From the creators of Blair Witch:
It was ten years ago today (July 16, 1999) that The Blair Witch Project was released to the masses. From Split Screen in ‘97 to Sundance in ‘99, Elly had a dress rehearsal that many have claimed changed Hollywood forever come July 16th.
Or did it? Perhaps it’s the audience that changed. In ‘99 we were overwhelmed with fat-budget, over the top films that hadn’t any fear attached but fantastical effects and make-up with the same girl tripping each time she fled the cliche creep/spook/monster. Enter Ed, Dan, Gregg, Rob, Mike and a crew of other folks who hadn’t an interest in “effects,” rather – they missed the effect films left on them. Whatever happened to those films? What happened to the Jaws’, the Shinings, the Exorcists of Hollywood? Did we now need an “In Search Of” in search of the original “In Search Of”?
What happened to the fear?
It never left actually. Not for the audience, and neither for these filmmakers. It has remained in our heads and imaginations since days as children; in fear of what hid under our beds, what lingered in our bedroom closets, what whispered from dark corners.
We changed, not Hollywood. As Myrick stated in the latest issue of “Rue-Morgue,” Blair Witch didn’t invent its style of narrative storytelling, and Haxan has never claimed to be the original first-person documentary, but Blair Witch certainly popularized it.