What might have been...
Wing J. Flanagan | Orlando, Florida United States | 10/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found this set in the bargain bin. It was inexpensive enough, so I bought it, being a fan of the original Blair Witch Project (and also coming from Orlando, like the film-makers), and having no idea what the sequel was like -- other than most people said it stank up the joint.The set is a mixed bag. Despite some genuine hackle-raising moments (when the video camera is hunting in the dark and we hear, for God's sake LAUGHING CHILDREN in the woods), the original Blair Witch is uneven, with the improvised dialog occasionally backfiring. There are moments when the spell breaks and we can tell that the actors are self-consciously going for moments, rather than remaining immersed in their characters. But these are quibbles. The Blair Witch Project remains a stunning acheivement if for no other reason than its sheer audacity. The nerve of these guys, Myreck and Sanchez. The chutzpah. I admire it.Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows is almost a good movie, and probably would have been, were it not for idiot studio bean-counters A) rushing the production (soup to nuts in ONE year), and B) interfering with the creative process. Listen to director Joe Berlinger's somewhat pained commentary track and you'll understand what I mean. His intent (which probably would have worked), was to go for a subversive, darkly satiric take on the so-called "Blair Witch phenomenon" and its subsequent backlash, while at the same time making a genuine psychological thriller on the nature of evil (human? occult? a mixture of both? he wanted it ambiguous).Alas, while creative people and thoughtful film-goers like philosophical ambiguity, studio bosses don't. So they made him dumb it down. Berlinger is a gifted documentarian who should have been allowed, for his first feature film, to exercise his creative muscles in the realm of a fictional narrative. As it stands, a lot of carefully modulated effects are placed out of their original sequence. Only a viewing of his original cut would tell us if they would have worked better as originally conceived, but as it stands, Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, is a noble ruin -- a film with some very good ideas that are not allowed to get very far. It's a shame.The DVDs are chock-full of extras, including some nifty puzzles and creepy, hidden images. Overall, it's worth the purchase, if only as a cautionary tale to other would-be film-makers -- be they from Orlando, Florida, or anywhere else."
I have to disagree with everyone else here
Kwai Chang Finkleberger | 03/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I watched the Blair Witch Project with an open mind. I waited and waited and waited for something to happen. Something finally happened other than a bunch of ... kids running around in the woods, and the movie was over. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. Then I got to see Book of Shadows. I was so impressed. This movie is so much better than the first one. Things happened!! It made me think. It confused me a little bit. I couldn't tell what was going to happen next, and that, to me, makes it one of the best movies I've seen in a LONG time."
I Disagree, Too!!!
VPX | 04/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Books of shadows is a good movie with good actors. The only thing is, that this one is very different from the first part, but is that really such a crime? I don't think so!!!"
A Sequel That Should Not Have Been
Kwai Chang Finkleberger | West Hartford, CT United States | 12/21/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This "sequel" to the Blair Witch project should not have been made.The movie had absolutely NOTHING to do with the advertisement for it, it was as if the advertisements had been talking about an entirely different movie.There was talk of a third Blair Witch movie in the works, but nothing came of it.After viewing this bomb, you will know why."