Saturday, April 10, 2010

Movie Review: Blair Witch 2 : Book of Shadows

 Blogger's Note: Minor spoilers for the movie.

          The Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows should win a special award on my site. It is so far been the only horror movie that made me so angry I genuinely wanted to rip it out of the computer, cut it to pieces, throw these pieces into a garbage bag, throw that bag into a bailer, and burn the bailer.

            Yet surprisingly, this is a half-way decent movie…except for the fact it has noting to do with the Blair Witch. No director, actor or writer from the first film was a part of the second. Everything which made the first movie unique such as the shaky camera-style documentary is non-existent. Gone is also the sense that a group of teenagers are caught in an inescapable trap, when these guys go to multiple locations throughout the movie-and could leave at any time, I might add.

            In this movie, the town of Burkittsville is overrun by fans of the Blair Witch movie, despite being denounced as a fake. How that even works when this is the Blair Witch 2, I cannot explain. A group of particularly disrespectful tourists decide to camp out and party at the ruins of Rustin Parr’s House. Following this, they wake up with strange carvings on their body and are apparently caught in the Blair Witch’s trap (you know, aside from being able to leave anytime). My favourite part of the movie is that these tourists make a big deal about why they can’t remember five hours of the night before. Gee, maybe the fact that you were drinking and getting stoned might have something to do with that?

            So let’s meet our victims. Jeff is the leader of the tour group and is probably the sanest person out of the entire group, which says a lot considering he also spent an unknown amount of time in a looney bin. Kim is a headstrong goth girl with physic powers that work only when the plot requires them to, Stephen is a as-normal-as-I-can-possibly-be historian, and Tristen is his wife. And then there’s…Erica, who most of my rage centers around.

            Erica is a Wiccan. In the beginning she preaches some very true facts about what it is like to be one. Being a Wiccan myself, it was nice and refreshing to finally see some representation. Until the second half, that is, when she goes completely crazy and pretty much implies that all Witches are evil. I’m not sure where the director was going with this idea, but it suddenly dissolved into a desire to see her naked and having sex with multiple partners.  Did the writer get a brain injury at this point? They have not one but two people who have knowledge of the Occult which could be useful against the Blair Witch! Wouldn’t that have been a more interesting plot development rather than, say, orgy scenes? 

            I’d like to say that this movie is a bad one, but at the same time, it kind of isn’t. Each character is for the most part interesting and there is a sprinkling of a distorted reality that also keeps the movie from being boring. It is however, also predictable, as the movie pretty much tells you who lives and who dies from the beginning. It is also not very scary, as there is no ‘jump-out-of-the-shadows’ terror and the gore scenes that we do see are few and look extremely fake.

FINAL GRADE: 2 out of 5. This movie could have been decent if it wasn’t attached to the Blair Witch label.

And by the way, I didn’t see a Book of Shadows anywhere in this mess. Hm, I wonder if the writers actually knew what that was.

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