The Blair Witch Project and The Audition
The Blair Witch Project and The Audition are both amongst the top 25 films of the era. Shot in a blend of color and black and white, with shaky handheld camera movements and only natural lighting, The Blair Witch Project includes material that was intended to be used in the documentary, but most of the film shows the understanding of the three students as they wander through the woods. infrequently, the view switches out to a kind of "mood footage" (footage of no characters, just video of the environment) at the same time as the audio track continues.
Soon after setting out, they grow to be hopelessly lost; their state worsens when Michael, in frustration, kicks their only map of the area into the river without telling the others. Over a time of several days, a number of horrifying, mysterious, and perhaps supernatural events occur. In one scene, the crew hikes for more than half of the day only to end up in the same spot where they had started.
Much of the plot is open to the viewer’s understanding, including the finale; few concrete indications are given as to the eventual fate of the three filmmakers.
In contrast, Audition had its share of audience walk-outs. For its unwavering graphic material, the film has been likened to the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery and Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses. Critics have also positively compared it to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo for its use of anxiety and exploration of the themes of romantic obsession and hidden personas. Among filmmakers, distinguished horror directors as well as John Landis and Rob Zombie found the film very difficult to watch, given its grisly content.
The 1999 Japanese film directed by Takashi Miike and starring Ryo Ishibashi and Eihi Shiina was based on a Ryu Murakami novel of the same title. Like the Blairwitch Project, over the years, the film has developed a cult following, particularly in the West.