The Blair Witch Project – Case Study

The scene in which I will be analysing from The Blair Witch Project is the scene in which the tent is attacked by the ‘children’.  This happens about halfway through the movie, the situation is that the three teens are setting up tent for the night and decide not to light a fire as they have been followed/attacked every time they do; they also turn off the lights.  In the darkness there is a passing of time as when the lights are turned back on all three of them are in the tent.  When they turn the light back on they are in panic as they hear something and after a short moment we then hear the cries of children in the distance.  Their tent then gets shaken from the outside and they run away in terror.  As they are running Heather begins screaming as she has seen something but obviously all we see is the shaky camera of someone running.  After running some distance they hide behind a bush of some sorts with their lights off, and begin whispering about what just happened.  I will include a youtube clip of the scene for reference.

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Deciding to turn off lights and light no fire.  At this point we hear the dialogue between the three with ambient sound in the background of crickets.  There is the sound of some breathing from behind the microphone as these three have been hiking for the past 3 days so they are a bit out of breath.
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Waking up to sounds in the night.  There is a cut in pitch darkness until this point.  We first hear Heather breathing heavily as she wakes to the noises she is hearing.  The camera is on the floor at this point so we hear a lot of rustling from the three characters waking up.  There are hushed whispers as the characters are waking up, as they are trying to keep quiet as there is something definitely outside.  After a moment there is then the sounds of children crying coming from outside the tent.
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Tent starts getting shook from the outside.  Outside the tent it is clear that whatever had made the initial noise that woke the three characters up is now shaking it to scare them.  We hear obviously the sounds of rustling canvas as the tent is being handled by what appears to be people on each side.  As this happens, one of the three in the tent shushes the other two from screaming and they pick up the cameras.  They then open up the tent as we hear the zip undo very quickly and hear one of the guys shout “Go, Fucking Go.”
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Running through the forest.  As soon as they are out of the tent all three of them begin screaming as they run, and begin exclaiming things in fear such as “my boots are unlaced” and “what the fuck is that” as Heather sees whatever it was that caused the children to cry.  There is then a lot more screams of terror as it is realised.  During this whole time, there is the sounds of footsteps running as well as rustling clothes and camera movement sounds.  Unlike earlier when we could hear the cricket noises, which is the norm in a forest at night, we do not hear them hear.  I think that the noises of the bugs were taken out to highlight the fear that is heard through the screams of the characters.
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Hiding in a bush.  At this point the characters have all stopped screaming and they are now hiding, the breathe of Heather behind one of the cameras is increased drastically, as would happen after running that quickly, and also because she is behind the camera.  As they are behind these bushes they speak again in hushed tones and Mike asks “Did you hear that baby screaming”, which clarifies the sounds you hear earlier, and also throws-back to another point in the movie near the start when we hear the fables of the Blair Witch from the local people of Burkitsville.
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