The Blair Witch Project 1999

Critics score:
86 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune: What becomes especially impressive about Blair Witch is how relentlessly it sticks to its vision. Read more

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times: In short, the film is a clever, entertaining stunt, no more, no less, and a terrific calling card for its fledgling filmmakers, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez. Read more

Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer: You can dismiss The Blair Witch Project as a trick. Or you can give in to the treat and savor that rarest of accomplishments in a field notorious for tedium and repetition -- an original horror movie. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: Using the most modest means, Sanchez and Myrick manage to tell a compelling story, create recognizable characters and hold our attention even when there's literally nothing on the screen. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: A picture like The Blair Witch Project just takes your breath away. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: The Blair Witch Project should be remembered for its uncanny and sometimes deceptive knack for selling itself. Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: A most inventive departure from standard horror fare. Read more

Jonathan Foreman, New York Post: The creepiest and most original horror film since John Carpenter's classic Halloween. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Where is the suspense? Where is the involvement? Where is the identification? Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: What gives the film much of its force and its mounting sense of queasy uncertainty is its narrative method, which ensures that we know no more about the proceedings than the characters do. Read more

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: [A] creepy tale of witchcraft, murders and ghost sightings. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: Sanchez and Myrick's film knows that what's not seen frightens more easily that what is, and that the imagination's thoughts of what might have happened generally horrify on a deeper level than knowing what did. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: If you can handle its unconventional approach, you won't feel as if you're seeing a film so much as witnessing a living nightmare. Read more

Paul Tatara, Whenever night falls, the movie takes off, but in a slow creep, with all your childhood fears of the dark suddenly revealing themselves as absolutely reasonable. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: As a manifestation of multimedia synergy, it's pretty spooky. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: What can anyone say about The Blair Witch Project that hasn't been trumpeted from a thousand Web sites already? Read more

Jeff Giles, Newsweek: Heather's shaky video work can induce motion sickness -- it looks like combat footage as she bolts through the woods -- but just try turning away. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: A cunningly conceived and crafted exercise in suggestibility and terror. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: 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. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: The very crudeness of the film stock and technique contribute mightily to the feeling that things are out of control, disoriented and possibly subject to unnatural laws. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: The simplest effects are the most effective "effects." That's the horrific lesson of micro-budget masterpiece of modern horror, The Blair Witch Project. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Sanchez and Myrick deserve credit not only for attempting something different, but for succeeding so brilliantly at it! Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: At a time when digital techniques can show us almost anything, The Blair Witch Project is a reminder that what really scares us is the stuff we can't see. The noise in the dark is almost always scarier than what makes the noise in the dark. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: I have seen the new face of movie horror and its name is The Blair Witch Project, a groundbreaker in fright that reinvents scary for the new millennium. Read more

Mary Elizabeth Williams, It's been a long time since a movie did so much by showing so little. Read more

Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle: There's no denying the terror in The Blair Witch Project. It's fierce, it's palpable and it gets deep under the skin. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: I could tell you the story -- give away every detail -- and The Blair Witch Project would still freeze your blood. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Blair Witch is the most dangerous film in captivity. It's a no-excuses horror show with an emotional wallop like falling headlong into a bear trap. Read more

Tom Charity, Time Out: The actors never put a foot wrong; the video diary form allows no artifice, so that as terror mounts, the dread is infectious. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Pic comes across as smart without feeling manipulative. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Although the payoff is ambiguous, the experience remains in the mind. It's an absolutely restrained and truly frightening movie. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Simple but devastatingly effective. Read more

Lloyd Rose, Washington Post: The Blair Witch Project" is the scariest movie I've ever seen. Not the goriest, the grossest, the weirdest, the eeriest, the sickest, the creepiest or the slimiest... Just flat out the scariest. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The scariest shots, from someone's little Hi-8 camcorder, document the students losing their bearings, giving way to panic and finally falling victim, though off screen, to some ineffably, unphotographably evil presence. Read more