The Blair Witch Project changed the landscape of the horror genre; of that, there is no denial. While it may seem silly to people today, it was truly a product of its time. The internet was still young, things like Slenderman were not scaring everyone, and information on the film was being doled out slowly in a very calculated way. If you view the film these days, you might be hard pressed to imagine that folks ever though it was real. However, for those of us who saw it in 1999, we didn’t know. Could these three students have gone missing? Hell, as a kid just starting high school, I fully believed it.
Now here we are, almost 20 years from its release, the Blair Witch mania hasn’t gone anywhere, really. A new film was just released to further the mythos, and people are still intrigued by it. To help celebrate it, there is a new book from Russ Gomm, The Blair Witch Project, recently released from Arrow Video, to explore the creation of the film that changed the horror genre.
Gomm is a die hard fan of the film, through and through. From his explanations in the book, it seems like he was right there with the rest of us when it was first released. However, living in the UK, he had to wait a bit longer to experience it. It’s clear, however, it took a hold on his life like none other.
I read the book over two sittings this last weekend, which is to say that it was an easy read. While the book does detail the making of the film from start to finish, even offering insight from the filmmakers themselves, I was left wanting more. Mostly told as a factual “This is what happened, and this this happened” re-telling, the book seems rather slim. While there are a handful of supplement quotes from filmmakers, it still felt like a hollow telling of a tale. I really felt like Gomm could have dove a little deeper into the creation of the Blair Witch. As it stands, and this sounds terrible, but it is almost like an extended Wikipedia article.
I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I did want more. The culture and phenomenon of the Blair Witch is so rich and full that there could have been so much more.
The book is also peppered with short, anecdotal segments from super fans, talking about their experience with the film, that were lovely to read, but didn’t add much to the narrative arc.
For fans of the film, the book might be worth taking a look at, but those wanting a in-depth making of the film will have to wait until someone else tackles the subject.
The Blair Witch Project, by Russ Gomm, is available on Amazon.