In October of 1994, three student filmmakers hike out to the woods of Blair, hoping to find evidence of a local legend "The Blair Witch".
At first, they find nothing except a pile of stones arranged by hand. As the sun goes down, they realise they are lost, but there is little panic.
They camp out, and in the middle of the night they see and hear things, things that are not normal.
When they awake, they find wooden dolls in cross-like formations. They were not there that night.
Then one of the students, Josh, is separated from the group.
The other two finally realise that they are in a very serious situation, and that they are being stalked, stalked by something that may be the very thing they were looking for...
I really do think that this is the mother of all found footage movies, and we wouldn't have films like 'Paranormal activity' and 'cloverfield' without it.
Yes, the last broadcast was made first, but which one has had the most recognition? which one pulled out all the stops in the marketing campaign? and most of all, which one is still as effective today as it was back then? The film works because it is simple. It's split in two, day and night. Daytime the audience is relatively safe because we just feel the despair of the group, but when the title card says 'night', thats when the dread kicks in and the film becomes something else.
Of course there are plot holes, such as 'when they lose the map, why don't they just rewind the footage because they have filmed the map?' or 'after all that time being lost, you come across a house, would you really go in?'.
These are all minor things, but other wise, this film is still as scary today as it was back in 1999, the performances are great, the sound is superb, and the overall feel of dread and despair etched on to the cast is excellent.