Atmospheric Films presents an open air screening of The Blair Witch Project. What could possibly go wrong?
Getting the scares in early for Halloween, Films in a Flash once again took cinema screenings to unique and sometimes, all too realistic locations. October the 28th saw a sold-out crowd converging on Haughmond Hill in Shrewsbury, in search of the Blair Witch. They found it. In the middle of the woods.
Unless you jetted over to Burkitsville, (formally Blair) USA, you’d be hard pressed to find a better location. The three minute walk from the car to the screening set the tone, as with torches in hand, eager film fans followed the trail through the woodland with many undoubtedly thinking… is this actually a good idea?
Victim, an independent short from Eddie Adamson, kicked off proceedings, skilfully selected for its scenes of the nefarious Slenderman stalking his victim through a not-too-dissimilar forest. It was genuinely nerve-wracking and an ideal appetizer.
Adding to the authenticity, actual Burkitsville residents sent a personalized video detailing the journey of the Blair Witch twig dolls which were available to purchase on the night. That’s genuine Burkitsville twigs dolls. Good idea, or tempting fate? Ask again in a few days. Attendees were also treated to a specially recorded video introduction from co-director and writer Eduardo Sanchez, which got a cheer of approval from the audience.
Initial issues with the sound caused by the wind during the short film were quickly put right and the main feature sounded superb. As for the film itself, its impact has certainly diminished through the sheer amount of times it’s been emulated and parodied. Luckily this is exactly where such special surroundings make all the difference. The creaks of the woods and the snapping of twigs (whether jiggery-pokery from the organisers or an (un)happy coincidence), beat any Dolby Surround. Was that leaf-rustling behind you caused by the Blair Witch? Or someone looking to crack open another can of Kestrel? Either way, dare you look around to find out!
Such elements create a completely individual screening: a live Special Edition, if you will. Forget 4DX: this is the immersive cinema experience you’ve been searching for.