The film is composed entirely of reportedly "found" footage shot by three missing college students who made a journey to the woods of Western Maryland in 1994 with the purpose of making a documentary about a "witch" of local legend who is linked to murders and mysterious occurrences spanning 200 years. It begins with footage of the crew leaving their homes and testing their equipment, but before we know it, they are lost deep in the endless woods, with the voices of screaming children piercing the blackness from off in the distance. Things get worse from there.
 

3.5
Cleverly conceived and boldly executed.

An opening title explains that, in October 1994, three student filmmakers hiked into the Black Hills forest in Maryland to make a 16mm documentary about a legendary witch, and that they never returned – a year later the material they shot was discovered, and it's been pieced together - that's what we`re about to see. With assertive Heather (Heather Donohue), calling the shots, the two young men, cameraman Joshua (Joshua Leonard), and soundman Michael (Michael Williams), tag along. At first all goes well, as they shoot colour video material and black and white film of interviews with locals. And then they plunge into the dense woods, where they quickly get lost – and realise that Someone, or Something, is menacing them in the dark.

The Blair Witch Project purports to be assembled from authentic film and video footage shot by the missing students, but it isn't of course. What we're seeing is pure fiction, though the actors who play the students actually did film the material themselves, which gives a rare authenticity to the creepy material. What's amazing is that this terribly low budget, almost amateurish film, which was written, edited and directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, has been so phenomenally successful, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars. For once the nausea-inducing hand-held camerawork is justified, though it's still hard to watch at times – but the film's greatest asset is its impressive soundtrack, which really adds to the mounting unease and terror. It's an incredibly simple film – yet, on its own modest level, a very successful one.

Margaret's comments:
A most unsettling horror movie. It's cleverly conceived and boldly executed with excellent and convincing performances – without which the film would not have worked.