Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

This sequel had fallen under criticism for a wide range of reasons, the most pertinent being that it is completely dissimilar from the original in almost every way and that it still doesn't show the witch even though it takes a much more Hollywood approach to filmmaking. Now, I'm not here to tell you that this is a great movie, but it is definitely an interesting film for a number of reasons. After a brief introduction back into the world of Burkittsville via the media explosion following the release of the original film, we find a tour group heading out to the woods to follow the trail of the unfortunate teens that disappeared. What begins as an innocent enough trip turns into a series of hallucinatory nightmares, as each of the members begin having macabre visions of ghosts and murder. It is impossible to draw the line between reality and fantasy at any point throughout the film, but unlike most times when this technique is used for cheap scares that must be retracted in order for the plot to progress, the strange diversions here add to the mystery and intrigue of the acid trip unfolding on screen. The plot is anything but linear, and honestly I still don't have the faintest idea what the story is about or what the filmmaker's original intentions were, however I stay confused enough the entire time to be fully involved for fear of missing something important. Most other aspects of the film most closely reflect the teen Horror entries of the late 90s, but what it doesn't resemble at all is BLAIR WITCH. This one is worth checking out if only to see what the antithesis of a ground-breaking Independent film can be when it is followed by an unbridled big-budget Hollywood sequel with no direction or reason.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Number of views: 4.



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6 comments:

  1. I'm happy to see you giving it a fair shot. I never though it was that bad and I did find it somewhat interesting--nothing all that good but it had its unique moments. Following up Blair Witch would be a tough job and I'm not sure people were ready for another found footage film.

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  2. I wrote an article long ago about how it is amazing that the star of "Burn Notice" managed to survive having this blight on his resume. Good on ya!

    Ironically, you would think that NOT resembling the original would give it some fans, considering how polarizing that film was. The movie is that badly made that it even kills logic like that.

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  3. I love this fim. What it does is take a film that claimed to have been a real occurence and showed the effects of the media blitz on the town of Burkittsville. It's exactly what would've happened in reality if The Blair Witch WAS real. People would go there and start tours through the town and sell merch. This is a fantastic story that is actually more about the mass hysteria that goes on after a phenomenon like The Blair Witch was released. People go into the Pine Barrens of Jersey thinking they'll see The Jersey Devil, which no one even knows is real or not. There's Jersey Devil t-shirts, and documentaries on the History channel. There's Jersey Devil tours through the woods. The masterful part of this movie is that it's all a psychological thriller...the audience and the cops have no idea if what happened in the woods that night was their fault or the Blair Witch! Book of Shadows only gives more beef the the original lore in my opinion.

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  4. That much I definitely like and completely agree with you on. The integration of the media fury surrounding the film was a genius plot point, however I am not sure whether or not the film is promoting or attempting to dispel the catalytic effect that most people believe Horror movies have on the general population by the end of the film. Once the film moves into its more hallucinatory stages, it is difficult to tell whether the film, the witch, or the background the lead's character had in the mental institute are the cause for the characters' actions.

    Someday I still plan on heading to your neck of the woods to search for the Jersey Devil Jay ;)

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  5. that would be awesome Carl, let me know and I'll go with you! As far as BW2, it was basically a Mind F--K. One thing I can say about the two BW films is that the mythology created is awesome. At the time, there was an awesome website that they put up that had the entire timeline with names and dates and occurences. All the backstory is awesome. I also dig that you don't see the witch in either of the films. It's open to your imagination.

    You were dead on mentioning the hallucinatory effects...they were drinking, and using drugs in the woods and that always plays a part. Berlinger said his original film was mangled by editors and what the audience saw was not anything like his original vision. Regardless, I have soft spot for anything Blair Witch related. Also, if you have a moment, Google the Blair Witch figure by Todd McFarlane...it's a great vision of what it might look like!

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  6. See, that makes all the sense in the world, good thing the producers stepped in and twisted his creative vision.. Ugh.. Too many hands in too many places..

    I love the McFarlane design, it would have made for a creepy addition to the film in one of the nightmare sequences! Havent seen that in years, way to take me back to High School lol..

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