Top 5 Scariest Blair Witch Project Moments (Director Explains)



Top 5 Scariest Blair Witch Project Moments (Director Explains)

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
These are the scariest moments from 1999's The Blair Witch Project. Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and frightening horror movies ever made, this pioneer of found-footage horror certainly earns its genre classification, containing no shortage of subtle scares that get under your skin and stay burned in your mind long after it's over. From Heather's infamous monologue, to its heart-stopping ending, join WatchMojo as we rank the moments from The Blair Witch Project that still freak us out, 20 years later.

Top 5 Scariest The Blair Witch Project Moments

It made us scared to close our eyes, and scared to open them! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 5 Scariest The Blair Witch Project Moments.

For this list, we'll be ranking the most memorably terrifying moments from “The Blair Witch Project”, the 1999 film that kick-started the craze of “found footage” horror films. These moments gave us the creeps, chilled our bones, and otherwise stuck with us long after the lights came back on in the theater.

Heather's Monologue

It's the scene that was parodied to death in the months and even years after the success of “The Blair Witch Project”. But it was also incredibly impactful for audiences. Tearful and sobbing, Heather mourns the fact that she brought her friends into the woods in the first place, and her desperate apologies to their parents really tug at the heartstrings. The extreme-close up only doubles down on the sincerity of her delivery; rather than seeming out of place, it feels more like a final document from a woman at the end of her rope. It's a scene that could've easily fallen apart into self-satire, but the decision to keep it as straight and real as possible made it instead a slice of horror history.

Getting Witchy with It

“The Blair Witch Project” wasn't the first horror film to utilize a "found footage" set-up as a plot device. Ruggero Deodato's infamous “Cannibal Holocaust” had already pioneered the style two decades earlier. But “Blair Witch” did reintroduce the technique to a whole new audience in 1999, with outstanding results. This scene in particular makes excellent use of a handheld camera style to expose a host of creepy, witchy stick figures to the horrified trio Heather, Mike and Josh. The group's reaction to the now-iconic symbols and who put them there is a mix of fear and fascination that raises the hair on the backs of our necks to this day.

Tooth Time

If there's one thing that “The Blair Witch Project” possesses in droves, it's atmosphere. This is due, in part, to how gritty and realistic the film still appears today - something that separates it from its many copycats. There's an urgency and approachability to scenes such as the one where Heather finds a bloody bundle of fabric and sticks… with a pile of Josh’s teeth inside. The fact that the whole thing is a bit blurry and unclear adds to the confusion and dread. Is that really what we think it is? It also raises more questions about what happened to Josh. Who removed his teeth and is he still alive? The ante was officially upped with this scene, grabbing us hook, line and sinker.

Children in the Woods

Confusion and claustrophobia rule in this next scene on our list, a jumble of unnerving noises, paranoia, and abject terror. Truthfully, we don't actually see much in this scene, but that doesn't really matter, because it's all about what we imagine is out there. The sight of Josh, Mike and Heather frantically running from their tent is disorienting from an audience's perspective, but the slight, barely-there sounds of children’s laughter in the night air keeps the sequence tense at all times. Again, this could've easily fallen apart in less capable hands, but its execution and pioneering spirit ensures that it’s an utterly successful stab at generating fear.

That Ending

The ending of “The Blair Witch Project” was a perfect storm of sorts, a scene exquisitely set-up throughout the film's 81 minute runtime. Local residents had mentioned a hermit who used to kill children in pairs, making one stare at the corner while he killed the other. So when Heather and Mike follow Josh’s screams into an old house covered in children’s handprints, it sends an instant chill down the spine. Seeing Mike’s camera drop to the floor pushes the scare-o-meter into the red, and the film’s final, iconic shot of Mike facing the corner as Heather screams hammers the terror home. Sure, we never see the witch, and we’re left with a lot of questions . . . but that’s just why it lingers in our imagination.