Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

In this final week of the Halloween season, I know people are watching their favorite horror movies and getting ready for the Halloween night.

Blair Witch Project Stick FigureOne thing that has fascinated me is the rise of Trunk-or-Treat events. I remember about five years ago seeing a handful of these events and thinking what a great idea that would be. It is a good time for kids to wear their costume again and each trunk can have a different theme with or without a game.

It adds to the fun and festive atmosphere of the season.

I know some people love this aspect. But others love exploring the scary part, the possibility of ghosts and the evil that resides in the human heart. My favorite movies, the ones that I’ve watched once, are filled with scary moments, some ‘gotcha’ moments, and never a sight of the actually villain until near the end if at all.

Blair_Witch_Project PosterPerhaps that explains the popularity of The Blair Witch Project. Released in 1999, the movie purports to be the lost footage of three young filmmakers who go into the woods near a small town in Maryland. They went into the woods purposely to explore the legend of a witch and to see if they can record anything.

Heather, Josh, and Michael are trying to follow a map while searching for signs of this legendary ghost. And what they find are creepy piles of rocks, gooey substances covering their personal items, and stick doll figures. They are followed by strange sounds, lights in the distances, and happenings that cannot be explained.

Because we are seeing ‘found’ footage, it is grainy with a lot of shaky movement. It is a difficult movie to see in the theater. Many people had feelings of nausea while watching the movie. Luckily this does not happen when the movie is watched on a television.

Most of the fear we are watching is tangible, it feels real, it feels as if this is something that could be happening. And that is what makes this movie one of the best in this style to watch. The actors never let us down in their emotional levels – the excitement, the fear, the anger, the resignation. This movie has high ratings along with having been nominated for a Razzie (award for worst movie of the year) which might make a person confused. Is it good? Is it bad?

blair witch posterThe answer is yes to both questions. There are parts that are good, we believe every moment, we believe in the three filmmakers’ fear. And yet, in the after thoughts you wonder why you were scared by what seemed like close to nothing. After all, the person causing all of the fear and terror is never seen. Be aware that there is a lot of swearing and use of the F word. If you are sensitive to this word usage, this might not be the movie for you.

I will never forget what Richard Roeper said about this movie. He suggested that if you want to know if this movie is scary or not, watch it sometime during a dark night, all by yourself in the house.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.