BLAIR WITCH 2 Bombs
"Itís not even worth talking about," I overheard one disgruntled moviegoer complain after seeing Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.
He was right, but I decided to review it anyway, mostly because of all the fuss surrounding the original horror movie --- which turned out to be scary only to those who believed three film students actually vanished in the woods while making a documentary about the Blair Witch legend. Unfortunately, I found nothing in this sequel that would scare anyone.
Still, the first part of the film seems promising enough. In realistic documentary style, it depicts how Burkettsville, Maryland, the site of The Blair Witch Project, has become a frenzied tourist attraction. Various citizens give their opinions about what is happening to their community. During one interview, a woman complains, "I canít even walk to the mailbox without full make-up. People are videotaping us all the time."
Cautioning visitors to "Get out of the woods --- there is no blankety blank witch," Sheriff Cravens (Lanny Flaherty) tries to keep some semblance of order. He is especially concerned about Jeff (Jeffrey Donovan), a former mental patient conducting tours of the Blair Witchís purported haunts. At this point, the movie switches from a documentary approach and goes down hill fast.
Lured through Jeffís internet web site (gasp!), four young people join him for his first tour. Erica (Erica Leerhsen) practices Wiccan and wants to learn more about the Blair Witch mythology. Grad students Tristen (Tristen Skyler) and Stephen (Stephen Baker) are writing a book about the Blair Witch. The fourth member, Kim (Kim Director), a Morticia Addams lookalike, spooks the others with her psychic abilities. While I canít fault these young actors for their performances, their lengthy sophomoric discussions caused me to doze off more than once.
Something mysterious happens to this group during their sleepover in the woods. They canít account for missing hours when tourists from another group are murdered. They start hallucinating weird things --- the most annoying being flashbacks and flash forwards that meant nothing to me. They become violent and turn on each other. Has the Blair Witch put a curse on them? Is Jeff acting out another psychotic episode? Is one of them really the Blair Witch?
Can someone else who has seen the movie answer these questions for me? Thereís no hurry. Iím not all that curious.
One thing I do know for certain. Artisan Entertainment really knows how to market a film on the internet. Check out the Book of Shadows web site (http://www.blairwitch.com) to see what I mean. Itís much scarier than the movie.
(Released by Artisan Entertainment and rated "R" for violence, language, sexuality, nudity, and drug use.)