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3.0 out of 5 stars
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on 5 March 2011
As many people were quite disturbed by the first Blair Witch and that bizarrely encouraged me to go and see it- this second film was something that not one person recommended to me. It was probably a sign!
The plot, characters and dialogue were confused- but not in a 'wow what's going to happen to these poor souls?' way-more in a 'what the hell is going on now- and could I care any less?' kind of way!
Only good bit for me was the disused building looked an amazing place and the Scooby Doo style van looked pretty cool.
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on 7 January 2008
I didn't hate this film, but i didn't like it much either. It had a good start, fast paced and hinted that it could be decent. The trouble is that for almost all the rest of the film it lost itself in the vast expanse that is "cheesy horror". It tries to pull on all the audiences strings, throwing in cuts of knifings, shots of one bloke going crazy etc..

I must say that i did like the ending. Perhaps because it was so unlike the BWP. A slow, anti climax that did make me wake up a bit. My only problem was that throughout the film you knew who was going to survive as they were in the interrogation rooms.

I would like to think that this film didn't try and fob us off that it was the "blair witch" controlling these peoples minds. The only reason i liked the end was that I had it in my mind that they went mad themselves, on hysteria of the witch, mind expanding drugs and overactive imaginations. Showing that cameras don't always tell the story that you think you've seen.

If this didn't have the BWP in it's name then it may have done better, but this was definitely a venture for the purposes of money and no other.
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on 23 March 2008
This film is aweful, the story is weak at best and the acting is below standard. If you loved the first film then please don't buy this as it will leave you feeling VERY dissapointed.

If you feel you MUST see this then i would strongly advise you rent it from Amazon before you waste any of your money buying it.

Only given 1 star as there is no 0 star option.
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"The Blair Witch" was one of the most innovative horror movies of all time, creating the "found footage" genre of horror. So what happened when Hollywood got its hands on it? "Let's make a metafictional movie ABOUT the movie, except this one won't be scary, won't be a found footage movie, and will annoy the audience into committing random acts of violence!"

Yes, "Book of Shadows - Blair Witch 2" -- which doesn't have the Blair Witch OR a Book of Shadows -- is possibly one of the most notorious bad sequels in movie history. And even if you appreciate it purely on its own merits, it ends up being a generic horror movie that repeatedly booga-boogas you with cheap cliched scares... and then explains nothing at the end.

Tour group The Blair Witch Hunt, led by local guide Jeff (Jeffrey Donovan), is in the area where the Blair Witch supposedly killed the first film's makers. His group includes: Stephen (Stephen Barker Turner) a pretentious author; Tristen (Tristine Skyler), his pregnant doormat girlfriend; Kim (Kim Director), an obnoxious Goth; and Erica (Erica Leerhsen), a whiny irritating Wiccan who wants to be the Blair Witch's protégé. She's that stupid.

But after a night of pot and booze, they wake up to discover that they have no memory of what happened, Stephen's notes have been shredded, and Tristen is having a miscarriage. When the group holes itself up in Jeff's spooky-old-factory home, they are haunted by strange visions and hallucinations -- and they soon discover that they may not be able to trust themselves.

It's difficult to express in a mere plot summary just how ANNOYING this movie is. Not scary, annoying. The characters are annoying, the dialogue is annoying, and even the paranormal activity is intensely annoying -- things pop up and go "boo," then vanish. In fact, once you strip away the flimsy connections to the Blair Witch and just make this a standalone, it's just a painfully cliched horror movie.

Yep. People drink, smoke pot, have sex, and then die in mysterious ways that are ambiguously handled. Director Joe Berlinger also films the movie in a choppy, time-hopping way that quickly reveals who isn't going to die... so bye-bye, suspense. The dialogue is devastatingly bad ("Ladies and gentlemen, that there is a naked woman!") when Berlinger isn't making us nauseous with the sick-making camerawork. Of all the things from the first movie to preserve!

And in case you were wondering if the Blair Witch appears here, or what the Book of Shadows is.... the answer is NO, YOU IDIOT. The Blair Witch is only mentioned in place of a mindless generic evil force that causes generic effects (a corpse girl saying Cryptic Things), and there is no book of any kind here.

But the worst part is the characters. They are ALL annoying -- when they aren't being snotty and condescending ("What CENTURY are they living in?"), they are whiny (Erica talking about Wicca). The feeble attempts at character development are ridiculous -- particularly Jeff's past in a mental hospital.

The acting is solidly mediocre, but it's pretty much eclipsed by how obnoxious all these characters are. These are people you could meet anywhere, and hate there too -- a con-man, a pretentious idiot who thinks a PhD makes him THE authority, his wimpy spineless girlfriend, a Goth who demands tolerance while showing none, and a Wiccan who is just rebelling against her Christian parents, and won't shut up about how persecuted she is.

"Book of Shadows - Blair Witch 2" is a failure as a sequel, but it's also a sequel as a standalone horror movie -- a violently annoying story filled with violently annoying characters.
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on 2 January 2015
Based on the popularity and profits from the first film, they did a sequel. The producers didn't horde the money, but rather they spent money on actors, a soundtrack, and a tripod. (Paranormal Activity people take note). The area has become popular and local boy Jeffrey (Jeffrey Donovan) has capitalized on the popularity and is now conducting his first tour which includes a goth (Kim Director), a pregnant woman (Tristine Skyler), and a Wiccan (Erica Leerhsen). They are there for different reasons, the goth "thought the movie was cool."

Our crew manages to make it to "ground zero" and had to tussle with another tour group. As it turns out, the witch is powerful on her home soil.

I thought this film was superior to the first one as it eliminated much of the hand held nonsense. Good story line.

Guide: F-bomb, sex, nudity (Erica Leerhsen).
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on 8 August 2007
When producing sequels to popular horror films there are two ways to go. You can either essnetially just remake the first successful film like they did with Hatchet 2 for example or you can veer off in a completely new direction which is what the makers of Blair Witch 2 did. The Blair Witch Project was a remarkably successful low budget bit of indie horror which thanks to a great marketing campaign and a superb website became a phenomenon the likes of which we haven't seen since in adult horror film making. The film for better or worse spawned a million imitators and started the found footage / shaky cam film making boom. In truth, along with the excellent documentary The Curse of the Blair Witch, the film didn't really need a sequel at all.

So how do you follow it up in sequel terms? The answer is you don't, at least not in the purest sense.

Book of Shadows begins with later news reel footage after the events of the first film. The locals interviewed are complaining about the influx of tourists and witch hunters on the trail of the Blair Witch, which after all is a piece of fiction that put the town of Burkittsville on the map. Some locals are profiteering on the film's success selling gimmicky home made trinketts alleged to have been discovered at the scene of the original murders of Heather Donahue and her two friends from The Blair Witch Project. The local sheriff just wants everyone to clear off to make his life easier. Some are even offering guided tours of the area and this is where the film begins in earnest.

A group of young people from all horror stereotypes decide to go on a Blair Witch tour with one of the local guides. During the evening they discover the ruins of the witch's house from the film and camp there for the night. When they wake the next day they discover all their equipment has been trashed and their video tapes hidden in the ground in the same place the original tapes from the first film were uncovered. Once back at the guides place - a converted factory or something on those lines - they watch the tapes and make a horrific discovery.

The footage shows the group at night in the ruins practising witchcraft then murdering a second tour group in the same way as the Blair Witch was alleged to have ritually murdered her victims centuries earlier. The friends have no recollection of these events. But the camera never lies... or does it.

I quite like Book of Shadows mainly because it takes us on a different journey to the original film whilst still toying with the witch's legend and playing on the audiences fears of witchcraft and superstition. The ending, during which the survivors are recounting what happened to the police is left open to the viewers conclusions. Whilst it may come across as the return of the Blair Witch, it does seem to point more to the fact the group were all doing drugs at the camp site, their inhibitions gone, and callously slayed the other people in a ritualistic killing spree.

The film is well acted and after a slow first half builds nicely to it's conclusion, although the clues the viewer is given throughout do tend to give away the ending somewhat. The film deserves points for it's creativity even though much of it isn't entirely successful and does turn out a little generic. Book of Shadows is difficult to recommend as it is so different to it's predecessor, yet because of it's subject matter people who disliked The Blair Witch Project won't find anything to impress them here either
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VINE VOICEon 4 September 2003
To expect anyone to match the 'uniqueness' of the original Blair Witch is a phenominal ask indeed. The 'original' Blair Witch was just that.....an original, and you do not duplicate originals.
The challenge in conceptualizing such a plot is huge, since the 'reality' element (or as some would prefer to call it 'mockumentary' element) could no longer be duplicated. I think it was a clever idea to point a finger at the first movie and distnace the plot from it considerably, along with the manner in which the movie was executed. Nevertheless, the movie manages to stay true to the essence of what made the original a success, i.e. the eerieness and creepiness. The Blair Witch series is not about blood and gore in your face, its about leaving the horror to your imagination: afterall, what could be more scarier than the imagination itself. The movie will coax you and guide you into the shadows and fears of your mind....and you will love the movie for it!
With reference to the special features, the 'Secret of Reverse' is an interesting piece, and will engross the willing into delving even deeper into the cult that is the Blair Witch.
If you liked the original because you thought it was a 'true story', then skip the sequel. If you liked it for its 'originality' and ability to scare in the absence of blood, gore, a soundtrack and the works....then yes, go for it!
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I thought I would go back and see if this movie is as horrible as I remember it being. It is. I can only hope that few other people have had the misfortune of seeing this celluloid monstrosity twice. One is hard pressed to say which is worse-the overdramatic acting or the hopeless script. The promos promised to take us back into the woods, but we spend almost the whole movie knocking around an old abandoned warehouse converted into a home by the local psycho. The four people making up the Blair Witch tour group are possibly even more annoying than the guide-a spooky-looking Goth girl with an attitude, a disbelieving writer and his seriously disturbed, recently impregnated girlfriend, and a hot redheaded Wiccan whose nude scenes are the only positive contribution any actor makes to this film. Then there is the constantly fuming Sheriff Craven yelling and cursing all the time, adding even more misery to the experience of the viewer. The frequent time shifts between past and present serve only to make a nonsensical plot completely incomprehensible. Don't count on a big finish; this thing just ends suddenly, as if the filmmakers ran out of money and had to shut down production all of a sudden.
This DVD does feature a bunch of special features, but so did the Titanic, and we all know how that turned out. The most important thing to keep in mind about this film is the fact that, despite its promises, it really has nothing to do with the Blair Witch. Oh, they talk about her and show us Coffin Rock and the foundation of Parr's house and a few ghostly images of children, but The Book of Shadows does little more than parody everything that was so fascinating and innovative about the Blair Witch Project. Thanks to Heather, Josh, and Michael's incredible, unscripted performance in the original, the legend of the Blair Witch may indeed never die-this will only be despite the determined attempt made to kill it by the makers of this atrocious sequel.
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on 7 January 2008
I didn't hate this film, but i didn't like it much either. It had a good start, fast paced and hinted that it could be decent. The trouble is that for almost all the rest of the film it lost itself in the vast expanse that is "cheesy horror". It tries to pull on all the audiences strings, throwing in cuts of knifings, shots of one bloke going crazy etc..

I must say that i did like the ending. Perhaps because it was so unlike the BWP. A slow, anti climax that did make me wake up a bit. My only problem was that throughout the film you knew who was going to survive as they were in the interrogation rooms.

I would like to think that this film didn't try and fob us off that it was the "blair witch" controlling these peoples minds. The only reason i liked the end was that I had it in my mind that they went mad themselves, on hysteria of the witch, mind expanding drugs and overactive imaginations. Showing that cameras don't always tell the story that you think you've seen.

If this didn't have the BWP in it's name then it may have done better, but this was definitely a venture for the purposes of money and no other.
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Actually, the initial link between "Book of Shadows" and "The Blair Witch Project" is pretty good, especially when you think about the problems Hollywood would have coming up with a sequel to the most successful Independent film of all time (although it is about to get passed by "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," which is just so ironic on so many levels). After all, you cannot simply find another bunch of film left behind from another bunch of young documentarians who disappear while wandering around lost in the woods. So the idea of having the second movie follow around a small group of people who thought the first movie was real is pretty inspired. I am sure we all know someone who swallowed "The Blair Witch Project" promotional routine hook, line and sinker (I will never forget the look on my oldest daughter's face when I told her the movie was a "fake"; after all, she saw the documentary on television...), so this is a pretty good idea. However, one good idea does not a good movie make.
My expectations for the second Blair Witch film as soon as I heard once was planned was simply that we were going to actually SEE something this time around. "The Blair Witch Project" is one of the great shaggy dog stories of all time. You keep waiting for something big to happen and it really never does. A ghostly white figure in the distance would have been something to freak everybody out, but the two big moments of that first film come down to untying a dirty bundle (and saying to yourself "e[...] the hell are those things?" because you are not sure) and a guy standing in a corner (which is set up by the only post production bit of filming in the movie). So, I figured that like the difference between "Halloween" and "Halloween II," we would be seeing a lot more in "Book of Shadows." While this is certainly true on one level, in terms of half naked bodies at least, this sequel ends up resembling "Halloween III," the infamous horror film sequel that had pretty much nothing to do with the original. Think about it: take away the opening of this film where the Blair Witch tour begins and the connections between the two films becomes extremely tenuously, especially once these poor young things end up holed up in a building rather than being lost in the woods.
Yes, "Book of Shadows" certainly has a more explicit punch line than "The Blair Witch Project," but once again you end up sitting there going "Wha-at?" This is not only becomes the film has been messing with your mind (seeing is not to be confused with believing), but also because whatever evil is behind the bad things that happen in this film is clearly not the same evil that was behind the first one. You have to admit that there is a qualitative difference between hanging stick figures from trees in the deep woods or leaving a bunch of cut up corpses on Coffin Rock and the mondo mind-bending that happens in this film. However, I do have to admit that there was one other good idea it this film, which was that this group does indeed find some film of their jaunt through the woods: but it is of themselves doing weird, wild, wacky things the night before that none of them remember. Unfortunately, this is not a set up for something great, but rather a clue as to what is "really" going on. After this effort it should be impossible for them to come up with a "Blair Witch 3" off of this one, which is no big loss. The original has its nice little niche in horror film history and that will just have to do
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