While not the first to do it, The Blair Witch Project was the first movie to really bring the “found footage” style of movie to the masses. Telling the tale of three student filmmakers (stole that line from Wikipedia), who went out to make a documentary about the Blair Witch, a legendary figure, and never came back.
The film starts out with a message stating tat the movie was put together from the footage found in the cameras after the three film students had disappeared. The three, Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams had headed out to make a documentary about an evil witch, or spirit that is rumoured to haunt the woods outside of Burkittsville, Maryland (formerly known as “Blair”). They talk to locals who tell them the tales they heard as children growing up in Burkittsville, and how the witch tale was used to keep kids in line. They also hear the tail of a tragedy that happened in the 1940s with the disappearance of several local children, as well as several men from the community. Well, the three decide to head off into the woods in search of the Witch, or at lease evidence of such. Soon they find themselves hopelessly lost and it seems the focus of some weird nocturnal activities. They hear weird sounds at night and fins strange constructs of twigs and wood as well as neatly stacked rocks around their tent in the morning. As time passes and they become more and more loss, the individuals start really showing their stress in the way they interact with each other. The weird sounds and such continue and increase, adding to the stress of the group. When one member of the group disappears in the night, and fails to return, it just gets worse. You know things are just not likely to work out for our little group of film makers.
The Blair Witch Project did a great job of capturing the initial enthusiasm of the three, as well as there slide to desperation , and breakdown of the three main characters. They manage to remain believable (for the most part), and while you may grow frustrated with them at times, it’s at times where youy as a watcher are supposed to get frustrated with them. Is this a good movie? Damn straight.
Check out the trailer below, and if you haven’t seen it yet, go out and get yourself a copy.
2010’s I Didn’t Come Here To Die is one of the generation of new Grindhouse style movies that seem to be gaining cachet with the alternative movie market, but does it properly.
A group of young adult have volunteers to break ground on a new camp for under privileged children. A mish-mash of personalities, these folks are brought together in the woods for what is supposed to be about a year. They are working on getting a campsite setup by clearing trails, digging fire pits and such. Being young, there is the usual sexual tension between some of the people.
On the first or second night, the group starts drinking around a camp fire (that never seems to be lit), and things get weird when one of the two group leaders, who comes off as a prude, and has been ridiculed by the others for being square (and dressing like a “Mom”), starts drinking and gets a little crazy, jumping on the bad boy of the group and basically demanding sex. Another girl pushes her of and they have a verbal spat . The leaders storms of and quickly gets injured…awesomely.
What follows is a series of accidents and not so accidents. Brutalities caused by stupidity, followed by brutalities caused by fear and humanities brutality that lies just below it’s surface.
This is a low budget movie, but that’s okay: there’s no real need for a big budget, and they did well with the little money that they did spend. Both brutal and fun, I say watch this movie if you like slasher/people in the woods style movies, though it’s not a slasher film. This film is actually pretty original. Watch it!
Here’s the trailer: