Directed By Dan Myrick
By: Eric G.
I tried so hard to be scared by this movie, but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know if it’s because I knew too much from all the hype or if my expectations were too high. Whatever the case I wasn’t scared. Maybe, if I had liked the characters, I would have felt more empathy, but the truth is that I secretly wanted these kids to die horrible deaths because they were so annoying. I don’t fault the two creators of the film (Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez) for the annoying cast, though, since they did such a phenomenal job in orchestrating this whole media blitz. The acting wasn’t their fault or completely terrible, but I had a hard time buying much of the dialogue because it seemed like the actors knew that I knew that they were aware of the camera thus making my suspension of disbelief a difficult task. I do credit the cast for improvising all of their scenes, however, and they did come up with some noteworthy moments.
The faux cinema verite style is underused and therefore a fresh take for the horror genre. I can’t think of a film that has pulled it off on this scale. Myrick and Sanchez let the actors film the scenes themselves to add to the authenticity of the documentary, which proved more obnoxious than it did effective. One of my peers pointed out that this Blair Witch documentary that the characters were filming would have been atrocious because it was a bunch of out of focus shots of rocks and trees with a really cheesy voice over. Would a bunch of film students really not know how to use a handicam? Plus, the interviews that prefaced the journey into the woods were beyond amateurish to the point of comedy.
The fear that this film purports to unleash is completely up to the imagination of the viewer because Myrick and Sanchez could not afford special effects or fancy editing on a budget on par with the price of a yuppie sport utility vehicle. For what they had at their disposal these guys did an amazing job. From the confusion as to whether this whole documentary was real to the mysterious web site to the unsettling previews, Myrick and Sanchez truly built up an astounding amount of word of mouth and hype. More power to them. This film will easily be a horror mainstay and maybe even a classic because it has all of the ingredients for a scary movie, but I just wish it had scared me.