Why bother cobbling together a high budget and awesome special effects when you can just throw three kids in the woods and scare the living crap out of them?
That’s pretty much exactly what happened during production on The Blair Witch Project: the three aspiring actors were given a camera, and had to follow clues left in milk crates in the woods as to where to travel and what to do next.
In addition to this, the crew deprived the actors of food, made them walk excruciatingly long distances during the day, and at night would intentionally try to creep them out with unexpected “plot developments”.
This included leaving rocks outside their tent, shaking their tent and making creepy noises in the distance, reports WhatCulture.
In addition to all this, real human teeth were used for the scene in which Heather discovers Josh’s apparent remains, albeit obtained from a dentist rather than, say, a corpse.
Co-director Eduardo Sanchez claimed that “The whole point was to mess with them psychologically and have them film their reactions as time wore on”.
The final product certainly conveys the success of this approach, scaring up a storm at the box office, which is all the more impressive because of the film’s minimalist nature: it is the actors and a creepy location, with little else.