'Blair Witch Project': Hitchcock-style horror

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Another difference between "Blair" and other horror films is the lack of a massive body count or gruesome shots of hacked up limbs.

"Ed and I just felt that an 'unseen' menace was much scarier than anything our meager budget could've mustered up," said Myrick, adding that there were even moments when he would "get sucked in" to the thrill of it.

Overstreet agreed that the psychological aspect made the movie more terrifying.

"Like Hitchcock, all the horror is created in your mind."

Since there are no special effects and, more importantly, no music, marketing companies have had to get creative themselves when it comes to promotional materials. Products in the works include a Blair Witch comic book and temporary tattoos. But the most creative of all will be the movie's soundtrack. The "Blair Witch Mix," will be released early this fall and includes tracks that were on a tape in Josh's car.

For viewers who just can't wait for the premier, a "Curse of the Blair Witch" special is coming up on the SciFi channel July 18 at 8 p.m. (repeats July 22nd at 11 p.m.)

The program will delve into the fictional tale of Elly Kedward, a witch who in 1785 was banished form the Blair village for drawing blood from little kids. By early the next year, all of Kedward's persecutors along with half the village's children vanished. According to legend, a few years later the "Blair Witch Cult" was published. People disregarded the book as a work of fiction.

In 1809, Burkittsville was founded on the Blair site. People reported seeing Kedward in the woods outside the town, and children started disappearing. In 1941, a man named Rustin Parr murdered several people and said he acted at the Blair witch's direction.

Fifty-three years later in 1994, Montgomery College students Heather, Josh and Michael went to Burkittsville to research the Blair witch myth as part of a class project. They go into the woods one day to get footage and are never heard from again.

The SciFi special also interviews the fictitious friends and families of the three lost filmmakers and takes a look at the "footage" and "evidence" surrounding their disappearance, both of which can also be found on the movie's official Web site.

Beware delving too far into "The Blair Witch Project": Reviewers describe it as quite possibly the most frightening film ever made.


7/06/99