Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
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.
Just what I expected
It's entirely possible that sending the audience out feeling lousy was intentional
The movie's not perfect, but it sticks the landing of its message. It was engaging - thrilling at times - and I personally thought it was a great time.
Based on the popularity and profits from the first film, they did a sequel. The producers didn't horde the money, but rather they spent money on actors, a soundtrack, and a tripod. (Paranormal Activity people take note). The area has become popular and local boy Jeffrey (Jeffrey Donovan) has capitalized on the popularity and is now conducting his first tour which includes a goth (Kim Director), a pregnant woman (Tristine Skyler), and a Wiccan (Erica Leerhsen). They are there for different reasons, the goth "thought the movie was cool."Our crew manages to make it to "ground zero" and had to tussle with another tour group. As it turns out, the witch is powerful on her home soil.I thought this film was superior to the first one as it eliminated much of the hand held nonsense. Good story line.Guide: F-bomb, sex, nudity (Erica Leerhsen).
If you enjoyed the original Blair Witch Project and expect Book Of Shadows to follow relatively faithfully in its footsteps, you'll be in for a massive disappointment. Other than the opening 10 minutes or so with all the 'look what the first movie did to Burkittsville' stuff, the rest of the film might as well be a standard spooky horror yarn with nothing whatsoever to do with the Blair Witch lore. Go into it expecting a cheesy B-movie other than a Blair Witch sequel, then, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the bizarre and unexplained goings-on that... um, go on. Please stop making bad sequels like The Descent 2, Hostel 2 , Saw 2 and this one .
Director Joe Berlinger does an exemplary job of creating a truly terrifying environment in this film and he keeps the suspense level high from beginning to the very end shot. This is an intense film and the thrills are unrelenting. Haunting imagery and some truly horrific sequences are likely to stay with audiences for many years. The cast is exceptionally good and give some very powerful individual performances. It is, however, Kim Director who stands out and gives the film something very special. She is absolutely mesmerizing in the movie and when she is on screen no one can avert their eyes. She is a magnetic screen presence and the camera loves her. When she isn't in a scene, her absence is sorely missed and upon her return the movie catches fire again. Her role here is essential and casting her was a stroke of genius.
After the incredible success of indie found-footage horror The Blair Witch Project (1999), it was hardly surprising when a sequel was rushed into production—so quickly, in fact, that the creators of the original weren't quite ready to make another movie, hence the appointment of Joe Berlinger as writer/director. To his credit, Berlinger doesn't go down the obvious route, churning out an uninspired rehash of the first film; instead, he takes a different path through the woods, delivering a self-aware piece revolving around the hysteria created by the original Blair Witch Project. OK, so it doesn't work all that well, but he definitely gets points for trying.Berlinger's film opens in documentary style, with interviews from fans of The Blair Witch Project, as well as the residents of Burkitsville, who have taken to exploiting the film's success by marketing rocks and stick-men as souvenirs, and offering guided tours of the locations. It is one such tour into the Black Hills that provides the basis for Berlinger's movie: local entrepreneur Jeff (Jeffrey Donovan) leads a group of four Blair Witch enthusiasts to the house of infamous child killer Rustin Parr, where they set up camp for the night. When the group wake up in the morning, they are shocked not only to find their equipment trashed, but they have no recollection of the previous evening. Finding Jeff's video cassette's buried in a hole, the gang return to their guide's home—a disused factory—to review the tapes, hoping to piece together the events of the night before. While doing so, they suffer a series of scary supernatural events. Meanwhile, the bodies of a rival tour group are found disembowelled on nearby Coffin Rock Book of Shadows received quite the critical mauling upon its release, but I think that there is actually a decent idea underneath all of the spooky shenanigans: a group of people suffering from amnesia desperately trying to understand what has happened to them, but horrified by what they discover. What makes the film less than successful for me is its glossy, MTV-style editing and the thoroughly unlikeable characters: I hated the flickery, grainy imagery, but not nearly as much as I disliked every single person in the film, from mentally unstable tour guide Jeff, to tough goth chick Kim (Kim Director), to sexy Wiccan Erica (Erica Leerhsen)—although she at least had the decency to take off all of her clothes.As a rock/metal/alternative music fan, I at least enjoyed the excellent soundtrack, which features Marilyn Manson, Death In Vegas, System Of A Down, P.O.D., Queens Of The Stone Age and Rob Zombie, but I can't help but think that with just a little more care in the character development department, and with a little less of the showy stylisms, this could have been a whole lot better.