All posts tagged: lowbudget

The Blair Witch Project: the story of how a low-budget film shook the world and changed horror forever

The Blair Witch Project: the story of how a low-budget film shook the world and changed horror forever

Get our free weekly email for all the latest cinematic news from our film critic Clarisse Loughrey Get our The Life Cinematic email for free The history of horror can be split into two distinct eras: before The Blair Witch Project and after. The 1999 film, about three amateur filmmakers who disappear while shooting a documentary in the woods, is a seminal entry into the lineage of on-screen scares. Everyone remembers where they were when they first watched Blair Witch, and everyone remembers how they felt watching it: a pricking fear that lasted months, awakened by every rustle in the dark or random formation of sticks on the ground. The film certainly did not invent the found-footage genre (around 20 years earlier, Cannibal Holocaust, Ruggero Deodoato’s controversial horror also about a crew of missing documentarians, scandalised audiences to the point of being banned in several countries). But it did harness the genre’s signature qualities in a fresh, frightening way. The two sequels that followed, released in 2000 and 2016, were lousy and forgotten – but …

One Cut of the Dead: the gloriously inventive low-budget film that made box office history | Film

One Cut of the Dead: the gloriously inventive low-budget film that made box office history | Film

It almost seems a shame to tell you anything about One Cut of the Dead, given that so much of its charm comes from having no idea what you are about to watch. If you have a spare 90 minutes, close this and go watch it. If that plea is not enough to convince you, read on at your peril. Hopefully you’ll just want to watch even more – for this low-budget Japanese zombie comedy film is so startlingly inventive and meticulously constructed that, once you’ve watched it, you will probably watch it a second time just to spot how it was done anyway. One Cut of the Dead follows an amateur cast and crew shooting a low-budget zombie film. Their set is an abandoned and possibly haunted water filtration plant, rumoured to have once been used by the Japanese army for human experiments. The film’s director, Takayuki Higurashi (played by Takayuki Hamatsu), is frustrated by his young cast’s stilted acting, so – as any go-getting film-maker would – he paints a pentagram with blood …