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‘The Blair Witch Project’ Almost Had a Way Less Creepy Ending

Most fans will agree that the ending of The Blair Witch Project was perfect. Heather enters the basement of a creepy house in the woods and finds her friend Mike standing against a wall, his back to her. She’s then attacked from behind by an unseen force, and her camera slams to the ground. What exactly happened in those final moments? Who cares! It was SCARY!

Test audiences agreed that the film’s finale was terrifying, but they were also left confused by it. And so, in their infinite wisdom, Artisan executives sent co-directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick back into the woods to film a few alternate endings. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the duo just reflected on the last-minute attempt to bring a new ending to the table.

They told the site:

They wanted us to do something more definitive. We went back to that house with a skeleton crew and basically just shot all the endings that Ed and I threw out when we were dreaming up the script.

The alternate endings they filmed during those reshoots included final scenes of Mike hanging from a noose, crucified on a wooden stick man, and mutilated with a bloodied chest. In an effort to make more sense of the original ending in the event that Artisan stuck with it, Sanchez recalled that a scene was also shot to explain why Mike was standing against the wall.

We shot an interview with a guy where he explains a little bit of the mythology of the killer Rustin Parr; how he would make one kid stand in the corner while he killed the others. We felt that if we stuck it in early in the movie there was going to be some audience members that would connect it to the ending.

But Sanchez and Myrick always insisted on retaining their original vision. In Myrick’s words, the original ending “challenged our real world conventions and that’s what really made it scary.”

In the end, Artisan begrudgingly agreed.


  • Rohan

    That just looks pathetic. He just looks like “…. well”

    • RKSDooM

      “I totally fell into some branches and shit. Bummer, dude.”

  • Creepshow

    Director – “You know what Mike? You look like a ‘dope on a rope’. Go stand in the corner, and think about about the lack of effort you just put into that last scene!”

    But unbeknownst to Mike…the cameras continued to roll.

    Who would of thought, that it would turn into the ultimate ending?

  • WOLF

    I was so annoyed and bored by the the end of the movie that the finale did nothing for me. I’m mad I stayed that long.

    • Grimphantom

      You have been thru so much

      • WOLF

        No doubt. Should be a class action lawsuit.

  • Grimphantom

    Most fans will agree that the ending of The Blair Witch Project was perfect.

    • Lushen72

      I totally agree but I am also a peon so…lol

  • Satanzilla

    There are always going to be some dumb people who don’t get it. Don’t play to them.

    The one thing I wish had happened differently in Paranormal Activity, another FF picture I’m very fond of, is the reshoot of the end. Originally Micah runs down stairs and screams and there’s some movement and that’s it. You get the text. But Steven Spielberg saw it and suggested the ending that eventually made it into the theater cut, which I think is jarringly Hollywood and doesn’t fit with the much realer feel of the footage until that point.

    • Jada Maes

      I concur. For all the last jump-scare it gives you, it’s still less frightening than the footsteps coming up the stairs.

    • Creepshow

      I remember there being a few other alternate endings to Paranormal Activity as well. There’s one with the cops showing up. And another one with Katie slitting her throat. There were others too I think, but I don’t remember them. I enjoyed the final product, but it was no Blair Witch Project…that’s for sure.

  • Vesuvian Villain

    Found footage films just don’t appeal to me on a suspension of disbelief sense. It’s a lot more believable at least to have cameras fixed to capture something, like Paranormal Activity, but then you’re only getting specific angles, so you have to use a mix with some handheld to be effective.

    When it comes to handheld, I can’t buy into the idea that the character behind the camera is always sooooo intent on getting the footage that they never put the camera down and go into self-preservation mode. It just seems cheap. I think most people would say “Fuck this, I have enough footage, I’m out.” And the only excuse I can think of in that case is they can’t see in the dark so they need the night vision. Even then, it didn’t take long to wear out it’s welcome. I’m just tired of looking at it.

    Blair Witch was a brilliant concept in its marketing, and Mike in the corner was creepy but not nearly on par with the level of horror I’d seen up until that point. It may have been different for kids who grew up with it. For me it just came off like 90 minutes of arguing and creepy Mike and something happens, and the movie’s over. Watch the Blair Witch Honest Trailer and tell me how far off it is.

    • Flu-Like Symptoms

      I had those same reservations about it. I was able to suspend disbelief a smidge better by telling myself they’re filming so much during times of distress because they need the lights on the cameras to see where they’re running in the dark. Somehow that helped.

    • Modok

      Besides just needing the camera’s light or night-vision, you kind of have to imagine that the actors are so terrified they’re clutching the camera like a life-preserver. As with war photographers, maybe the constant filming creates an artificial distance from the terror around them.

      Otherwise, half the film would be shot from the unmoving perspective of wherever they dropped the camera when they ran screaming.

      But aside from that contrivance, found-footage is perfect for horror. Fear is being limited to a narrow, first-person perspective while horrible things are lurking around you. You see what the character sees and you know nothing more than they do. If done well, it can make for a more immersive experience.

      • Vesuvian Villain

        I’ll be much more interested in the first person perspective when technology somehow finds a way to implement peripheral vision. I don’t know how that would ever happen because peripherals are such a weird thing. Not exactly blurry, but not the focus. It would be such a complicated thing to get right. But to film with no sense of it at all just makes it feel artificial to me or like I’m wearing some kind of mask or hood that blocks the sides.

        I dunno, it’s been too many years of playing 1st person shooters and watching found footage horrors, I’m just done with it. I don’t speak for everybody obviously but I know a lot of people feel the same way.

  • zombie84_41

    the blair witch sucked ass and that ending was shit

    • Creepshow

      Shame on you. Go stand in the corner. lol

      • Flu-Like Symptoms


      • zombie84_41

        Ya funny thing is I already have in the film. My name is Josh and well didn’t go so well for me then did it LOLLL.

  • Lushen72

    Apparently you were late to the show. As a child of the nineties, I saw this movie on opening weekend when we were all still blind to social media and believed everything we read on the internet. I will never forget seeing this movie in theaters, the weekend it opened. I walked out of that theater and turned to my, then, wife with a feeling of sickness and dread filling my belly and saying to her “Holy shit I really think we just watched a fucking snuff film.” No the movie does not hold with time but wow when it first came out, in the first month anyway, it was fresh and insane. I’m sorry you hated it so much though.

    • Modok

      Thanks for the recollection. It seems impossible to believe, but people really did believe the Blair Witch Project was real, due to its found-footage format and then-novel concept of viral marketing.

      It’s sort of sad when a movie has been copied and parodied so many times that you can never recapture–or explain–the feeling of the original. Paranormal Activity was one of the scariest movies I’d seen in a theater in a long time, but after umpteen sequels and knockoffs, it’s almost pointless to recommend it to someone now.

      • Lushen72

        Those really were some wild times…lol I couldn’t agree more. I think the damn bandwagon broke from so much jumping on it. I know a lot and I mean a lot of people hate the entire found footage genre because 98% of it is just crap they threw together for a few bucks. I personally don’t mind it if it’s not complete garbage that is. I loved Grave Encounters one and two. Not sure if it’s really found footage but the movie Evidence is on Netflix right now and that’s another really good one.

        • Modok

          I’ll have to check out Evidence. I’ve always had a soft spot for Trollhunter.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto


  • James0479

    The ending we have was the best route obviously. But all the endings listed still beat the whole of the “game changer” released last year.

    • Blood Boil

      That was such an embarrassment. Everyone involved in that “game changer” should never touch horror again. Adam Winger needs to be stopped.

  • Vesuvian Villain

    I keep coming back to this picture, laughing. I just love Mike’s face while he’s tied up like that. It just doesn’t fit. There’s slight concern but no terror at all it’s more like “Can I bum a smoke, dude?” or like, “I don’t understand rope..” or “Jesus Heather, all this for a blow job?”

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    Stupid executives. Just stick to………….whatever it is you people do and let the creators create. The ending they fought for, and we ultimately got, was perfect.

    • Blood Boil

      This is why 98% of Hollywood horror and re-makes are all complete garbage. Look at the turmoil the IT, Freddy vs Jason, Hellraiser, etc. scripts went through. It’s all about quantity over quality.

  • Pf Mahan

    Don’t understand what is so scary about this movie, it was boring , and no suspense. Amazing how easily frightened people are over bulls it

    • sigaba

      Novelty works. In the 1910 you could get people to run out if the theater screaming by filming a locomotive running towards the camera or someon shooting blanks at the lens. In 1999 no one had ever seen a found footage movie made to actually look like found footage.

      • Saturn

        Not really true, as there were a few movies made earlier with a similar style – Alien Abduction : The Mcpherson Tape was made in 1989 and remade for it’s initial tv showing in the January of 1998 – it’s quite possibly (probable in my opinion) the movie that influenced the makers of Blair and The Last Broadcast (which again preceded Blair).
        The obvious choice for the Daddy of them, which fooled people, that most people fall back on is Cannibal Holocaust, true it isn’t all found footage, but the retrieved footage was enough for an investigation on whether it was a snuff movie as it was believed that the people killed in the movie were really killed onscreen, much like their animal counterparts.

        Blair Witch was definitely not the first of it’s kind – but, just like Halloween wasn’t the first slasher movie, something in it “clicked” and it became more influential than any of it’s predecessors.
        Of course lightning hit a second time with Paranormal Activity – and we’re still getting many shitty copy cats, but the occasional gem which reminds us why the genre can work well.

    • ALX99999

      Bored people are boring people

      • Pf Mahan

        Only a timid scared bitch would find this boring, I refer to most guys as well

        • Pf Mahan

          scaring boring and stupid, just arguing

          • ALX99999

            English, do you speak it?

        • Blood Boil

          I didn’t know boredom scared timid bitches. Thank you for the intel.

  • Pf Mahan

    The sequel was a creepy film, yet it did a fraction of the original, seems people have a taste for crap, look at the sucksess of the Paramoron movies.

    • ALX99999

      The sequel was appalling and bombed, so even the people’s taste for crap has its limits.

    • Saturn

      Paranorman was AWESOME!

  • Halloween_Vic

    So the witch is Rustin Parr or his spirit or? U know even with the sequel this shit is still confusing.

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