Retro Review: Book of Shadows – Blair Witch 2 (2000)

Time to milk the cash cow!  Following the success of the horror film that changed everything, we all knew a sequel was coming.  I guess they couldn’t go right back in and do found footage.  This time around, Book of Shadows plays with the idea that the Blair Witch Project is in-fact fake and only a movie.  But, it sparks an uproar in the Burkittsville area.  Burkittsville is a fictional town, so in a way Book of Shadows wrapped up in a weird alternate world or something.  Basically it boils down to the legend of the Blair Witch is real, but the movie is fact…

So the movie picks up after the Blair Witch Project has been released and a super-fan, Jeff has opened a store selling all kings of Blair Witch merchandise.  He leads a group of people to the ruins of the Rustin Parr house in the middle of the woods outside of Burkittsville.  They meet another group while partying at the site and eventually pass out.  When the wake there are tiny pieces of paper falling from the sky and their equipment is messed up.  One of the women in the group has a miscarriage as they find the tapes they recorded under some rocks.

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The group goes back to Jeff’s house and watches the footage.  Everyone in the group develops rashes and hallucinations.  While all of this happens, we see flashes of killing, bindings and the movie goes back and forth in time.  There are interrogation scenes littered throughout the first half of the movie.  They keep talking about how they brought something back and we see flashes of this little girl, Eileen Treacle, one of the Blair Witch’s victims.

While all of this is going on, the woman who has the miscarriage seems to be possessed by Ellie Kedward, who is the Blair Witch.  She is having memories and seems to be taking on the personality of the Witch.  But is she?

This movie got terrible reviews, but for some reason, when it was released, I liked it.  I bought the VHS and then the DVD.  I think my reason for liking this one, the legend.  The fictional legend of the Black Hills Forest, the town of Blair and the Blair Witch herself.  I love when people make up fictional history that can be convincing.  There are a few documentary, mockumentary movies made around this release of this, the sequel and the original movie that are pretty fun to watch.  The entire Rustin Parr story is really interesting.

Looking back 16 years later, it really is not a very good movie overall.  I sat here watching and tried to enjoy the movie and strangely I did.  I think there is a little nostalgia involved here.  The acting isn’t very good, the story is rough and the movie is just kind of a mess.  But this mess is brought together at the end of the movie and for the most part it makes sense.  To me, the ending is strong and it makes up for a lot of the issues I had re-watching it 15 years later, I think that is how long it has been.  I remember the reviews being terrible, I like it and I cannot explain why, nostalgia, the fictional backstory, I don’t know.

It seems like Book of Shadows is kind of getting forgotten with the releases of the new movie coming this week.  Blair Witch opens Friday and it is actually the third Blair Witch movie.  Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, not terrible, not good…it fits as a movie with rough acting and shitty effects, but guess what?  I like it!

IMDB.com has a rating of 4.0

I give Book of Shadows a 6.2, I like it just fine.

About Ray Marek III 261 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you...my blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.