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Overall Rating
2.04

Awesome: 9.03%
Worth A Look: 14.58%
Average: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 7.64%
Total Crap60.42%

10 reviews, 84 user ratings


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Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
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by Scott Weinberg

"If Hollywood were any more predictable...oh wait, that's impossible."
1 stars

If 'earth-shatteringly dull' is a term you like your horror movies described as, Blair Witch 2 is for you. Single-handedly demolishing the creepy vibe that permeated the original film, Blair Witch 2 is the most blatant example of Hollywood money-grubbing in recent history. Let this movie stand as an example of how something so fresh can quickly sour into slime. This sequel is an affront to any moviegoer with 8 bucks in his hand. Trust me.

Considering the controversy of the original, you'd think that the creators of the sequel would be just exploding with new and exciting directions to explore. Perhaps the sequel could have been a 'flashback'/prequel affair, in which we're shown the story behind the 200 year old Blair Witch legend. Certainly the original film's website offered enough juicy backstory to afford a clever screenwriter something to work with. Of all the different ways to go about making BWP2, surely this is not what fans of the original expect or deserve.

The threadbare plot involves a group of five fairly uninteresting people, who venture back into the woods where the original three hikers went missing. The tour guide is a former mental patient, and his group consists of a self-proclaimed Wiccan, a pale and sarcastic Goth chick and a bland couple who are doing research on a Blair Witch book. As they are spending the night on the site of earlier Blair Witch atrocities, they fall asleep and can remember nothing of the night before. While the concept of what happened during their 'blackout' gives an opportunity for some disturbing concepts, the script is simply bereft of anything unique or even remotely interesting.

The fact that none of the characters contain one tiny speck of charisma or even likability doesn't prevent director Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost) from filling every scene with unending and unendurable dialogue. The plot goes from 'here we are in the woods' to 'here we are in this spooky old factory that this former lunatic somehow owns' before the film comes to a screeching halt, and as the credits roll, count how many groans and snorts you hear from departing moviegoers.

To mention that every actor in this film is unconvincing (and that's me being kind) and annoying is notable, but that's hardly the reason why this movie fails so convincingly. When a movie has as many glaring flaws as this one, poor acting performances isn't the top complaint on my list. If your waiter brings you a cold steak, why complain about the limp french fries?

The earlier parts of the film contain several none-too-subtle jabs at the hype surrounding the original film, and the citizens of the ill-fated town of Burkittsville are displayed in an insultingly unfunny light. All the townsfolk are slovenly bumpkins, and are even referred to as inbreds. Hey, we're talking about a real town here, not to mention a town that's taken a lot of punishment due to its unwanted involvement in these movies. How about just a little respect?

Character development is at a minimum, and a subplot involving the main character's imprisonment in an asylum is merely a red herring; it's alluded to several times, but never once has any bearing on the story. A handful of mysterious files are discovered, but are never mentioned again.

Even the title is pointless and vague! There is not one reference to a "Book of Shadows" in the entire film! Isn't there a rule somewhere that the title has to have just a little to do with the actual movie? Isn't that like false advertising? What if I was a HUGE fan of 'book' movies? I'd be pretty angry.

The scenes I assume were meant to be scary consist entirely of quick-edits of bodies being bludgeoned, stabbed and basically abused. Unfortunately, these sequences are more annoying than shocking, and they also serve to give away the allegedly surprising revelations at the end of the movie. (If you can't figure out what this quintet of morons did during their 'blackout', you need to see more horror movies.)

This movie is a textbook example of filmmaking it its most base:

Screw the script, screw the fans and screw quality. The original made $200 million just over one year ago, and the producers aren't going to wait around for someone to make something good. Slap a number 2 on the poster, and watch 'em line up!

As a critic who proudly displays a five-star rating for the original Blair Witch movie, I was truly hoping to enjoy this movie. As the film went on, a dark and angry cloud formed within me, and I was infuriated by the complete lack of effort and creativity involved in the production of this movie. Yes, I understand how important it is to strike while the iron is hot and get a sequel into theaters while the original is still fresh. But surely it wouldn't have taken that much effort to pen a script a bit more enjoyable than this one.

As each ponderous scene draws to a close, you'll be praying that the next one contains anything of interest or excitement. You'll be waiting a long time. This entire film literally consists of these five unsavory people whining, drinking, yelling, acting spooked and just basically being annoying.

For some reason, we are subjected to a severely disjointed and confusing framework, as the story jumps ahead in time to a police interrogation, and then back again to the action at hand. (I use the word 'action' as lightly as possible.) The haphazard time frame of the movie literally kills any suspense at all, since halfway into the movie, we're already shown who all the survivors are!

What the original Blair Witch had in spades was a sense of dread. You don't often see that emotion conveyed in movies, but there it was. Not only does BW2 lack any sense of primal fear or mortal terror, but all the 'scare' scenes are the lowest form of horror movie fodder: the dreaded dream sequences! You know the drill - Something gory happens suddenly, and the next shot is of someone jolting upright in bed, clutching their chest, gasping and sweating. Here's a little tip to all you fledgling directors out there: Unless you're using a dream sequence to advance the plot, it's lazy and cheap to just use the device, especially if that's all you rely on for 90 minutes.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is a monumental disappointment, partially because of how fresh the original was, but mainly because the sequel could so easily have been a great movie. This movie could have strengthened the Blair Witch storyline into something that kept people coming back. Instead, the filmmakers went for the easy way out, and the result is a truly awful movie that is virtually impossible to enjoy.

The Blair Witch Project was a film that truly divided movie audiences. The film's supporters drew attention to the dark and creepy atmosphere, the effective and disturbing use of the camera, and the overall originality of the project. Those who didn't care for it cite there being 'not enough action' or an unnecessarily abrupt conclusion. Whether you're a fan of the original or not, it's a safe bet you'll hate this lethargic, lazy and terminally dull sequel.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4528&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/28/00 16:18:59
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User Comments

7/05/14 Dane Youssef It's just a mainstream conventional slasher version of the first. 1 stars
11/29/09 Steve I kept waiting for something to happen and then the movie ended. 1 stars
10/13/09 Caitlin I quite liked it actually. The flashes were unnessary, but it was deep. It tried... 4 stars
4/01/08 Clark Flawed, but still a lot better than many horror flicks we see today... 4 stars
9/22/06 Pritchett Not NERALY as bad as everyone says. Actually, a pretty good little horror film. 4 stars
8/09/06 Doreen I see why they stopped after this one! 1 stars
6/15/06 Garrett If you actually understand it. You will like it. 4 stars
4/25/06 Moore Meloncholy Popping bloody pimples have more fright and entertainment value then this crap. 1 stars
1/02/06 cody a movie with kinded interesting story and beliveable characters, but everthing else stunk 2 stars
9/25/05 D Buckley What the hell is going on... 1 stars
8/18/05 ES Rebecca- don't forget the wizard of OZ that's got an evil witch too! this movie stinks 1 stars
7/09/05 Rebecca I tried counting the errors and stereotypes about Wicca. I lost count and threw up. 1 stars
4/26/05 Indrid Cold A Hollywood cash grab that is notable only because it shows how great the 1st one was. 2 stars
3/13/05 Ronin Anyone who likes this crap more than the 1st BWP is a braindead 12 years old simpleton. 2 stars
9/17/04 jeff frank better than the first but still pretty bad 2 stars
8/03/04 Anthony G This movie eats shit form carl winslow's fat black ass 1 stars
7/28/04 G not as bad as 1st but still shit 1 stars
6/30/04 Mike All.you.haters.are.utterly.pathetic.this.movie.exponentially.beat.the.first.one. 5 stars
6/13/04 Jack Bourbon Dumb as it is, I like this movie. I also like the chunky girl. 4 stars
4/29/04 X They should have a bad movie burning 1 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt A wicked mindfuck! MUCH better than the awful original! This one is a disturbing blast! 5 stars
1/06/04 George great!!! 5 stars
1/03/04 J All that gore wasted this movie is retarded! 1 stars
12/10/03 redpjas a great film I got scared 5 stars
11/25/03 Thiago Not really as bad as you think. Check it out. 3 stars
11/06/03 redpjas A GREAT FILM 5 stars
10/13/03 Jim Better than the first one. At least there was a plot. 3 stars
9/18/03 Samuel Justus way better than the first will ever be!! 5 stars
6/14/03 Alice Well, money changes everything, this is a good example of that. 1 stars
4/15/03 Jack Bourbon Nice collection of amateur tits and ass for this one. I really dug the chunky one. 5 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Ambitious but flat-out terrible. 1 stars
1/26/03 sam fisher it fucking rules because it has naked people in it! 5 stars
12/27/02 Charles Tatum What a dumb idea 1 stars
9/25/02 Laurian Diaconescu It made no sense. (If you wannna se my REAL rating, read this backwards! Just kidding.) 3 stars
7/29/02 Jon At least it was watchable (read: steady camera) 2 stars
7/25/02 palaboy101 much better than the first movie 4 stars
7/08/02 Croweater What the fuck...? This really, REALLY, sucked 1 stars
5/19/02 john waite i shit my pants..when i realised i payed money to go see this 1 stars
4/17/02 Veronica Foxx (The Raven-Haired Temptress) Wow! I've never seen a sequel fall SOOOOO far in quality from the first. 1 stars
3/31/02 Film Guy one little Fucked up movie 1 stars
3/07/02 Dave MacDougall How do you know if you have a low IQ? You like this more than the original. 1 stars
3/06/02 Brittany James Flawed by ambiguity: Do witches hafta eat, shit, and die or eat shit- and die? 3 stars
2/23/02 Jenny Tullwartz Best redeeming feature -- It's NOTHING like the original! 3 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden It Took The Spooky Story, Added Teen Sex and Violence, and Got This Tired Movie. 2 stars
1/23/02 chris www.midfirecords.com id have left if my girlfriend didnt make me stay 1 stars
12/05/01 john linton roberson A Wiccan is shocked that she'd dance naked in the woods. That's all you need to hear. 1 stars
10/30/01 officer412/l YOU WILL SHIT YOUR PANTS BUT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS. 1 stars
10/16/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Starts off pretty good, but it ends up making NO SENSE AT ALL! 2 stars
10/01/01 sarah hey i thought it was pretty cool 4 stars
9/09/01 Jason The freakiest stuff I've ever seen. 5 stars
8/22/01 Erica I personally didn't like the first movie, but I have to say this one had potential! 5 stars
6/12/01 Crisis Management Jesus, again... Chef ADogg, you must be a fucking retard, seriously. 1 stars
6/02/01 Mephisto Worth watching for the goddesses Erica and Kim! 2 stars
5/25/01 The Moorhen S U C K S - Say it with me boys and girls.... S U C K S 1 stars
5/17/01 Jack McBee It was fucking scary. I never wanna go to a haunted house again. 5 stars
5/08/01 Rodney Muterspaw would have been better if it wasnt the Blair Witch sequel 4 stars
4/13/01 LiL This movie was a pointless piece of shit 1 stars
4/10/01 Gary This is probably the worst and most dumb sequel ever. Not even remotely scary! 1 stars
3/27/01 Jesse L It had a few moments near the end but they were not worth it 2 stars
3/19/01 Kilroy It's not what you think it is. It's a Psychological Thriller. Excellent. See it and decide. 4 stars
3/04/01 Rico Suavea I LOVE THIS MOVIE 5 stars
3/02/01 Kook Cheap exploitation of gullible consumers. 1 stars
2/28/01 lost mind the only good part is at the end when I guy said ''Thats wong'' SOME BODY F*CKED WITH THIS 4 stars
2/24/01 Eric Leehsmine It was so much better than the first one 5 stars
2/12/01 Richard Wright An unusual horror film, scary in a different way . Panned by people with no brains. 3 stars
12/07/00 Stuntman laughably bad, makes PSI Factor look like Goosebumps 1 stars
11/25/00 frank c oooohhhh how scary@!! not!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/14/00 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Wasted 2 hours of my life on the first one and two more on this schlocky piece of shit. 1 stars
11/11/00 Bill Farquar Most horrible piece of shit ever made, complete waste of time and money! 1 stars
11/09/00 BW2SUCKS It's like a bad episode of the X-files 1 stars
11/08/00 Matthew Bartley Not as bad as I thought it would be although nowhere near as good as the first 4 stars
11/04/00 Dan Terrible, trashy shit. 1 stars
11/03/00 InfiL00p Was good until the last half an hour, then it just started sucking ass. 4 stars
11/02/00 JOHNNY rather take a dump then see this again... 1 stars
11/02/00 Losifer It really really sucked. The entire theater was laughing instead of shivering. Seriously. 1 stars
11/02/00 :93: I liked it, then again, I like horror movies 4 stars
11/01/00 Ground Zero Cliche, absurd, and unoriginal. Need we say more? 2 stars
10/31/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Run my pretties, Run for the exits before its too late!!!! 1 stars
10/31/00 kim boyd BW1 Formula: Trapped in Woods, Relate to their deep fears, everyone dies. BW2 misses al 3 1 stars
10/30/00 Ytsejam It had to take a lot of work to make this suck as bad as it did. 1 stars
10/29/00 finalfight this is not a real movie... it's a horror movie. Don't expect academy awards achievements 4 stars
10/28/00 bullit17 A "horror" movie with no horror and very little suspense. Very disappointing. 2 stars
10/28/00 Jeff D OK, illogical script, petulant acting. But the concept of perception vs. reality is trippy 4 stars
10/27/00 AM Radio The Hair Clit Project...this movie blows. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  27-Oct-2000 (R)
  DVD: 13-Jan-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  11-Jan-2001 (M)




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