The Blair Witch Project: Metatextual Layers of Subverting the Female Gaze


  • Emily Moeck University of Tennessee, Knoxville



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. 

Author Biography

Emily Moeck, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Emily Moeck is a PhD candidate in English/Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She specializes in narrative theory across film and literature with an emphasis on race, gender, and the archive.


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How to Cite

Moeck, E. (2023). The Blair Witch Project: Metatextual Layers of Subverting the Female Gaze. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 11(1), 240–257.