30 November 2000 | Movie-12
One of the worst movies of the year. Makes no sense. * (out of four)
BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2 / (2000) * (out of four)
"The Blair Witch Project" was a one of a kind hit; it had original ideas and a story about three filmmakers who become lost in a local wooded area while filming a documentary about the legendary Blair Witch. That was one of the best movies of last year, and now "Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" is clearly one of this year's worst. It is completely contradictory to the original, contains not a single character we care about, and is recycled from about every other horror film released within the past five years. After comparing the two movies I am disturbed.
"Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" (the title is meaningless) has not one strand of decent plot impression. There is just scene after scene detailing an assortment of unfocused misfits on a field trip to see the related sights and settings of where events in "The Blair Witch Project" took place. There is Jeff (Jeffrey Donovan) the leader, an ex-patient at a mental hospital, Stephen (Stephen Turner) who is writing a book on the "Blair Witch" phenomenon, in the company of his girlfriend, Tristen (Tristen Skylar), who is pregnant but is hoping for a miscarriage. Also among them is Kim (Kim Director) a Goth, and Erica (Erica Leerhsen) another practicing Wicca who wants the Blair Witch to be her mentor. These characters smoke a seemingly endless amount of pot, apparently engage in ritualistic sex, had have strange experiences when they wake up the day after they set camp having no recollection of what happened the night before.
There is such a struggle for good storyline the filmmakers provide the characters with excessively blunt dialogue to reveal important information and plot points. However, to get anything out of the writing, one would have to care about the characters, and the movie provides no reason anywhere for us to concern ourselves with any of the characters. There is no development or introduction, nor does the film contain any motive or reason. This is unfortunate because the only thing holding the movie together is the mystery of what occurred during the five hours the group cannot remember. How are we to concerned ourselves with the inactive conflict if we do not care about any of the characters?
Perhaps the biggest flaw with "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" (and there are many) is the fact that it is never scary or suspenseful. I was somewhat curious about what happened to the characters during those mysterious five hours, but there is no clarification. Some of the scenes have potential to involve us with horrific material, but never on the recognizable level of the original "Blair Witch Project." The film often builds tension, but forgets, or does not know how to relieve it. The sequences that do attempt to answer our disputes are cluttered and distraught, although they do contain disgusting, disturbing, and violent nightmare imagery.
What really bothers me with movies these days is how so many provide inquisitive, thought-provoking questions but never the long-awaited answers. A specific scene in the movie has one of the characters ask what is happening. I think just about everyone in the audience had the same question on their mind
the movie has no answers.