Rate/Comment on The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by Ash28M, Sep 2, 2004.

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Rate/Comment on The Blair Witch Project (1999)

  1. 10

    15.7%
  2. 9.5

    4.3%
  3. 9

    10.0%
  4. 8.5

    2.9%
  5. 8

    5.7%
  6. 7.5

    12.9%
  7. 7

    5.7%
  8. 6.5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. 6

    2.9%
  10. 5.5

    1.4%
  11. 5

    4.3%
  12. 4.5

    1.4%
  13. 4

    4.3%
  14. 3.5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  15. 3

    2.9%
  16. 2.5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  17. 2

    4.3%
  18. 1.5

    1.4%
  19. 1

    20.0%
  20. 0

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    Yep, even worse though. One of my pet peeves is when people give me directions based on geography. "Ok, so you know when you get down in the valley? Well, you're going to want to get back up the hill and head towards the ridges." :fire:
     
  2. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I did not know the map-kick was ad-libbed, but it does not surprise me. Some people truly despise maps while others swear by them. And there ends up being a level of animosity between map people and non-map people. Remember The Fugitive? When Harrison Ford is trying to escape in the stolen ambulance, Tommy Lee Jones is communicating with his people. They ask "Where does this road go?", and he responds angrily "Look on your map! It's on your map".

    I never listened to the commentary or really delved into the extras, as BWP works better knowing less about it. Oh, and I gave it a 7.5 (I could go anywhere between 7 and 8.5, depending on my mood), 'cause as Anaestheus says, it doesn't hold up to repeated viewings. I don't know if I'd say it doesn't hold up at all, but it is less effective.

    Finally, props to Dwatts' label of "Anti-movie". I think that's a perfect description of BWP (much how someone like Michael Corleone in The Godfather is an "anti-hero")
     
  3. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    That's why I hate it and it sucks. It's not a movie. I expected a movie. Even Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left - which a thousand film historians, critics, and educated film fans say purposefully made themselves to look (more) like documentaries - felt like real horror movies. Even Open Water felt like a movie and followed a storyline.

    I'm always going to judge it by movie standards. So long as there are people out there willing to call this a horror movie. It's more like a genre-less art school / film-school-experiment.
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Rules (or standards) are meant to be broken my friend.

    Think of the first person to show violence. You didn't have that back in the 30s or 40s. Why not? Why couldn't a director show someone graphically being murdered? It wasn't like they didn't know how to depict it. They just weren't ALLOWED to...so they hinted around it.

    Or Alfred Hitchcock making a movie STARRING Janet Leigh. Janet Leigh is the main character. The movie is about Janet Leigh. She is the heroine. And what happens to her? An hour in, her character is killed. Even today, you can't really do that. Sure, the main character may die at the end, but when was the last time you saw a movie that focused on the actions of a single person, who is removed from the film less than halfway in?

    Even with the "anti-movie" label (that I still like a lot, Dwatts, thanks), it IS a movie. And no, it does not conform to movie standards. That's the brilliance of it. It's different.
     
  5. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Geez Paff; how about using some spoilers tags? Not everyone has seen Psycho, you know. ;)

    Anyway, I gave it a 5. Loved it back in the day but it's not a movie I'll ever watch again, which influences my vote. Kind of like The Sixth Sense; just no point to a second viewing.
     
  6. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    How can you love a film and then give it a 5 because you don't think you will watch it again. Would you tell someone who hasn't seen it that it's an average film? Especially when you remember loving it the last time you saw it.
     
  7. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I'm certainly prepared to admit it was a phenomenon and I'll even say it's a great,scary idea (even barring my ''smarty pants'' knowledge of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST).Saying that,and I saw it the day it opened,I have never liked it.The last shot is creepy,but the lead up to it was like spending a weekend with a trio of whiney a-holes.I wasn't surprised these guys met a dreadful fate at the hands of the Blair Witch,I was surprised they actually survived the ride into town.
    I'm a big believer in suspension of disbelief,but I just could not stop thinking "follow the river you idiots,it will lead you to civilization eventually".Perhaps the biggest shock in the film for me was the fact that the age old Blair Witch had an old water heater in her basement,you can glimpse it as they walk down the stairs.It takes a powerful sorceress indeed to conjure up a modern heater in her ruined house of horrors .
    I know a lot of folks love it and I'm fine with that,I just think that at this point the battle lines have pretty well been drawn,I doubt lovers or haters are gonna win over many converts who have already seen the film.It's just one of those films,it either floats your boat or pushes your buttons .That's the real curse of the Blair Witch,she can cause movie buffs to argue endlessly over her merits.
     
  8. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Ha. Than in that case, the only problem is that BWP didn't "break" them well enough.


    For all this movie's brilliance, all it did was waste my time. I guess I've just been spoiled by better horror movies. Who's to say?
     
  9. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    That was kind of a pointless response. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean it's not a brilliant film. All of us have also seen a ton of horror films so to say you have been spoiled by better horror movies means nothing as we have all seen the same movies.
     
  10. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Sorry I left this thread.

    I think we must accept that DVD-fanatic-9 doesn't enjoy this one. He's also apparently a fan of Wes Craven, which pretty much explains why we differ on this. :D

    It's okay not to like a film, especially when you've given it some thought and drawn conclusions other than knee-jerk reactions. My longish review was part of a three part series I did called "Movies Everyone Hates - But Shouldn't". The other two were The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb and The Blood Beast Terror. With such a title, I simply accept that many people not only dislike this film, but have a huge aversion to it.

    I was inspired to write my thoughts because it sometimes helps to try to understand things when you put together more than a single sentence. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  11. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    An 8 for me.
     
  12. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Well, I'd like to state that at no point was my goal to convert DVD-f9 (or anyone) into a fan. I've long since accepted that this movie works on some people, not on others.

    However, I do post in these threads and defend the movie because there's an undercurrent that those whom the movie does work on have inferior tastes, or were "easily duped" by the hype. Or that simply stated, it can be empirically proven that the movie is a piece of crap. Nothing can be further from the truth.

    I will even admit to being COLOSSALLY bored during my first viewing. I left to use the restroom, and upon returning, asked my friend if anything had happened and getting an annoyed "NO" in response. Yet both of us ended up seriously shaken by the movie.

    Why? Well, in my case it was the final scene. I've often compared it to the feeling one gets when they are closing the car door, and KNOW they're locking the keys in, but the brain registers it before the act can be physically avoided. When I saw that final scene, I was briefly confused. Then remembering the folk tale, I realized that that meant doom (to see your companion facing the corner). And the realization came too late. The style of filming (first person), the reaction time, all of that put me in the moment and I got the brief feeling of my own doom, not the character on screen. And let me tell you, that will cause real fear. Similar to the shaken feeling you get when you narrowly avoid a major car accident, the feeling that stays with you several hours.

    I don't often get that from a movie. And when I realized it was several factors that led to that feeling, I saw it as a fantastic cinematic exercise. Again, while it's still cool, I'll never get that original feeling again, nor will any of the haters EVER get that feeling.

    So while I won't expect anyone to convert, I think the haters should also try to understand that several hardcore horror fans (like myself and several people on this board) were able to be shaken and scared by this movie.
     
  13. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I'm with you, Paff. I defend the movie because far too many of the haters seem to have decided to hate the thing before they even saw it. I can see not liking it, but hating it? I think there are more knee-jerk reactions to this movie than you'd get from a can-can dancer with dementia.

    The movie has become something of a battleground, with lines clearly drawn. Of course not everyone likes a particular film, but I've never understood why this one causes such extreme offense.

    You know, I wonder if a psychological horror film can really be accepted by horror fans anymore. Without the blunderbuss and over-the-top FX, it seems the door isn't open. More the pity.

    And the map? People talk about the map all the time, and I'm just not getting it. When the guy confesses about the map - it cracks me up. It's the one good laugh I get in the movie. In a fit of frustration (they are clearly losing it), he drop kicked the map. Is that really so unbelievable? I don't think so.

    While the film has lost ts power to shock, I admit to being shaken by the film pretty early on. The noises in the wood, the strange claustrophobia of being outside. The film scared me.
     
  14. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Within reason, of course! I honestly think People Under the Stairs and Deadly Friend have received a very unfair reputation. But I still think Shocker is one of the worst films I've ever seen, and if I'd seen Cursed- I'm sure I'd say the same.


    Well rest assured that I'm not one of those people. And I think there are plenty of reasons to "hate" it once you're actually watching it.


    Good. But I feel like I'm pretty smart (I guess a lot of people feel the same way about themselves too). And that I didn't like the movie because it was pretty bad. But if this movie is part of some style I know nothing about, some calculated brand of filmmaking... well, then I wouldn't know what I was talking about and if you understand it better, than I can't really talk about the movie. I mean, these 3 characters are stupid, swearing idiots. That's a fact, isn't it? How can any viewer ignore that? That's something you're supposed to see in The Sopranos or some shit like that. Then, we have to watch them for over an hour and then when they start getting scared, we're supposed to care about them, right? But they have almost no personality that gets through that constant cursing. And their ignorance and obnoxiousness makes them completely irritating. So I count it as a flaw of the movie that I dislike them so much. And I consider it arrogant of the movie to assume we would want to watch these people doing anything for over an hour.


    So yeah, Ash said there's a lot of sound stuff going on. Well, I promise you all even if I had noticed it - what's going to get me to ignore these 3 idiots?
     
  15. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    And this is the fundamental difference we have. I don't think we ARE supposed to care about them. Hell, we know they're gonna die, it says so in the opening of the film.

    I contend that these people were not meant to be sympathetic, but realistic. And I think they are. Real people are not very attractive or witty. Some are downright annoying. Usually, you have to work with them. The effect of this was not to play upon my sympathies, or get me to care. It was to create a feeling of realism, that I was out in the woods with these assholes. (C'mon...ever taken a vacation or road trip with supposed friends, tempers flare due to close quarters for a long time?). And as I posted above, I got a very brief feeling of my own demise the first time I saw it, which will pretty much scare anyone.
     
  16. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I could be wrong, but I think People Under the Stairs is well liked around these parts. I might be the only one who thinks it stinks up a movie collection. :D

    Deadly Friend? One baseball scene does not a good movie make, so like BWP, I don't think we'll ever come to agreement on it. In fact - a confession if you will - it was so bad I can't even muster the strength to explain all the reasons. Rhett tried to start a debate on it, but I found it so obviously lame, it didn't even inspire wrath, just pity.

    You know, there are all kinds of assumptions in this statement, and to me, they're mostly flawed. The idea that we're supposed to empathize with characters, sympathize or feel their pain isn't immutable. BWP, first and foremost, is about fear of the unknown. Its first person shooting technique moves the audience closer to being inside the movie. This is a first person film, not a third person. The viewer is, essentially, a character within the film. You have to give of yourself, rather than be a passive movie viewer. Whenever you're considering whom is holding the camera, then for me, you've taken yourself outside the intention of the film. This film is more documentary than traditional fictional narative. If, in your mind, you keep insisting it's a traditional fictional narrative - willfully ignoring the first person documentary nature of it - then you'll always distance yourself from what the film was trying to achieve, and I think you're forever doomed as far as enjoying it is concerned.

    Just my take.

    For the record, I've met people exactly like this. That was enough of a connection to have some appreciation of what was going on, enough to carry the story. If you've never met people like this then I applaud your good luck. A week in a frat house at the University of Virginia would introduce you to quite a few. :D

    But care for them? That isn't what this film did to me - I cared for myself. And that is the fear. This film scared the hell out of me, I felt it. Not because of what was happening to them, but because of what I felt.

    Of course, it's all movie magic - but that's one of the aspects that makes this amateur film, by first time film makers, so extraordinary. By current evidence they'll never reach this level of naivety again. And that naivety is an essential element. BWP isn't trying to hide its low budget roots in the way, say, Carpenter's Halloween did. With Halloween Carpenter made a low budget film that could pass for a big budget picture, and it totally worked. With BWP they did the opposite. It screams low budget, amateur film making in every respect. But instead of hiding it, they openly celebrate it, The kind of finesse you seem to desire just was never intended to be there, imo. There is no shame here in amateur theatrics and simple in-camera tricks. It's lack of sophistication is its charm.

    This isn't in the way of trying to convince you of anything, but only to explain myself. To be perfectly frank, I'm surprised at how inspired I am by this film, by how much there is to say about it. Once again, I think that illustrates something pretty special is going on (to me, of course).

    Probably the only Craven film worthy of such attention is Last House, imo. I've really grown to adore the film. Every thing else I've seen of Craven is a compromise of some sort, or comes across as sophomore psychology and social commentary. I just don't get him, obviously!
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  17. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    check, check, check, agreed with the above points.
     
  18. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    By the way DVD-fanatic-9 as a side note. I read an article a few years back that mentioned that Wes Craven loved The Blair Witch Project.
     
  19. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    I dislike this movie AND Wes Craven, so that doesn't explain it either. :D

    I typed up a huge thing with all my thoughts but deleted it. Let me just say that the lack of writing and direction caused the film to be too flimsy for me especially with the actors. It reminds me the most of Georgy Girl, which I dislike for the very same reasons.

    I went in thinking it was real and was scared shitless by my imagination of what it could be, but walked out thinking it was not only a 'fake' but a bad one at that. The final scene itself was one of the largest disappointments not because of what it was so much as because I felt it was handled very poorly.

    I think people like BW because it's bad, not in a Plan 9 kinda way but just because that seems more 'real' to them. I guess it's more about what's real to people.
     
  20. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I think you could write a whole missive on this sentence alone. :D

    Why is something being "real" considered "bad"? You mean bad cinematically? And if so, what's bad about it exactly? We culd point fingers at many films which exchange the mainstream conventions for alternative styles and techniques - it's not "bad" - wrong - or difficult. It's just different.

    I suspect you didn't mean "bad" in wholly the sense I'm suggesting here - but it just strikes me that maybe you used the wrong word.

    Or maybe not. :D
     

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