Release Date: May 26, 2015
This reviewer feels compelled to admit that the “found footage” format has never been a favorite. What was unique in 1999 has become a tired approach to the horror film. However, one must admit that few films have had the influence and impact of The Blair Witch Project (1999). Its arrival was a horror cinema palette cleanser after a decade of serial killers and postmodern intertextuality, a bare bones ‘found footage’ trend setter. In this Devil’s Advocate, Peter Turner tells the story of the film from his conception and production then provides a unique analysis of the techniques used, their appeal to audiences and the themes that helped make the film such an international hit, including the pioneering internet marketing.
This study of The Blair Witch Project doesn’t have a lot of meat on its bones. The most interesting chapters are those that tend to focus on the film’s creation (production and post production) and marketing campaign. Unfortunately, these passages are far from comprehensive. The scholarly analysis is occasionally engaging, but Peter Turner has a tendency to repeat himself. Some of his analysis seems like an attempt to stretch what is essentially an article into the 89 pages that make up this “book.”
Review by: Devon Powell