Saturday, October 8, 2016
Whiz-Bang #6: The Blair Witch
The Blair Witch Project told the story of three friends, Heather, Mike, and Josh, trying to document the history of the Blair Witch near Burkittsville, Maryland. The interview some people about the stories they've heard before heading into the woods where they get lost, hear creepy noises, and get attacked by unseen beings. The three get separated, even more lost, and stumble on an old, abandoned house where they hear screaming from Josh inside. Heather and Mike run around the house like morons trying to find Josh but when they finally find him, the camera falls to the ground and the footage ends.
The Blair Witch Project is considered the first in a long-line of "found footage" horror movies like Paranormal Activity but "found footage" horror movies existed before 1999 and Paranormal Activity came out in 2007. Blair Witch, I think popularized the genre but nothing else resonated with movie-goers until Paranormal Activity.
I was fascinated with The Blair Witch Project and wanted to know more about the fake legend that they had crafted. Interestingly, there was a comic book published by Oni Press about the three major legends mentioned in the movie: Elly Kedward, Coffin Rock, and Rustin Parr. The stories are said to be taken from the child-like drawings of Cece Malvey's self-published "book" Wood Witch Said. All stories were "adapted" by Jen Van Meter and were drawn by, in order, Tommy Lee Edwards, Guy Davis, and Bernie Mireault. Let's take a look.
Elly Kedward's Curse
Elly Kedward is cursed. She had miscarried all of her babies, lost her first husband to a sickness, another husband lost to war. In order to protect her loved ones, she immigrates to America and settles in Baltimore, Maryland caring for the children of the Crandall family. But the house burns down, killing the entire family. Elly then moves to the small village of Blair where she rents a small piece of land, raises chickens and does sewing for the townspeople. The curses continues to speak to her but for 15 years, she harms no one.
She Needs Me
Burkittsville (formerly Blair), Maryland, 1886. Robin Weaver sits on the front porch of her grandma's house playing with her doll. One moment the doll is in her hand and the next it is gone and in front of her, standing--floating--at the edge of the wood is a woman, covered in fur holding her doll. Robin goes into the woods to retrieve her doll and is lured away by the woman.
Left Alone: The Rustin Parr Killings
Rustin Parr didn't belong in Burkittsville. He prefered to be left alone. But the witch wouldn't let him. Rustin becomes haunted by the witch, wanting him to bring her seven. Seven, and she would leave him alone. Finally, Rustin relents. He brings the children to his house--two at time. The witch continues to haunt him.