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"The Blair Witch Project"

Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez.
Written by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez.
Starring Heather Donahue, Josh Leonard and Mike Williams.
Release Year:  1999 
Review Date:  7/19/99


I'm not telling you anything about the plot, the characters, or the ending, but let me be blunt:  this is the scariest fucking movie I think I've ever fucking seen.  Not only that, both myself and Charles "Chuck" Longer kept reassuring ourselves after the movie that it wasn't real, but that didn't make it any less scary.  And during the last thirty minutes, I don't think that I was breathing at a normal pace at all.  In fact, the girl next to me was literally--and no, I'm not fucking making this up--panting for the last ten minutes, because she was so scared; I thought that she was going to rip her boyfriend's arm off.

With all of that in mind, this is not for the faint-of-heart.  If you have a significant other, DON'T bring that person with you, because they will, as previously mentioned, rip your fucking arm off.  This isn't like "Halloween"-style horror, with people jumping out of the shadows with large weapons.  But, this is a seriously intense movie.  If you can get tickets (the first four days of its run here in DC have sold out all 32 of its shows), this is the best ticket you can get.  I actually ordered tickets through Moviefone for the first time, and it was worth it.  While this isn't "The Matrix", "Blair Witch" is technically perfect, with a solid story and characters, and its setting is perfect for its genre.  Leave work right now and see this movie!

Did I mention that I am still scared right now?  Terry, good call--I can't get that ending out of my head.

Rating:  Opening Weekend


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09