IN OCTOBER OF 1994 THREE STUDENT FILMMAKERS DISAPPEARED IN THE WOODS NEAR BURKITTSVILLE, MARYLAND, WHILE SHOOTING A DOCUMENTARY… A YEAR LATER THEIR FOOTAGE WAS FOUND.
In 1994, three student filmmakers head into the woods to learn the truth behind rumors of a witch… but they’re not very good at reading a map. Reportedly made for little more than a few bucks, this is the movie that made “found footage” into a successful movie genre in the following decade. A good, simple story at the heart of it, and it ends on an ingenious, terrifying note. The film’s autumnal locations and amateur performances feel genuine. But the genre’s limitations were clear already in this horror exercise – the handheld camera grows just as wearisome as the fact that not much really happens in the movie.
1999-U.S. 81 min. Color-B/W. Written and directed by Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez. Cast: Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, Joshua Leonard.
Trivia: Followed by two sequels, starting with Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000).
Razzie: Worst Actress (Donahue).