Friday, October 13, 2006

31 Days of Halloween - Day 12 Movie

My wife had never seen it, and since it's rare getting her to watch any horror movie with me, I agreed to watch "The Blair Witch Project" (1999). This is the second time I've seen it, and while I found it to be pretty effective the firts time, this time I found it somewhat annoying, particularly Heather Donahue's character. Also the number of times the "f-word" was used, while nowhere near the 218 times it was used in "Scarface," according to the IMDB, was used here 133 times.

While I admire the movie's humble creation, and find the documenatry-like nature of the film necessary to its success (much like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), the lead in of the three characters bantering, etc., before any of the weirdness enters the film seemed somewhat interminable, while the post-weirdness material seems very rushed and then suddenly over. I found the sound effects and unexplained nature of the phenomena to be the most effective element of the movie. This is definitely a case of less is more.

I still think it's a pretty decent movie, but don't think it lends itself well to multiple viewings. My wife wanted to know what all teh fuss was about.


Kirk D. said...

It's hard for me to watch Blair Witch as just another movie because to me, it embodies the "power of concept." The idea was so strong that it propelled the film beyond the constraints of budget, experience, Hollywood notoriety, and even execution to some degree.

The concept muscled the product to the height of popular culture.. truly a (multi) million dollar idea.
It's sort of the movie equivalent to the band Nirvana because so many folks came away thinking "I could do that." Of course that isn't exactly true in either case but it inspires the lowly unknown creative types like myself.

But all that said, you're right, what's-her-face's character can sure get annoying.

Rozum said...

I admire films like this, and "Resevoir Dogs" more for their minimalist ingenuity than for the movies themselves. Sticking three actors in the woods, improvising from a very rough script, and having them shoot the entire movie themselves is about as basic and inexpensive as you can get, and also lends the movie's reality a lot of credibility.

"Resevoir Dogs" wasn't much different, except the stars were of a higher calibre. They spent almost the entire movie in an empty warehouse.

Even "Saw", which I thought was not very well executed, or thought out, especially for a movie on which logic was part of the central premise, impressed me for the same reason. Two people in a bathroom.

I don't think small like that. I always intend to, but somewhere along the line I always want to throw in something like a giant squid, and simplicity goes out the window.

Kirk D. said...

Yeah, both Saw and Resevoir Dogs are good examples of that too. Clerks probably fits the bill also, only I think it got lots of attention merely for its willingness to deliver a new level of obscene-ness to mainstream audiences (I guess the real key was packaging it for gen-xers)

Yes, it's all a good lesson in the value of thinking small. Hey, you can still have your giant squid as long as it comes from existing stock footage!