On this day in horror history, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s found footage classic The Blair Witch Project with Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard was released in theaters back in 1999.
But that’s not all, Friday the 13th Part 2 director Steve Miner’s killer alligator flick Lake Placid with Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, and Betty White was also released on the same day.
I remember going to the theater that weekend with my cousin and having to decide between the two. I went with Lake Placid. I have no regrets.
For those that might not know, The Blair Witch Project tells the tale of three film students (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams) who travel to a small town to collect documentary footage about a legendary local murderer. Over the course of several days, the students interview townspeople and gather clues to support the tale’s veracity. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises.
It sports an 87% approval rating over on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain, proving once more that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.
Meanwhile, Lake Placid begins when a mysterious creature violently kills a man in a Maine lake, and Jack Wells (Bill Pullman), the local game warden, looks into the bizarre case, along with Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson) and visiting paleontologist Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda). Looking for clues in a tooth that the beast left behind, Kelly and the others eventually locate the monster, a massive and vicious reptile eager to devour anything in its path. Can the crocodile-like creature be stopped?
The film sports a 46% approval rating over on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: Betty White’s delightful supporting turn may be worth the price of admission alone, but Lake Placid is swamped by a smarmy script and inability to deliver on the creature feature mayhem.
BONUS POINTS: Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy also hit on this day in horror history back in 1993.