Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

A group of tourists head out to the Burkittsville to explore the Blair Witch mythology. While on their way strange things start to happen to them.

Director: Joe Berlinger

Cast: Jeffery Donovan, Tristine Skyler, Kim Diamond, Erica Leerhsen, Stephen Barker Turner

MPAA Rating: R for violence, language, sexuality, and drug use

Fun Fact: The film features many hidden images of words, faces, and stick figures. If you watch it closely enough it has a secret message.

The Blair Witch Project was a pop culture phenomenon when released in 1999. The debate was if it was real or not. This led to people flocking to the theaters to see it and it is one of the most profitable films of all time. In my review of that film, you can tell I really enjoyed it. Well Artisan Entertainment saw how much money it made and green lit a sequel and wanted to get it out as fast as possible.

Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is a complete mess and it’s one of the worst films I’ve seen. This was due to director Joe Berlinger and Artisan Entertainment having some sort of feud. Berlinger was trying to make a horror element with a satirical type film. Artisan Entertainment took that footage, commissioned re-shoots, and assembled the theatrical release. The film has no flow to it and it may be hard for some to follow. Throughout the film, it keeps cutting to flash backs and flash forwards during certain scenes. There really isn’t need for these other than tell you that there’s a twist at the end that you can see coming a mile away.

The visuals come off as either cliché or goofy. There are two scenes that made me break down and laugh. I shouldn’t be laughing at horror films unless it’s an Evil Dead 2 like film. One scene has one of the female character’s standing on a bed and spinning around. It comes off as comical. Another is you hear a dubbed owl fly into a building and crash on the floor. Which the film never mentions or gives us any clues on what all that was supposed to mean. When they cut to the more violent flash backs, it’s kind of hard to really tell what is going on since the camera is at a close up.

The script was horribly written and it shows in the performances. Some of the dialogue doesn’t work well and the delivery of the lines are poor.  I didn’t like any of these characters and had no interest in getting to know them. They just came off as horrible people and I get they were slowly breaking down into insanity. I believe these actors are good actors but, with a horrible script you don’t have anything to work with. The only performance that I really did have some investment was Kim Director’s gothic psychic character. You could tell they wanted to focus on her quite a bit. She did well in the material that she had and I would like to check out other work she’s been in.

Another interesting thing is that there’s no Book of Shadows. At least in the first film, they reference the Blair Witch constantly if she’s real or not. In this if you’re going to give your film that title at least mention something about a possible book. No characters talk about it and there is no hint of anything like it.

Overall, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is a complete mess. The characters are terrible people, it has some goofy visual’s, and the script is horribly written. This was a studio and director feud and it is one of the worst films that I’ve seen. There’s no flow to it since it’s a studio cut and that’s its biggest downfall.

Verdict: Miss

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