The Blair Witch Project: Metatextual Layers of Subverting the Female Gaze
Keywords:found footage horror, film studies, feminist studies, narratology, documentary theory, metatexts
While recent scholarship has discussed the gendered subject/object relations within The Blair Witch Project and Heather’s victimization by the male gaze of the horror-genre’s camera, my work rebuts and clarifies the level through which this victimization is occurring. I argue we must understand how BWP functions on three different metatextual layers—Heather’s documentary, the implied documentary of The Blair Witch Project, and the Myrick and Sánchez mockumentary—to see the ways in which Myrick and Sánchez have exploited spectator expectations of the horror genre to underwrite a critique of the genre’s reliance on the villainization and objectification of women, both through the cinematic absence of the Blair Witch herself and the use of Heather as ‘vanished’ female filmmaker.
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