Book of Shadows - Blair Witch 2 Reviews
Following a group of teenagers after they have viewed the film The Blair Witch Project, they venture into the woods to study the myth even further. They also bring cameras and bizarre things begin to happen to them. Now, at first you may start to commend the film for being different and flashing back and forth throughout time, but it also gives away the ending of the film, which is awful anyway, but that is aside from the point. While much more happens in this film, it also takes away the creepiness that the first film was able to pull off. With a $15,000,000.00 budget, it was clear that the studio was looking to make the same numbers as the original, but in turn it only ended up earning them under $50,000,000.00. While that return is not necessarily a box office bomb, it was clear that it was a one-time type of film. If they wanted to make a cash grab, they could have at least did the same movie over again with new people, but this film just makes the original feel like The Godfather of horror films.
The original film relied solely on the shaky camera, clever sound design, and the performances in order to send chills down peoples spines. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 cuts to flashbacks of people being stabbed and branding being done, many more times than it needed to. Due to the fact that the core story was more of a mystery than a horror this time around, the filmmakers seemed to need to cut back to shocking moments to make its audience feel uneasy. It was cheap and I hated watching each and every trick that the filmmakers tried to pull on the audience. I would have liked this more as a mystery/thriller, but they were too afraid to take any chances.
Overall, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 tries to do something different with its story in the first act in order to make the audience feel like they are in for something very interesting; However, that is not the case at all. Fooling its audience into thinking it is a horror film and building up tension to a final scene that is laughably executed, this film fails on almost every level. The performances in the first film felt real and believable, but I found myself chuckling at most of the line deliveries throughout this film. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is the epitome of a cash grab sequel that failed to hit every mark that it was striving for. Die hard fans of the original film won't even be able to find any enjoyment out of this train wreck of a sequel. The only thing that is remotely similar would have to be the fact that it takes place in the woods once again. This film is boring, laughably acted, and edited together faster than any horror film I have ever seen. Aside from a few promising moments in the first act, it is complete trash.
You can tell that there may be a good film lying in here somewhere, but the studio done fucked it up! The film is edited to shit (so many cuts to the present and the past), the characters are unlikable, and the whole thing is confusing. There are some genuinely interesting ideas here (One example: If a group believes in a fictional thing hard enough, can that fictional thing be brought to life?), and the mystery at the heart of the film is actually an intriguing one. Unfortunately, the film throws all the puzzle pieces in a jumbled heap on the table and tells you to get to it. Figuring out what's really going on is just about impossible. It's clear that the group is suffering from severe hallucinations (sometimes even shared hallucinations), and that one or more may be possessed by The Blair Witch at different times. I suppose the simple answer is that the group is slowly being driven mad by The Blair Witch (which begs the question: Was The Blair Witch real all along, or did the group inadvertently bring her to life by believing in her?). Either way, the film leaves you with many, many questions and tons of almost answers (and the film is assembled in such a way that finding the truth is a herculean task). Hopefully one day we'll get a directors cut, but as it stands now Book of Shadows is interesting, frustrating, and maddening. On the plus side, I actually kind of dug the score and I liked the setting of the warehouse.