Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2


Directed by: Joe Berlinger
Written by:Dick Beebe, Joe Berlinger
Starring: Stephen Barker Turner, Tristine Skyler, Erica Leerhsen, Kim Director, Jeffrey Donovan, Lanny Flaherty
Released: January 11, 2001
Grade: C-

Since the release of The Blair Witch Project, the town of Burketsville has been invaded by tourists trying to discover if the movie was true.  Some are frustrated but others are enjoying new found notoriety.  One such person is Jeff Donovan.  Jeff has set up his own Blair Witch merchandise store (you can even order over the internet).  His latest venture is to act as a tour guide and take those interested into the woods for a glimpse of the legend.

On his introductory tour are boyfriend and girlfriend, Stephen and Tristine, a "witch" named Erica and a gothic named Kim.  Following the tradition of the original, most all characters have the same first name in real life.  Out they set and of course things get scary and nasty.  They wake up following their first night of the trip and all their equipment and gear has been trashed.  However, the tape from the video camera filming overnight has been left and should hold all the answers.  Retreating to Jeff's secluded home, things get even stranger when the tape is watched…

It so happens that another tour group was murdered that night in the Burketsville woods and Jeff, Stephen, Tristine, Erica and Kim are leading suspects and told not to leave town.  When the five start seeing things in Jeff's house, no one is sure what they are seeing and who to trust.

Again, I must emphasise that this film is total fiction and there is no such town as Burketsville.  Sorry if I'm destroying the legend but I think most people by now know the story is garbage.  Book Of Shadows is very poorly made.  It opens interestingly with a look at how successful the original became and it was a nice touch to see film critic Roger Ebert on screen.

What followed was total lunacy.  Nothing seemed to make sense.  They were constant flashes to murderous scenes all through the movie that were never explained.  The whole witchcraft theme was laughable and the ending was so incomprehensible, it's not worth describing.  I remember sitting in the cinema waiting for the experience to end but even I was shocked at how abruptly the film concluded.

The Blair Witch Project cost a mere $35,000 and grossed over $140m in the United States alone.  The spare change left over from the original helped spawn this $15m sequel.  I guess it goes to show that money doesn't always make a difference.  What a shame the mystique of the original has been tarnished with this utter crap.