THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT REVIEWED
“The Blair Witch Project” is a short retrospective book that serves the audience that Arrow lives to feed. Also, it feels like a recent time capsule. I’m now finding a ton of film fans that don’t get the cultural impact that this film had upon release. Hell, it super undercut the zeitgeist of what Episode I was supposed to create. All I can really remember about my first time seeing the film was the Ghost Dog trailer and buying a shirt at Suncoast later that day. The actual media reach this film had upon release is insane when revisited.
Multiple TV specials, pop culture appearances from the late summer and deep into the Fall were almost immediate. Hell, there’s an insane amount of attention paid to the lackluster sequel and the initial efforts to try to make another sequel. The interviews and first-person commentary was minimal, but this works as a tome of what had come before. So much information in what booklet is stunning.
I do have one sore spot. The amount of set photos included in the book felt dumb. Especially because a low-color film when reprinted on paper tends to look washed-out and hard to decipher. The little bit of lip service paid to Blair Witch felt forced, as it almost seemed like an obligation. I guess that’s because a minimal horror film from 1999 can only provide for so much coverage. Oh well, it’s well worth checking out.
- Russ Gomm
- 119 pages
- Arrow Books
RELEASE DATE: 3/20/18
The Plot Thus Far
As the Millennium approached, horror was becoming an unusual commodity. Low budget horror films flooded the home video market while their big budget counterparts took hold at the box office. It seemed that a balance could not be found that would please everyone. In the final months of 1999, horror was saved by a film that became a turning point in many aspects – including film production, film marketing and film distribution. One film was a revelation of cinema which shook the world at the time and created such panic and fear that the effects of the film can still be felt today. Film-maker Russ Gomm takes a look at the phenomena of The Blair Witch Project through the eyes of a fan who was captivated by the unusual promotional strategy that led up to the release. This book takes a trip back in time to the 1990s to uncover the history of the production of the film including a unique making of and its path to success. Through conversations with fellow fans, filmmakers and other industry professionals, the book also examines the lasting effect that this seminal film had on not only the audiences, but the film industry itself and indeed the future of the horror genre.