The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project

Peter Turner

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9781906733841

Publisher: Liverpool University Press


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’ trendsetter. The Blair Witch Project was the tenth biggest box office earner of 1999. Even with strong competition in the horror genre, the film managed to stand out from the rest. It was arguably a product of its time more than any other film of the 1990s, heralding the advent of digital filmmaking. Backed up by an internet marketing campaign, The Blair Witch Project became a glowing example of what could be achieved with cheap emerging technology, imagination, and a ‘less is more’ approach. By the year 2000, and due to the influx of digital video cameras, there were far more independent features being made than ever before. This book explores the aesthetics of The Blair Witch Project, how identification is encouraged in the film, and the way it successfully creates fear in contemporary audiences. The book tells the story of the film from his conception and production, and 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.