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"The Blair Witch Project"

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As an antidote to the strong-arm pseudo-horrifics of The Haunting, you might want to check out the zero-budget Blair Witch Project, written, directed, and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, with the actors themselves (Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, Joshua Leonard) shooting and improvising for eight days as filmmakers who hiked into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to make a documentary about the local Blair Witch legend. Since we're told from the start that the footage we're seeing was found a year after the trio disappeared, the cold creeps set in early. The improvisations sometimes sound too much like improvisations, the handheld camerawork should probably not be viewed on a full stomach, and there's enough nattering and bickering to make you wish the legend would become a reality a lot faster. Despite all this, the dread is palpable. You don't need buckets of moolah and a zillion computer-generated effects to get a rise out of an audience. Just a little imagination, a little suggestive terror, will do quite nicely.


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