|Sundance gold was panned in the Park City at
Midnight section of the festival. The first film taken off the market
(for 2.5 million by Artisan Entertainment) was Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel
Myrick's psychological fear-fest, The Blair Witch Project.
If you want only to be tantalized by the ingenious hype and mysterious
aura around this film before it hits your local cult movie house, click
quickly into www.blairwitch.com.
Otherwise, read on...
An ensemble of three newcomers -- Heather Donahue, Michael Williams and Joshua Leonard -- play the real deal "Real World" crew in this incredibly inventive skew on the horror genre. The trio play student filmmakers actually armed with camera and sound equipment, striking out into the woods of rural Maryland to document what evidence they might find of the mythical Blair Witch. To swipe the film's tag line, "A year later their footage was found."
Whoa. There's no plot to spoil, just mounting, palpable terror dumped on the audience through 16mm and video camera lenses. From the beginning, Heather naively misguides this treacherous tour through the woods. Early on she states, "It's very hard to get lost in America these days, and it's even harder to stay lost." She spoke too soon. Within a chilling half hour she's wide-eyed through freezing tears, staring into her shaking camera saying, "I'm scared to close my eyes. I'm scared to open them. I'm going to die out here."