The opening title card reads: "On October 21, 1994, three filmmakers, Heather Donohue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams, hiked into the Black Hills Forest of Maryland to shoot a documentary film on a local legend called 'The Blair Witch' and were never seen or heard from again. One year later their footage was found. 'The Blair Witch Project' is their legacy, documenting their final days and nights in the woods and the events that unfolded before their cameras."
Right off the bat, let's salute the fact that this scary fictional film written, directed, and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez gives us goosebumps without resorting to the pyrotechnics of bloody gore and hyper-violence! The drama taps into the same elements of mystery and dread that made horror stories told around campfires in the dark so hair-raising and addictive. Like those whispered tales, the emphasis here is upon the monsters, murderers, and demons that haunt our consciousness. Anyone who has ever been lost or out in the woods at night will relive the experience during this film. Anyone who has been in a life-threatening situation with others will recognize the way fear and self-preservation can swallow up bonds of friendship, teamwork, and trust.
Perhaps the most surprising and thought-provoking aspect of The Blair Witch Project is that it serves as a cautionary tale for us all: our behavior in a crisis may be the legacy of our life that all the world sees. Despite its flimsy dialogue and its lack of character development, this horror film made for teens and twentysomethings adds a few fresh twists and turns to a genre that has recently become enslaved to nothing more than special effects.