19. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Of all the over-hyped horror movies that we’ve had to put up with over the years (‘This one will literally scare you to DEATH’ etc etc), The Blair Witch Project is the only one that has a genuine whiff of fear about it. At the time of its release, the whole hand-held faux-documentary thing was quite fresh and original, and it’s never been done better. As I’ve already mentioned, I love anything in which American school or college students get into trouble with the forces of evil: I mean, what is the student body for, if not for my entertainment? I also love anything involving a local legend, just begging to be investigated by stupid young people. Do they all have a death wish? I mean, why go looking for trouble? Why not do a video project about something sensible, like the gym showers? But no, off they go with their fancy hardware and their emotional problems and one by one they get picked off. What makes The Blair Witch Project better than most films in the genre (eg Paranormal Activity) is that the evil, when it’s discovered, is really believable. imagesWe’re never sure if it’s supernatural or all too natural, and the flickery scenes in which we see tormented children standing in corners really gave me nightmares. When we came out of the cinema after seeing this, two of my friends were green-faced from motion sickness, and needed a couple of brandies poured down them. And to this day, when we go for a walk in the woods, we like to say ‘It is the same log!’.

 

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