How The Blair Witch Project changed horror movies

Contributed by
Oct 16, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT (Updated)

It's hard to believe it's already been 15 years since The Blair Witch Project invaded theaters and began the whole found-footage phenomenon in 1999.  This disturbing indie horror flick caused a sensation at that year's Sundance Film Festival and was soon scooped up by Artisan Films in one of the wisest cinematic investments in history.  Once it opened wide, the eerie low-budget oddity swept across fandom and ignited a subgenre that today is littered with copycat franchises and titles like Paranormal Activity, V/H/S and Cloverfield.   When the clammy hands, heart palpitations and queasy stomachs eased, Blair Witch nabbed a bewitching $250 milllion in worldwide box office. Not too shabby for an initial $35,000 production budget!

To help understand the momentous shift in movies that followed, check out the latest entry in the Academy Originals' Moments That Changed the Movies educational series, produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, centering on the film's viral marketing hype, fear-fueled hysteria and cultural significance, as recalled by filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez and stars Heather Donahue, Michael Williams and Joshua Leonard.  

Enter back into the Black Hills Forest and remember to leave some breadcrumbs behind.

Do you remember your reaction to The Blair Witch Project when it first opened? 

(Via Geek Tyrant)