Horror movies had grown stagnant in the late nineties. Slasher films kept getting more roman numerals, for some reason Gus Van Zant remade Psycho, Stephen King adaptations had gone from The Dead Zone and The Shining to The Mangler and Thinner, and Japanese (or J-Horror) remakes were around the corner. The Blair Witch Project succeeded because it felt new. Sure, it was scary but it was a new kind of style of filmmaking. Whether or not we like found footage, it’s here to stay and the 1999 The Blair Witch Project is a touchstone in this particular horror subgenre.
Thank you for reading “Playing Nice,” a series of articles that will examine group dynamics in film. I’m not a behavioral psychologist or anything but I am an avid movie watcher and life-long member/observer of the human race. One of the things that have fascinated me over the years is how group dynamics are depicted in film and especially how they are depicted when the thin veneer of society is stripped away.
**This article will contain spoilers. I highly recommend you watch the mini-series first and then read the article if you care about spoilers.** In this article, I will be specifically referring to the 2015 Acorn/BBC three-part mini-series. This mini-series was adapted from one of Agatha Christie’s best mystery novels: And Then There Were None. It is about a group of ten strangers who are invited to Soldier Island by U.N. Owen where they begin to die one by one. The poem “Ten Little Soldier Boys” hangs in each of their rooms and the deaths occur in the same order and fashion as the poem. The guests realize they have all been asked to the island for different reasons and that the mysterious U.N. Owen is an unknown person bent on killing them all. They search the house and each other but no one can solve the mystery of who is the unknown killer.