Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 100
    At a time when digital techniques can show us almost anything, The Blair Witch Project is a reminder that what really scares us is the stuff we can't see.
  2. 88
    Caused a major stir with Sundance, and for good reason -- it was perhaps the most offbeat, energetic, and eye-opening motion picture to screen there.
  3. 80
    It's as chilling as Algernon Blackwood's elegantly unnerving "The Willows," played absolutely, unsettlingly straight.
  4. The movie would be better as a 30-minute short, though, since its shaky camera work and fuzzy images get monotonous after a while, and there's not much room for character development within the very limited plot.
  5. As a horror picture, Blair Witch may not be much more than a cheeky game, a novelty with the cool, blurry look of an avant-garde artifact. But as a manifestation of multimedia synergy, it's pretty spooky.
  6. Blair Witch forgoes a literal boogeyman in favor of the unseen, which, in this case, is as scarily bone-chilling as anything they could show you.
  7. Low-tech inventiveness at its best.
  8. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    80
    No part of us is allowed to relax. Ever.
  9. A pretty impressive horror film.
  10. Ingenious in its simplicity.
  11. A clever, entertaining stunt, no more, no less.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    An intensely imaginative piece of conceptual filmmaking that also delivers the goods as a dread-drenched horror movie.
  13. 91
    It breaks so sharply from the practice of contemporary horror film that it requires us to return to the most basic understanding of what it is to be frightened by a movie.
  14. An ultra-cheap movie, ingeniously promoted through the Internet -- is notable primarily as a model of guerrilla-style niche-marketing.
  15. As amateurish and fumbling as it is in every department, the sum total of the movie is pretty darn scary.
  16. The inexplicably terrifying ending is good for a month's worth of nightmares -- no small thing for a movie in such a saturated field.
  17. 80
    A truly scary horror film, something akin to a lost art these days.
  18. 80
    Paranoid, hysterical, and programmatically subjective, the movie is in every sense a psychological thriller. Although the payoff is ambiguous, the experience remains in the mind. It's an absolutely restrained and truly frightening movie.
  19. 90
    It might be the scariest movie ever made.
  20. 80
    It's a small film whose power is derived from its stripped-down scale.
  21. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    70
    The great power of the film lies in its simplicity, in the slow-building tension and psychological melt-downs that are the result of stark, bare-bones film-making.
  22. May be the creepiest and most original horror film since John Carpenter's classic "Halloween."
  23. Certain to nauseate a portion of its audience.
  24. A nifty example of how to make something out of nothing. Nothing but imagination, and a game plan so enterprising it should elevate its creators to pinup status at film schools everywhere.
  25. 88
    The suspense becomes so unbearable that it's easy to overlook questions about whether anyone in such circumstances would continue filming.
  26. 50
    While it has its scary moments, and while its central conceit is refreshingly imaginative, there's ultimately not much there there.
  27. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    90
    Man, I just can't recommend this enough.
  28. The most inventive and genuinely frightening horror movie to appear in years.
  29. The what-you-don't-see element makes this an excellent film for people with overactive imaginations, and if that's you, it will scare the living crap out of you.
  30. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    100
    Many of us may have thought that with the world offering so much vivid horribleness every day, movies had lost the power to give us a good cathartic scare. It's a shock -- and a pleasure -- to discover we were wrong.
  31. Reviewed by: M. V. Moorhead
    90
    Easily the scariest horror picture of the '90s, a movie that can take a place among the most potent and inexorable of modern shockers.
  32. Reviewed by: Lloyd Rose
    90
    The Blair Witch Project is terrifying. It's also an exuberant prank of genius.
  33. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    70
    A fairy tale reminding us that childhood fears are deep and tangled as tree roots.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 195 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 92
  2. Negative: 28 out of 92
  1. Sep 18, 2011
    7
    Although the movie smells old and cheap, "The Blair Witch Project" is one of the standing point movies of the 'psychological horror'. It will scare the **** out of you. Full Review »
  2. Riren
    Jan 28, 2007
    10
    I watched this movie for the thirteenth time last night, and was still creeped right out. Watching it on DVD in my house, I still felt as though someone might be watching me from down the hall. This is the effect of great atmosphere, and the Blair Witch Project has it. Every financially cheap aspect helps it. It's shot in a real environment, not a sterile set or against a CGI backdrop; its actors improvise their dialogue rather than read from scripts; the lighting is completely natural, and all the sounds are ambient. Instead of a soundtrack, this movie has whatever the microphones picked up in the woods - much scarier than a bunch of licensed music or orchestral tones. By shooting this movie over six straight days and camping in the woods, these college-level actors access real fatigue and real emotion that blows away Hollywood performances because even though their premise is every bit as fictional as a blockbuster, their feelings are real. Minimalism is the name of the game, hiding or only showing a little of any scene - only what was caught on the characters' cameras. Outside of those people who can't stand student film to begin with or can't appreciate something filmed with shaky cameras (something most people get used to in a matter of minutes, and something that is a huge part of modern news reporting), nothing can draw an audience in quite like this movie. Full Review »
  3. Feb 11, 2012
    10
    At a time when digital techniques can show us almost anything, The Blair Witch Project is a reminder that what really scares us is the stuff we can't see. Full Review »