The Blair Witch Project (1999)
As we now know, found footage is a format of celluloid that fans crave. The realism of some of these pictures is absolutely mind blowing, and as time passes the technical execution of found footage gradually improves. It’s a far cry from the perfect style of film, but it’s relatively unique and it’s all but taken over the genre today. We’ve got one film and one film alone to thank for that, and it sure as hell isn’t Cannibal Holocaust, the first found footage film to be made.
Directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez obviously sought to bring a little inventiveness to the table, and they were able to do so. The movie was afforded a brilliant marketing campaign, leaving us all to wonder if what we were seeing was actually real, and soon the production was drenched in curious interest. When it arrived in theaters, so did horror fans, in droves.
Time hasn’t been too kind to The Blair Witch Project, many now labeling it a dull, boring affair with an anticlimactic conclusion. But what the detractors think is irrelevant at this point, because Hollywood and a staggering amount of filmmakers saw the value in this new format of filming. Today a huge chunk of the new genre films to hit the market are shot as found footage. Shooting a successful found footage movie is no easy feat, but there are plenty succeeding at terrifying us with these films. Pics like Paranormal Activity, [REC], Noroi, Exists (another Sanchez feature), Trollhunter, The Bay and Creep (to name but a few) are excellent affairs, and we may have never seen them if not for the tiny $60,000 film that could, The Blair Witch Project.