, Research Paper
Blair Witch Project
An Analytical Essay
Power of film
December 5, 2000
The Blair Witch Project is a mock documentary on three film students: Heather, Mike and Shaun, who go out and shoot their own documentary on the Blair Witch. This Blair Witch apparently haunts a forest in Burkittsville Maryland and these students are going to find out firsthand if this rumor is true. Unfortunately this rumor turns out to be fact and all three characters are eventually hunted and killed by the Blair witch. The scene which I have chosen to analyze is a short ten second scene near the very end of the movie. In this scene we see a close up of Mike, from a diagonal angle. Mike is rocking back and forth and then yawns. This scene is key point were the viewer realizes that there is no hope for MIke and Heather. The woods are just too vast for these inexperienced students.
In this scene, Mike is wearing his backpack that is bigger than him indicating the the burden he has to carry. Besides the burden it can also represent all the pressure he is under at this particular point. The backpack, being larger than he is can be a metaphor for how small and insignificant he is in comparison to the colossal trees around him. The fact that the straps are so big and that they wrap around Mike can show how he is completely engulfed by this pressure, just like he is surrounded by the trees. The backpack and trees completely overpower Mike, causing him to feel helpless and miniscule, like a child.
The second image chosen is Mike rocking back and forth, followed by the yawn. In most scenarios children rock themselves when they are nervous. This clearly hints that Mike, an average sound technician is no longer himself but rather someone else who is overtaken by the immensity of the forest. The yawn gives Mike the innocent look that only a child possesses so the viewer is led to think that Mike is a mere child in comparison to the forest. A closer look at Mike exposes his beard, contradicting the childlike innocence, so the element of confusion is a predominant one. (seeing as how Mike and Heather are lost and confused.) The rocking can also depict an autistic person. In this case it is evident that Mike has lost his mind and rocking back and forth will bring him serenity.
The trees not only surround Mike in every direction but in this scene they are shot diagonally. This is definitely not natural, normal and not something that a completely sane person would see. Evidently Mike is not sane anymore. His world has been turned upside down. The trees add a sense of confusion and disorientation that Mike, as well as the audience feels. By looking at the trees in the background the viewer has a chance to look into Mike?s mind and see the current situation through his eyes. Mike has no sense of judgment left and cannot correctly perceive what is going on around him.
From the moment all three characters enter the woods, they are small compared to the immensity of the trees and inexperienced, just like children. They have no power over what is going on and what is going to happen. They, like children do not know where they are going and lose themselves very quickly as the story proceeds. At the end of the movie Mike and Heather go on a very confusing and insane search for their partner Shaun. At the very end Mike and Heather are murdered by the ?Blair Witch?. This witch made Mike face the wall while Heather was being murdered, just like the children .
blair witch project