pissing all over it, which is sort of a fun combo.

It's almost the movie you'd expect Berlinger to make. Almost being the key word, which is why I don't like it as much as TCM 2 and Halloween 3. But it's still good enough.

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