Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

Tagline : Evil Doesn't Die.

Runtime : 90 mins

Genre : Mystery Thriller Horror

Vote Rating : 4.3/10

Budget : 15 million $ USD

Revenue : 47.7 million $ USD

Plot : Young adults become fascinated by the events of the three missing filmmakers in Maryland, so they decide to go into the same woods and find out what really happened.

Cast Members

Reviews

It really does seem as if maybe, at one point, in the days of yore, there was a really interesting psychological thriller at play, now buried deep within the layers of garbage that _Blair Witch 2_ ended up being. I mean, hey, props to you, _Book of Shadows_ tried something totally different to the original. It's just a shame that it failed abysmally. _Final rating:★★ - Had some things that appeal to me, but a poor finished product._

**_Entertaining horror flick about a haunting witch that's been dead for over two centuries_** Released in 2000 and directed by Joe Berlinger, "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" begins amidst the hysteria of the found-footage of the first film. People from around the world curious about the Blair witch phenomenon overrun Burkittsville, Maryland, wherein an entrepreneurial dude named Jeff (Jeffrey Donovan) leads a 'Blair Witch Hunt' tour involving four clients, a Wiccan, a Goth girl and an academic couple. After camping at the ruins of the home of an executed murderous hermit (who was evidently possessed by the spirit of the witch in the 1940s) the group has a rude awakening when they can't remember what happened the night before. They go to Jeff's nearby pad—a curious factory-turned-house—to review the video tapes for answers and discover something horribly macabre. Atmospherically, "Book of Shadows" is quite effective as a haunting ghost/witch flick and the writing is actually smart—the entire play on hysteria, delusion & perception is quite clever. The screenplay was written by director Berlinger, who's best known for the great "Paradise Lost" trilogy of documentaries about the "West Memphis three," youthful outcasts accused of a hideous 1993 triple murder in Arkansas based on dubious evidence (and who were finally released in 2011). Anyway, "Book of Shadows" starts satirically and amusing, but gets increasing serious and sinister. The acting is good too, with Kim Director's powerhouse performance as the Goth girl standing out. Erica Leerhsen is also a highlight as the Wiccan babe with several alluring scenes, but they coulda done more with her. The reason so many people call this flick "the worst movie ever made" (Why sure!) is obviously because it's a knee-jerk reaction to it being a sequel to the mega-popular "The Blair Witch Project" (1999), which was an altogether different kind of movie, being a found-footage flick, not to mention the herd-mentality of an over-critical feeding-frenzy. Since I'm not a fan of found-footage films—seeing as how they're about as entertaining as watching home movies for an hour and a half—I find "Book of Shadows" far more interesting than the first film. There's a secret message in the movie that you can discover in (***SPOILER ALERT***): the FIRE, the GRASS, the factory WINDOW, the GRAVESTONE and the RUG, which all-together spells: "Seek me no further or...". This combined with reversing Tristen's backward words in the last act reveal the secret of 'ESREVER': "Seek me no further or... the children will again walk free," meaning: the Blair witch would loose the spirits of the murdered children to torment the invaders of her domain. (***END SPOILER***) As for the complaints of there being no Book of Shadows, it's simply not true. The character Jeff is a movie enthusiast with ambitions of being a filmmaker and "Book of Shadows" is the name of one of the scripts he put together and intends to shoot. So it's not something totally out of nowhere that Artisan dubiously added to the title, as most people think. Yes, they added it, but it had relevance to the movie. Furthermore, the actual 'Book of Shadows' is a Wiccan spell book and is figuratively used in the movie in that the group obviously falls under the spell of the Blair Witch after entering her diabolical terrain. The film features a creative score by Carter Burwell and a rockin' soundtrack with quality cuts by the likes of Marilyn Manson ("Disposable Teens"), Godhead ("The Reckoning") and many more. After Berlinger finished his version of the movie the studio complained that there weren't enough conventional horror elements and so additional scenes were shot & edited into the picture. What else is new? It has been thus throughout cinematic history. For me, the added scenes beef-up what might've otherwise been too low-key for a horror flick. True, this route was taken with the first film, but "Book of Shadows" is the antithesis of that movie, and it's the better for it IMHO. "Book of Shadows" is a dense horror flick and therefore worthy of repeat viewings for gems to mine. (One aid in helping to understand the picture is Jeff's statement at the camp: "Film lies; video tells the truth"). Unfortunately, this is evidently too much for some dullards. Yes, it's a slow-build with meandering aspects, but the movie's laden with subtext and the climax is pretty horrific, even while it's somewhat predictable. You never see the witch, but her nefarious presence is palpable nevertheless and the ambiance fittingly oozes Gothic. As for the doofuses who argue that the pic has too little to do with the first one, nothing could be further from the truth. Lastly, Jeff's factory-turned-house is almost iconic; a great location for a ghostly horror flick. The film runs 90 minutes and was shot in Baltimore, Maryland. GRADE: B

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