September 23, 2007

Witchy Woman

O.T.I.S. has an interesting article up at the moment about the site's author taking a pilgrimage of sorts ot Burkittsville, Maryland. I'm sure you know the town whether you've been there or not, because it is the hometown (or, something like that) of witches named Blair and child abducters and cabins in the woods with bloody handprints on the wall.

Let's get this straight: I have no, nor have I ever, have any intention to ever visit this town. Never. Not once. Not even if my two best friends decided to - for some strange drug-fuelled reason - moved there and get married. No even if Hugh Jackman asked me to visit him on the set of his latest movie... okay, maybe I would visit for that. Much like how I will never ever drive through Texas - I honestly believe chainsaw-weilding maniacs will kill me if I do - or visit a clown college because they will grab me and shove me into one of their creepy clown cars and kidnap me.

The reasons is very simple:

The Blair Witch Project scared the LIVING DAYLIGHTS outta me!

To this very day I routinely label it as the scariest movie I've ever seen - I wear it as a badge of honour that in this day and age I can be brave enough (uh-huh, brave!) to state such a fact. I don't deny that I sat on my bed in the foetal position during a lot of it.

You see, when I watch a horror movie the way my brain works is this - it's scary if I can imagine myself in the situation actually being scared. I can't imagine being scared in real life by a possessed doll or something like that, which is why I never find those sort of scary movies actually scary. They have no base in reality. Even something like Alien that's set in out of space I can still connect to it because, while I can't imagine being in space, I can imagine the situation. I generally don't find zombies and vampires scary unless it's done like Night of the Living Dead and has a sense of realism about it.

So, instead of generally not making any sense right now, I'll get back to The Blair Witch Project. For me it just feels like the ultimate scary experience. The situation that the characters in that movie are in, while obviously based in myth and legend, just feels like it could be real. And to couple it with such a mundane activity as camping in the woods just raises the creepiness.

The scene where the three filmmakers lost in the woods are asleep in their tend and start hearing noises just freaks me out. Have you ever been camping? It's just like that! And then the tent starts to shake?! Jesus Christ! And unlike a lot of scary movies, even the scenes in daylight are terrifying.

Of course the piece de resistance, if you will, of scariness in The Blair Witch Project is the scene in the house with the handprints. Something that's very rare in movies is when the very last frames pull the biggest punch. Once the film ended and the credits started to roll with that eerie music over the top I was literally shaking I was so scared.

Yet, I do like to torture myself, and I have indeed watched it more than once. Something about the rush of terror that goes through me when I watch a scary movie is hard to replicate in real life, which is why The Blair Witch Project scares me so much. I feel that if I went camping I could very easily have something like this happen to me. I can't however ever picture myself being terrorised by Chucky in any life.

I know this entry made, like, no sense, but that's how I get when discussing this movie. An incoherent mess.


Adem IAR said...

I remember the very first time I saw this movie (broad daylight, Village cinemas in town.) I had to catch the bus home after with friends and got off at my usual stop. 4pm-ish it was, and I was petrified to walk 5 minutes to my house.

The next day I found out it wasn't even real, but it still scares the shit out of me watching the DVD now.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I knew it wasn't real when I saw it on VHS for the first time back in 2000.

I think watching it on VHS is even creepier because it feels like you're just popping in this video you found and it, shock!,turns out to be this long-lost footage. Or whatever. Still scary as fuck.