YMMV / The Blair Witch Project

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Heather seems to be filming almost constantly the whole time they're in the woods, long after almost anyone would've stopped. Her motivation for obsessively documenting everything becomes less and less clear, and throughout the film she gets a lot of footage she couldn't reasonably expect to use even if they did manage to get out of the woods, such as her and Josh violently berating and briefly physically attacking Mike for destroying the map, and multiple instances of herself sobbing, during which she makes sure the camera is pointed at her. Mike even has to stop her from recording Josh's breakdown, and throughout the film a major source of conflict among the group is the fact that Heather just won't turn the camera off. Toward the end of the film, Josh suggests that the reason Heather is "still making her movie" is because it allows her to disassociate from the reality of the situation; the danger and hopelessness are less real if she's only watching them through a camera lens as a movie, not something she's a part of.
    • Matpat from Film Theory proposed that the movie is really a (fictional) snuff film of Josh and Mike luring Heather into the woods to murder her.
  • Complete Monster: From the Alternate Continuity tie-in prequels, which have a Shared Universe with Nocturne, Hecaitomix is the evil spirit behind Elly Kedward and Rustin Parr, starting the Blair Witch legend, and the true source of the curse. Angered that he is no longer worshipped, Hecaitomix spent centuries torturing and killing, children specifically, with the goal of wiping out the human race and ruling over what's left. Hecaitomix disemboweled a child, dubbed the "bleeding child", and kept him alive to feed on before trapping the child in his realm. He also conquered a spiritual realm and turns the spirits there into demons. Hecaitomix has Robin Weaver abducted and attempts to possess her, and in the ritual traps children's souls and keeps mutilated victims alive and conscious. He bargains with a man to cure his blindness and turns him into another demon to do so. After Rustin Parr's killing spree, Hecaitomix possesses Kyle Brody to use him as a new vessel, before moving on to a local pastor and plots to abduct Mary Brown to subject her to the same fate as he did the bleeding child.
  • Epileptic Trees: Fans have gone on for pages and pages debating what is attacking the main characters in the movie.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: At one point, Heather asks "Do we have any weed?" When her actress, Heather Donahue, dropped out of acting, she got work as a legal grower of medicinal marijuana.
  • Hype Backlash: Although by most standards it is a very good movie, people expecting to be given heart attacks on the spot might be disappointed if they've heard too much about it.
  • Narm: Heather's apology is a chilling scene, but the booger hanging off of her nose has taken more than a few people out of it. Scary Movie parodied it by having a geyser of snot pouring out of Cheri Oteri's nose during its take on the scene.
  • Nightmare Retardant: If the film scared you, watch it with the DVD commentary and that'll quickly change. The producers all goof around discussing things like getting the rights for the groceries in the movie, Josh being "abducted" so early because he had to go to work on the third day of filming in the woods, and how the actors tried to jokingly catch them on camera when making noise in the middle of the night. The creepy image of the children's hand-prints on the halls of the old house is a bit hard to take seriously when the producers talk happily about bringing a gaggle of kids in in and just how much fun they had smearing their handprints all over the walls.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Try going to the woods after watching this movie and not feeling like something's watching you...
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: There were three Blair Witch games made using the Nocturne engine, with the first one tying into that game as well. The general consensus is that the first game is good, the second is lousy, and the third is all right.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot if you check out the tie-in materials and backstory. If you know a certain aspect of the Rustin Parr story, (that he marked the graves of the people he killed with piles of stones), then you'll discover that the characters were doomed from the start.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: In the days of dime-a-dozen "found footage" horror movies, it can be pretty hard to remember just how innovative the gimmick was in 1999.
  • Signature Scene: The apology scene, quoted atop the work page, in which the camera focuses on half of Heather's face as she stammers through an apology, alone and scared out of her mind.
  • Special Effect Failure: A special variant of this occurs in the 'extra found footage' sometimes called a deleted scene. It's supposedly part of the documentary footage, but it's much clearer than the film in the original footage, and the actors really don't look like they've been under the same physical circumstances they were in during the making of the film proper.
  • Tear Jerker: The apology scene.
    • "Will you give us a happy ending, Heather?"
  • The Woobie: All of them. Although Josh and Heather go into Jerkass Woobie considering how nasty they become during the course of the film, Heather especially after all she's endured and feeling guilty for what happened to Josh, to Mike, and to her.