[It Isn't All Bad] 'Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2' Was Almost A Great Sequel - Bloody Disgusting!

[It Isn’t All Bad] ‘Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2’ Was Almost A Great Sequel

It would be difficult to overstate how momentous an event The Blair Witch Project was, and its legacy continues on to this day. You know the story: two young directors make a minimalist independent picture and, thanks to an impeccable marketing campaign, manage to convince much of the world their movie is real. Blair Witch helped usher in the found-footage craze, and while it may not terrify modern viewers the way it did audiences in 1999, it’s still remembered fondly as an important piece of horror history. What isn’t as commonly discussed is the sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, which was rushed into theaters one year later, earning the scorn of fans everywhere before being exiled to the DVD bargain bin. But putting aside the fact that this followup is certainly not as effective as the original, and keeping in mind its troubled production, Book of Shadows is not nearly as worthless as one might expect. Sixteen years removed from the hype, horror junkies may even find something to appreciate.

Director Joe Berlinger could have very easily repeated the formula with Book of Shadows in order to cash in. Have a few more kids go into the woods and get murdered while screaming and shaking the camera. Give audiences precisely what they ate up last time. Easy, right? Instead, he opted for something different, a movie that comments on its predecessor and manages to work the Blair Witch craze into the plot.

Book of Shadows opens with real footage of TV hosts like Conan O’Brien and Roger Ebert talking about the previous film. This story, we find out, takes place in our universe during the immediate aftermath of the original picture’s release. In the world of Book of Shadows, The Blair Witch Project was a fictional movie, and the characters themselves are fans of it, thus placing them on our level. How cool is that? Five protagonists take a tour of the woods where Blair Witch was shot, just as any cinema geek may want to visit the set of their favorite horror film. This ingenious premise would later be copied in similar sequels like Grave Encounters 2. Each of the characters in Book of Shadows represents a different reaction to The Blair Witch Project, from those interested in analyzing its legitimacy to Wiccans offended by their portrayal on screen to people who just want to capitalize on the whole ordeal (i.e. the studio executives who funded Book of Shadows). Berlinger pokes fun at everyone involved in this madness, including himself for profiting off of it.

That night, the group drinks heavily and completely blacks out, waking up to discover their documents shredded and their cameras destroyed. The tapes are perfectly intact, though, and so they soon begin combing through the footage to figure out what happened the previous night. It’s like a much more sinister version of The Hangover. It’s also reminiscent of the way hardcore Blair Witch fans painstakingly analyzed every single frame for clues; the process of viewing The Blair Witch Project is the plot of its sequel.

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The first obvious discrepancy between the two installments is that Book of Shadows is not found footage. Mainly, that decision was made because it would be impossible for another fake documentary to have the same impact, and obviously lying about the movie’s authenticity couldn’t be pulled off twice. How admirable is it that for once we have a sequel that goes out of its way to not tread the same ground as the original? Another reason for this, though, was that Joe Berlinger genuinely disliked the way directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez duped America into believing The Blair Witch Project was real. Book of Shadows, then, ends up becoming a repudiation of its predecessor and a reflection on the effect of violence in the media. The five leads are all horror fans, and throughout the film, it’s unclear if what they’re seeing is really happening or if it’s some messed up fantasy. This is precisely the uncertainty many experienced while seeing The Blair Witch Project in 1999, and that parallel is quite intentional.

To hammer in this point, Berlinger peppers Book of Shadows with horror references: Erica swinging around the tree is a clear homage to Evil Dead II, and the barking dogs call The Omen to mind. On the DVD commentary, Berlinger explains that he included these in-jokes not simply to be cute. Rather, because his characters are fans of the genre, he figured their delusions would be full of the messed up imagery they had seen at the cinema. Their life imitates art.

Taking this concept to its logical conclusion, Book of Shadows does not contain anything that is clearly supernatural. It’s instead about a group of characters going collectively insane, with their fantasies being the product of a media landscape that so often mixes fiction and reality. Whether these people literally buy into The Blair Witch Project, they have all been fed the idea that there is an evil lurking in the woods and a witch ready to possess them, not simply by storytellers attempting to entertain, but by news anchors who exaggerate any minute possibility that folktales are true. “Is The Blair Witch Project real,” the nightly newscaster may posit at the beginning of his broadcast. Obviously not; in what possible universe would a movie studio be releasing footage of three civilians’ deaths? It makes no sense, but such a clear-cut answer isn’t sexy, and it doesn’t get viewers to turn up the volume on the TV, so instead we get, “The Blair Witch…just a movie, or something more?” 

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These characters who are already not completely mentally stable – Jeff is established as having stayed in a psychiatric institution prior to The Blair Witch Project even being released – begin acting out the very violence they have been supplied by film and television during virtually all hours of the day. No, R-rated fictional stories are not inherently irresponsible, nor are they even completely to blame for the events of Book of Shadows. Rather, Berlinger argues that the issue is when reality is not clearly differentiated from fantasy. This trend, in combination with the general public’s thirst for blood, is precisely what drove audiences to the theater in 1999. The monster of Book of Shadows isn’t the Blair Witch. It’s The Blair Witch Project. 

Don’t believe that the director intended for the murders to simply be the result of humans gone mad as opposed to something supernatural? Check out this quote of Joe Berlinger’s from the DVD commentary:

“What I’ve learned in my documentary making is that what we really have to fear is what people do to each other, and to blame it on some supernatural element is somewhat unrealistic.”

Continuing the theme of fiction versus reality, the movie makes clear that not everything we see necessarily occurred that way. In the first act, Jeff notes that “Video never lies. Film does, though.” Book of Shadows itself constantly lies to its audience, while the video within the film tells the truth. Everyone sees a giant tree where the Rustin Parr house was, but on tape, there’s no tree. Erica swears she blacked out along with her friends, but the video reveals that she was the one dancing naked around the tree.

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We can interpret the characters’ perspective as being warped by the Blair Witch, or we can see it as being inherently warped by the very fact that they are inside a horror movie. In other words, the exaggerated world they experience represents horror storytelling, and what’s displayed on the tape represents the real world. The disconnect between the two is exactly Berlinger’s point, and it’s his way of reflecting a similar disconnect that occurs in society.

From a storytelling perspective, by making clear that the video is objective but the movie itself is not, Berlinger gives us an innovative means by which to understand an otherwise confusing plot. The most memorable twist relies on this gimmick. Stephen kills his wife, Tristen, after she appears to be under the influence of the Blair Witch, yet the tape shown in the police precinct tells a different story. What really happened is that Tristan was acting completely normally while Stephen was the one going mad. She begs Stephen to get away from her and lets out one final plea before being murdered by her own husband. As the tape ends, Stephen breaks down and is unable to accept that he apparently killed his wife under the false belief that she was a witch; he was caught up in the hype created by The Blair Witch Project.

All in all, Book of Shadows is an excellent descent into madness film, though in a completely different way than original. While that movie saw its characters going crazy as they realize they’re lost in the woods, this one takes place primarily indoors and forces everyone to grow more paranoid and start doubting each other. The last half plays out like a classic bottle movie. They distrust their own perception of things, too, and that leads to some creepy fantasy sequences, such as a few involving a little girl walking backwards while looking straight ahead. It’s a cheesy effect, but it works like a charm because of how otherworldly it feels.

Sadly, none of this greatness is recognized among the general public because of the film’s many, many issues, virtually all of which can be blamed on a textbook case of studio meddling. Joe Berlinger wanted to make a psychological thriller that begins with a light tone but slowly becomes horrifying; we would get to know these characters, enjoy spending time with them, and then in the final act, the madness unfolds. No murders would occur until the deaths of Erica and Tristen.

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Sadly, Artisan Entertainment was unhappy with this approach. They wanted a more traditional horror sequel full of gore, so they called for many drastic changes to be made mere weeks before the film was to open. For instance, in Berlinger’s original cut, there are no cutaways to campers being murdered. Artisan threw this in to give audiences more blood and guts, but that takes away from the slow build. We don’t have a chance to develop a sense of dread when we’re witnessing grisly murders right from the start, and the footage being spliced in so frantically makes things more confusing than scary. We don’t think, “Wow, that’s horrifying.” We think, “What the hell am I watching right now?”

The flashforwards were also studio mandates, and this addition was nothing short of baffling. What exactly is the point of giving away the ending mere minutes into the film? Between the grisly cutaways and the shots of the gang in custody, it’s obvious that these characters committed murder while blacked out and the whole film is leading up to their arrest. Telling us that up front adds literally nothing, and it only destroys any possible suspense.

These two last-minute changes are nearly enough to ruin the entire movie. What should have been an interesting suspense picture that built to a massive twist becomes a jumbled mess where the ending is spelled out almost immediately. Couple that with the fact that the movie is such a drastic departure from its predecessor, and the fact that the performances are not exactly first rate, and the widespread contempt makes sense.

But even if Joe Berlinger did not quite accomplish what he set out to do, there is such a fascinating idea at the core of Book of Shadows. To make an interesting sequel, a director should feel that the previous film is lacking in some way. After all, if they don’t believe there was any room for improvement, then why are they bothering with another one? In Book of Shadows, Berlinger took his hatred of the first movie’s dishonesty and made an entire film out of it, commenting on the danger of blurring the line between fiction and reality. Had Artisan stayed out of the edit bay and let the man do his job, perhaps Book of Shadows could have been something truly special.

  • Saturn

    I always like Book Of Shadows, as it did something a little different with a sequel, something nobody saw coming.

  • Nice try but, ultimately, no sale.
    I also think it’s worth mentioning the subliminal competition stuff added to the home release. It added another schizophrenic level of analysing frames of a movie that’s about analysing video whilst commenting on the analysis of its predecessor.

  • Grandpa Fred

    Lol no. Shite film.

  • Halloween_Vic

    Still a shitty movie and should have been it’s own stand alone film instead of a ”Blair Witch” sequel, I think that’s why a lot of people did not like it including myself. Haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid when it first came out, maybe I need to watch it again but from what I still remember this movie just sucks man, in general.

    • Seeing it once was enough for me,for forcing myself to re-watch it would only massively damage my brain cells when there are many other better films(and sequels) that are out there.

      • Halloween_Vic

        Yea lol I agree man that’s why I never went back to watch it, I was literally 9 or 10 when this came out and as a kid I was like ”this sucks”. Movie was just a waste and nothing scary about it at all.

  • Glenn Wills

    I never quite understand horror fans. If you stray from the formula they hate it, but if you keep making the same movie over and over, they hate it. Halloween 3, Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Friday the 13th 5, you get the idea. All tried to steer the franchise in a new direction or at least tell a story that wasn’t a copy/paste of the original. Granted, with varying degrees of success. If you make your own “directors cut” of book of shadows following the directors notes (you can find them via google) the film is quite good and was realistically the only way to follow up the original without a silly variation on copy/paste.

    • Fracassi

      Halloween 3 was awesome!

      • Glenn Wills

        I agree, but upon release it was panned and hated because… no Michael Myers. The guy who was blown up and fried to death at the end of 2 in a rather dramatic fashion. Now we can look back on it and see it as a solid film and much better than several of the other sequels that came later.

  • pablitonizer

    No way! Nothing could have saved this mess of a movie. It’s a bad bad movie, with a nonsensical name, terrible acting, not even 1 single scare, lack of coherence, shitty editing, I felt it completely shamed the original Blair witch, it’s a mess up and down…nice try but no! And please don’t mention this vomit ever again!

    • BLAIR WITCH 2 not only killed a chance at establishing a new franchise(that would have predated the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise),but also financially ruined Artisan Entertainment(which blossomed from Monterrey Home Video Entertainment,IVE Entertainment,and Live Entertainment) and killed off the chance at getting many of Artisan’s other films(such as the Jean Claude Van Damme/Ringo Lam outing REPLICANT[which would have recharged Van Damme’s U.S. theatrical film career had it been given that very U.S. theatrical release]) their long due theatrical releases(before being acquired[and bought off] by Lionsgate).

      • pablitonizer

        Totally agree with you! Blair Witch had so much potential to become a great franchise, so ahead of its time with this found footage idea. I think a more effictive sequel could have been a couple of college guys going to the woods to verify the blair witch mystery is for real or a family stranded in the woods after a van accident. So many simple and more effective ideas that could have continue this amazing movie. Too bad for their bad decisions, now it feels difficult to bring it back since “found footage” is not as hot as it was a few years ago

  • Outpost Zeta

    I’ll take an interesting failure over a carbon copy of the original.

  • LoveAnimation

    I like this Movie and i dont think it deserves the huge hate it gets at all.

  • Dia Zerva

    I like this movie in a guilty pleasure way. My only question still remains: WHAT THE HELL WAS THE BOOK OF SHADOWS?! Was it like the Charmed Book of Shadows? What the hell was it?! Did they ever explained that!?

    • LoveAnimation

      Yea i dont think there was anything like that in the movie so no idea why they named it Book Of Shadows.

    • Vader the White

      Apparently, and this purely my geek showing, that was the name of Jeff’s fan script. I am not kidding. Is it said in the movie? NOPE. It’s only in the promotional mockumentary “Shadow of the Blair Witch” (you can find it on the Special Edition DVD) and a book called “Blair Witch: Book of Shadows”, which is a sequel book to “The Blair Witch Project: A Dossier”.
      So it’s more likely justification by other people for the title.

  • Dee-abolik

    I actually also think there is something worthwhile to it. Mainly the characters, they all felt genuine.

    • Billy Bob Throrton

      stereotypical late 90s goth chick,Wiccan girl,these could be the characters in a cartoon

      • GinsuVictim

        Those are the types of wannabe douchebags that do the sort of thing the characters in this do.

      • Dee-abolik

        hmmm

  • chuck

    Dunno if this has been mentioned but this video sums up the WHOLE movie/what could have been pretty well too!

  • KSE1977

    I liked this as well and saw it in the theater. There are certainly worse sequels out there and this one kept me interested until the end.

    • GinsuVictim

      I really like this movie and I saw the midnight opening of it. I never understood the hate.

  • Billy Bob Throrton

    I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul.

    I’m sorry but this is a mix of a shitty 90s teen movie and a paint by numbers haunted house movie.
    But it’s not even good as that,it does the same ghost scares you see in every bad horror movie. We’ve seen them hundreds of times but arrogant and/or unoriginal horror directors put them in their movies like we’re supposed to be impressed because THEY directed it.

    What really tanks any legitimacy is it’s most popular peer at the time was Scream,it’s very possible they were playing follow the leader with the meta direction

    If I hired the director of Paradise Lost and I got this,I’d wonder if it was even the same guy

  • Metal-Frank

    I actually enjoyed this movie… It was an attempt to make a decent sequel without copying the same blueprints of the original. Although, it payed respect to the original idea of a hand held shaky cam movie by having the main characters carrying around a handheld camera, but abandoned that idea when needed. I also enjoyed the editing. The way they pitch the aftermath without explaining exactly what it is, then let you try to guess as the movie progresses. All this while playing on peoples curiosity of the marketing genius that was the first film. IT really didn’t deserve the shit storm it received.

  • Lunarsickness

    Lmao I always liked the sequel more!!!

    • gabriel

      Book of Shadows, Jawbreaker, Idle Hands, Urban Legend: Final Cut are all kick ass! I love that time period! Fuck yah Lunarsickness

      • Halloween_Vic

        Love all those except for ”Book Of Shadows”. Idle Hands, Jawbreaker and UL:Final Cut are fucking awesome!!!!!

  • Vader the White

    Here’s my personal story about this film:
    1999) “The Blair Witch Project” is released and sweeps through pop culture. 6-year-old me is interested in the concept.
    2000) I see a poster for “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2”. The title peaks my interest and imagination (I imagined what the titular book would look like. Little did I know, it’s not even mentioned in the film proper and what it actually is has nothing to do with the film).
    2008-09 (Actual year escapes me) I find that a Dollar Tree is selling unopened Canadian VHS copies of TBWP (even though it was in Louisiana…go figure). I buy it and watch it. I found it boring, though the film grows on me.
    2011 (estimated) I find a VHS copy of BoSBW2. I buy it. My expectation: “Well, I thought the first film was a bit boring, so maybe this will be better.” NOPE! I really did not like this movie.
    Now, it could have been good. Hell, I don’t even mind the fact it isn’t found footage. But there are a few problems:
    1) Studio meddling.
    Yeah, this really hurt the film. Cutting it up, moving things around, and adding pointless shots of murder just makes the film very muddled. It would have been a lot better without these changes.
    2) The characters.
    I don’t really care for these characters. Part of that might be the aforementioned meddling, but part of it is that I just find them insufferable most of the time. It needed some rewrites. Especially to also reduce the characture that is Gothy McGothface.
    Cool ideas, just the final version is terrible. I am with this article, for the most part.
    I will give the film one bit of praise, though. The details of the film are vague enough that it is never confirmed if the film takes place in a reality where TBWP is real (as in real footage from missing film students) or is just a film, further tying in to the theme*. It also ties nicely with the fact that the original has three possibilities on what happened:
    1) It was a hoax by the three main characters (they faked their disappearance).
    2) The footage isn’t a hoax and something supernatural happened to them.
    3) The footage isn’t a hoax and something non-supernatural happened to them (example: Josh went crazy and killed the others).

    *Okay, technically the tie-in materials (the mockumentary “Shadow of the Blair Witch” and the book “Blair Witch: Book of Shadows”) say that it is in a universe where the backstory of TBWP is real, but I’m talking about the film itself.

    • Noel

      the studio meddling had to be the worst thing to happen to this movie. what could of been a decent thriller became cheesy horror.

      • Vader the White

        I fully agree.

  • Creepshow

    I put this in the same category of Halloween lll. If it didn’t share the name with a beloved film, it would have stood stronger on its own. If we weren’t looking for Michael Myers or a Blair Witch, these films wouldn have been better received I think. But Book of Shadows had to play off the first film, and Season of the Witch didn’t have to reference any prior Halloween film. Book of Shadows could have been better received without the Blair Witch ties.

    • Glenn Wills

      How would a movie that the entire plot of is characters united by their love of a movie, so they go exploring the shooting locations of that movie, but never mention the movie, work exactly? I get what you’re saying to some degree, but then we’d have literally ended up with an entirely different film.

      • Creepshow

        What your saying makes sense. I guess what I’m saying is….I wanted us to literally end up with an entirely different film. 🙂

  • GinsuVictim

    Love this movie, and even more, love that it inspired me to devour all of the Paradise Lost documentaries later on (plus West of Memphis).

  • Grimphantom

    The only thing that was interesting of this movie, was the goth chick

  • Meisha’s Taint

    No it wasn’t

  • gabriel

    Cult classic status for sure

  • James Allard

    With BWP, I had the sense that maybe, just maybe, a return to low budget horror was in the offing, that Roger Corman could go to his grave knowing that he’d had an impact on the industry as a whole. Instead, we saw a glut of found footage flicks, and while I love them beyond any sense of reason, I will admit that a lot (most… nearly but not all…) are rather wretched. I loved BWP, although I was not particularly made uneasy by it and frankly missed the point of the ending on first viewing. I am not normally that dense, but it is true, so there it is.

    When I heard there was a sequel I immediately thought, ah, more of the same and instead got this. Far, far from perfect, it really impressed me. There is a sense of fun that was absent in the first and some of the “fun” comes from the now very obvious meddling, although at the time I attributed it to poor screenwriting. The reveal of the ending was for me the biggest nod to the first; after all, from the marketing campaign, we went into BWP knowing that two boys and a girl wandered into the dark forest to find a witch and were never seen again.

    It also has a great soundtrack, which the first did as well. BWP’s was from the mix tape Josh was listening to, and was not actually heard in the film and the sequel added it right from the start. In fact, the DVD came with the soundtrack CD in the packaging. This was telling for me, as it goes along with the intent that was taken from us, the sequel is a movie, and wants us to know that right up front. This was my clue that the sequel was some kind of a comment on the whole process, but in honesty, I am not trying to pretend I knew this, but it was something that caught my attention.

    There were also the “errors” in the film that screamed at me, the little continuity glitches that at first suggested this film was made by a bungling group of idiots… then I saw that they were intentional, something that allows for the Fan Boy/Girl/Other in us all to obsess over.

    Great movie? Sadly, no. It could have been, and I would immediately buy a new, unmangled version in a heartbeat.

    • SilentHillSiren

      I loved TBWP when it first came out (still do, actually) and I’m not ashamed to admit that I thought it was real.
      I’m also not ashamed to admit I still don’t get really ‘get’ the ending. I think it’s a reference to the Rustin Parr murders but I’d love to hear what you think it is.

      • James Allard

        I’m not going to lie about it, the ending was unclear to me, but that is what I thought they were after. It wasn’t until later, while watching it on VHS, that my daughter pointed out that Rustin Parr always left one survivor behind and made them stand in the corner. So there it is.

  • marklola12 .

    hmm tbh I didn’t like the blair witch, I was not scared 1 bit and just found it boring and it started the whole crappy trend of found footage so for that reason alone it gets 2/10 from me lol

    • gabriel

      2 is a bit harsh.

  • SilentHillSiren

    I liked the sequel as well. I agree with the director in that the flashes of the murders take away from it a bit. It would have been much more powerful to keep them until the end. I don’t really care for the director too much in the commentary, he seems a little overly pompous but I like the movie he created.
    I think it got such a poor reception because people were expecting something more like the first movie.
    The first time I watched it I loved it.

  • James

    I certainly enjoyed this over the first one. The original was always such a dull, boring flick. Even back when it originally came out.

  • oh_riginal

    I always liked this movie, but when asked why I’d have a difficult time trying to explain why. I think this article finally sums it up for me better than I ever could have. Thanks for writing this!

  • Maxime C

    I’ve always liked this movie and think it’s waaaay better than a lot of crap we’re served today and are box office hits !

  • tbaio

    This is such an underappreciated film. There was so much to it; much more than just a horror sequel. I feel the director accomplished what he set out to do. It was good to see a documentary film maker ease his way into fiction film making by using a fake documentary as a guiding light. Honestly, a well done effort.

    • Jessica Martin

      Glad to see that there are some others out there like me who feel this is an under appreciated film. I really enjoy a lot in The Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows and think it’s one of the more interesting horror sequels exactly because it doesn’t repeat what came before it.

      • in some ways it reminds me of Exorcist 2: The Heretic, which I liked a lot (though few sequels are as ape-shite crazy as that movie).

  • DisqusRaider

    i liked this one. the way they went a totally different direction with the movie type was a surprise. too bad this didnt turn in to a franchise. they probably could have came up with some good ideas to build on.

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    I used to watch bits and pieces of it solely because of Kim Director, ’cause hot gothy chicks turn my proverbial crank. Other than that this film has always been shit to me.

  • RKSDooM

    There’s nothing in BOOK OF SHADOWS that says that the first BLAIR WITCH was a fictional film. Everything that would confirm that, like the footage of Heather, Josh and Mike at the MTV Movie Awards, the director was forced to cut out. The film, and the Blair Witch mythology, is all the better for it, in my opinion. There are a lot of tie in books (THE SECRET CONFESSION OF RUSTIN PARR, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT DOSSIER, BLAIR WITCH: BOOK OF SHADOWS) that continue to maintain the illusion that the whole thing is real and explain (more or less) how the two movies work together.

    Those books, along with the CURSE OF THE BLAIR WITCH mockumentary and the hard to find MASSACRE OF THE BURKITTSVILLE 7 VHS make the whole Blair Witch experience far richer, in my opinion.

    • The Ghost

      CURSE OF THE BLAIR WITCH! I need to find a new copy of that!

      • The Intentional Idiot

        It’s on the DVD release of the Blair witch project.

  • DarkBree

    This movie was terrible!! Terrible acting, terrible editing, very confusing!! Maybe his original idea would have been better, but we are never going to know.

  • Jessica Martin

    I always enjoyed this film, but could never exactly put my finger on why. This article pretty much sums up why I enjoyed it. It’s good to know that there are other people out there who enjoy this film and its ideas and I’m not alone in that mind set.

  • The Ghost

    I absolutely love Blair Witch 2. I’m actually very pleased to read someone else who gets that there is a lot more going on in this wonderful film than people give it credit for. While it may not be Citizen Kane, I find it immensely ironic that the same people who will criticize the acting and production on this movie will also sing the praises of low-budget sh*t-shows as being campy and fun. It’s awfully hip to hate this movie, but a discerning fan will find rewards.

  • I actually liked Book of Shadows a lot. After the original Blair Witch Project I felt a bit hoodwinked because on a second viewing I realized that much ado was made out of very, very little. The sequel, in contrast was particularly fascinating.

  • Adam

    I always liked Book of Shadows and I too thought it was very underrated and still is. I like the point you made when you were taking about how Book of Shadows could have been another found footage film but instead became a real film that gives the fans of the original some insight into the original Blair Witch craze while adding-in much more horror and suspense than the original. What I loved most though was The Book of Esrever and the clues that they hid in plain sight so people would have to go back and re-watch it on DVD and really one of the first films to add such a special feature to the then-new format of DVDs. The critics panned the film which Roger Ebert called it “a muddled, sometimes-atmospheric effort that could have come from many filmmakers and not a very lucid piece of filmmaking”. I totally disagree and I say it is a certified cult classic and should have been used as a way to change a film series like Paranormal Activity into something fresh and new instead of giving us the same film 100 times over. The Blair Witch 2: The Book of Shadows was probably the best horror from the beginning of the 2000’s and I feel if they ever remake Blair Witch they need to expand on part 2 instead of making another found footage film. And a final note, the newer film CREEP is a found footage film and the best one since the original Blair Witch Project so there’s still ways of taking this genre that has become watered-down since 1999 and making it scary again.