What is the Witch? — Part One: The Blair Witch Project

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Photo Credit – The Blair Witch Project

For an Independent Seminar on horror and monstrosity, I sat down (again) to watch the very classic and very canonical The Blair Witch Project, a film, not surprisingly, about witches, and one situated at the inception of the found footage trend in filmmaking (a trend I address in other posts).  Of course, I’ve written about this film before, some time ago, but I really only scratched the surface of its depth and what it has to offer us, as both a piece of criticism and a manifestation – a cultural artifact signaling the historical location of the late 90’s and what questions that location raised.  Needing, I thought, to narrow my focus for this film (and, perhaps, for all the texts I’ll encounter this week that deal with witches) I started with what I thought was a very important question: What is “the witch,” so called?  What surrounds her, perhaps, and what does she tell us?  I think putting a variety of texts about witches in conversation with one another could yield rather interesting answers to this question, but I’ll start with The Blair Witch Project, which offers us a turn-of-the-century glimpse – based off, in the film, age-old lore – of what “witchiness” is, how the witch reveals herself, and what she’s (frighteningly) capable of.  Continue reading “What is the Witch? — Part One: The Blair Witch Project”

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What is the Witch? — Part One: The Blair Witch Project

A Walk in the Woods: Disorientation and Pain in Blair Witch

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Photo Credit – Blair Witch

We’ve all, I’m sure, heard the cliché “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  For example, for the fifth day in a row I hit the snooze button and expect to sleep an extra five minutes, when I know every time I use the snooze function on my cell phone I sleep for at least an extra half hour.  (As in, I click the button repeatedly every five minutes – for about a half hour – after the first snooze alarm goes off).  I naively think I can literally “snooze,” go back to sleep for five minutes, but to my frustrated chagrin, this is not the case.  Snoozing once inevitably leads to snoozing repeatedly, but every morning (or many mornings) I fool myself into thinking otherwise. Continue reading “A Walk in the Woods: Disorientation and Pain in Blair Witch”

A Walk in the Woods: Disorientation and Pain in Blair Witch

Now and Then: My Changing Perspective of The Blair Witch Project

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Photo Credit – The Blair Witch Project

I had to double-check the release date of the original Blair Witch Project.  Sometimes, my teen years seem like a jumbled haze.  I knew, only, that I was a teenager when I saw the film, and after googling its opening date, it appears I was a day shy of my fifteenth birthday when the movie came out.  As Michael pointed out more recently when we watched the film, The Blair Witch Project sits at the inception of the “found footage” phenomenon, a film-making trend which would be furthered by other films, like Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity movies.  The decision to create a film that appeared to be shot by the characters as the events were occurring was indeed novel, and was probably the reason so much hype surrounded the Blair Witch Project.  Before re-watching the film, I recalled little of the film’s actual details, but what I did remember – still do remember, starkly – is the hype surrounding the film.  It may well have been the most hyped horror movie of my time, which means it was no small decision to hide the fact that the recently released The Woods was really a sequel to the film and would ultimately be titled Blair Witch. Continue reading “Now and Then: My Changing Perspective of The Blair Witch Project”

Now and Then: My Changing Perspective of The Blair Witch Project