In an age of horror films that are, perhaps jumpy and get your heart going in certain scenes, The Blair Witch Project was the film that clearly displayed that a slow mounting terror could be achieved without resorting to CGI tactics that some people only think are scary. The behind the scenes footage of The Haunting remake shows a band of talent getting together under the delusion that they were making something that was going to be truely scary. It wasn't. The "hype" behind the Blair Witch Project was in essence no different then the advertizing techniques utilized by the big studios to promote their summer crap, and lets face it films like Armageddon, The Haunting, Gone in 60 Seconds, Pearl Harbor and their ilk are, indeed, crap! But their promotion utilized a "masterpiece" tactic that many people bought into as well. had the masses not bought into that tactic, those films would NOT have been the hits they were. The Blair Witch Project, unlike those other films, was a success. I found it to be truly frightening, weaving a spine-crawling, slowly growing sense of absolute dread with a payoff that was really a payoff. So many over-hyped films give shitty payoff. It's like every other film, it worked for some people and didn't for others. That's fine, but the backlash bandwagon against this film comes across as stark hypocracy most of the time. AND, if this film was such a let down, so badly made and so forgettable as I have heard some people say, then why is it that those same people are still talking about it years after it's release?
Really, the only difference between this film and others is the fact that it was able to weave a spell that cast a mass believability over it's world. Isn't that the goal of film, to make the world of it so believable that people get emotionally caught up in the story? The Blair Witch succeeded where most Hollywood productions fail. That isn't a reason to not like the movie.