With Adam Wingard’s “Blair Witch” out next week, the folks at Honest Trailers have gone back in time to 1999’s unintentional franchise-starter. Massively influential for its approaches to both viral marketing and found footage, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s shoestring horror film was massively successful at the box office but divided audiences (many of whom believed it was real). 17 years later, “The Blair Witch Project” is still a conversation starter.
An ominous narrator describes the movie as a “loose collection of scenes about a bunch of kids wandering around the woods for 90 minutes,” a technically accurate description that unintentionally underscores the film’s effect — it achieves so much with so little. Said narrator also points out the main trio’s many tactical errors along the way: ignoring the warnings of locals, knocking over rock totems, tampering with voodoo dolls and entering a “creepy old murder house.”
Prior to the upcoming sequel, Myrick and Sánchez’s film also led to 2000’s “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2,” which had the advantage of being directed by Joe Berlinger of the “Paradise Lost” trilogy of documentaries but the disadvantage of nearly everything else. “Blair Witch” hits theaters on September 16.