Overexposure in the entertainment industry is the kiss of death. A great film can suffer a tragic death because of too much hype. The Blair Witch Project, the little film that could, managed to survive, and went on to become one of the highest grossing films ever. One of the most innovative web based marketing campaigns and a healthy dose of demand over supply, was a winning combination for a film shot for a mere $22,000. Here's a look at the special edition DVD of The Blair witch Project. Could it be the scariest movie to be released in almost 30 years?
If you don't know the story, you must have been living under a rock for the past couple of years. Three young film makers disappear in the backwoods of Maryland in search of the legendary Blair Witch, five years later, their footage is found. Supposedly we are watching the actual footage found which documents their horrid excursion into the unknown wilderness.
If you're able to escape the hype, and get over the love it or hate it mentality most people seem to have, this is truly a great film. The fact that the film makers were able to create this whole mythology surrounding the film (there is no such thing as the Blair Witch) and actually lead people to believe that this footage was real! There are probably some people to this day that will still swear the footage is real, outrageous! With little to no script, the actors were taught to use the cameras, and were sent out alone, cold, lost, and hungry into the woods to shoot the film. When you take all of this into account and combine it with The Curse of the Blair Witch (Sci Fi special also on the disc) I dare you to turn the lights low, the volume high and watch the Blair Witch alone.
There is so much controversy surrounding this film, it's hard to know where to start. I choose to ignore most of it and just accept the film for what it is, entertaining. Some say the film makers stole the concept from The Last Broadcast (also an outstanding faux documentary) made just before, and there are some similarities. However, I feel that each film stands alone in its respective concept and effectiveness.
The presentation on DVD of The Blair Witch is quite pleasing. A nice windowboxed transfer (black bars on all four sides of the full frame display) looks good considering much of the film was shot on HI8. The 2.0 surround consists of clear dialogue and some great ambient effects. Low key at best, but the film doesn't need any more support than that.
Aside from the entertaining animated menus, there are some cool extras to be found. As mentioned before the worthwhile companion piece The Curse of the Blair
Witch, is included. We are also treated to about 5 minutes of "recently discovered footage" , trailers, production notes, DVD ROM content, and a highly entertaining audio commentary.
If you haven't already, pick up this DVD, the price is right, and it's a great little package. If you're not a supporter of this film, give it another look, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised.