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Lost film-makers and found footage

Lost film-makers and found footage

Find a hand to hold while watching Blair Witch and these hand-held footage horror films inspired by the series

Upon its release, no one knew whether The Blair Witch Project was real or not – but whatever you believed, it was a truly an event of a movie and launched a sub-genre of found footage-themed horror

Blair Witch, Friday 26 October, 10.50pm, Film4/HD (CH 428/429), part of Film4’s FilmFear season. Cert 15

The classic 1999 film was so popular that a whole host of productions jumped on the bandwagon. 17 years later, its spiritual successor, Blair Witch, was released. In the film, a group of college students set out to explore the murderous Blair Witch’s hunting ground in the Black Hills Forest. 


“Why, just why?” we hear you cry. Turns out they’re hoping to unearth the truth surrounding the disappearance of Heather Donahue, a character from the orginal movie. And so her brother James (James Allen McCune), along with his friends Peter (Brandon Scott), Ashley (Corbin Reid) and Lisa (Callie Hernandez), set out into the woods and soon, unsurprisingly, find themselves lost.


One thing the directors of both the original Blair Witch and this new movie knew well was that there’s nothing quite like the jerky, shaky movements of footage shot using a hand-held camera to heighten your sense of unease while watching a horror film. It helps the viewer to empathise with the characters more directly as they’re pursued, possessed and persecuted – to terrifying effect! Also, The Blair Witch Project was filmed in eight days on a $60,000 budget and grossed $250 million – so it’s highly cost-effective! No wonder it’s gone on to become a trusty trope of many a horror movie.


So keep rolling as we explore some of the best films inspired by the horror genre’s most frightening (and frugal) filming technique.


These films will leave you shaky…

Blair Witch, Friday 26 October, 10.50pm, Film4/HD (CH 428/429), part of Film4’s FilmFear season. Cert 15

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