Thursday, October 27, 2011

(Better Left) Forgotten Sequels : Blair Witch 2- Book of Shadows

If you think I'm picking on Blair Witch now, just wait!  Within a year of the original film's surprise success, a sequel was made.  A lot of parallels could be made between this film series and the Paranormal Activity one.  I should have done that last year...and would have, if the film had been available to rent then.  Sure would have been nice, huh?  With a third film- a random prequel in the middle of the series- out now, this still works.  The film is an amazing mess, trying to blend reality and fantasy.  The problem- they can't commit.  They want to tease the idea of the film being real, but also want to avoid the potential lawsuits coming their way.  Confused?  You should be.  That feeling will not subside as we delve further into the Book of Shadows with...
See what I mean yet?  This movie is fiction?  Thanks a load!  Next you're going to tell me that Dan Rey didn't make a Time Paradox in Paranormal Activity 2 with a 'Release the Kraken' joke, despite the film being set in 2006!
Immediately following this, they show us real news- and talk show- footage about the Blair Witch film.  We're confusingly-Meta and the film is only in the opening few minutes!
Immediately following the film telling us that it's not real and then showing us real footage, we see an actor- Jeffrey Donovan- playing a 'real person' complaining about the film bringing people to town.  Confused as hell?  Now realize that this is intermixed with the MTV footage!
Now fully in the film, we see Jeffrey- the character's name too- leading The Blair Witch Hunt with a bunch of people, including a Wiccan, two authors and the world's most Goth chick.  She couldn't be more Goth if she was the lead singer in Turbulence 3!
The film randomly cuts back to the group- barring some people, which spoils the surprises- being interrogated about some crime.  Does this help push the narrative forward at all?
How about if they randomly cut back to it again?  That help?  No, still no.  It's just pretentious and annoying, you say?  True.
After a bender and the discovery that everything but their tapes were destroyed ,the group watches them.  Yes, you get to watch people watch videos.  I haven't been this excited since Jaws in Japan!
Nobody is quite sure who to trust...or what is going on.  Someone was apparently possessed by a Witch- presumably the title one- and did a ritual while the others danced around naked.  Of course, the Goth Girl is conveniently Edited around, since only the actress playing the Wiccan girl agreed to do nudity here.
As it turns out, our heroes killed a bunch of people while under the spell.  That was the random death they kept cutting to throughout the film.  When presented with the tapes, they see things differently- they're all killers.  Unless the tapes were faked...or they're crazy...or, um, magic.  The End.
Seriously, who thought that this was a good idea?!?  The plot of this film is a bigger mess than a giant baby's diaper!  The movie wants to have its cake, eat it too and then tell you that it never ate the cake.  Is the movie supposed to be real?  No.  Do they try to make you think it's real seconds later?  Yes.  Pick one!  On top of that, the movie is Edited to hell.  The film is presented out of order, constantly cutting to footage of either their interrogation, the deaths or anything else that they could think of.  This makes a simple plot incredibly hard to follow and even harder to care about.  It's a confusing mess- plain and simple.  Here's a fun fact for you: the word 'Book of Shadows' is never said once here, nor does the object appear.  When a film fails to get that simple thing right, was there ever hope for it?  Look what you did to poor Jeffrey Donovan, movie!
Next up, I go backwards further through the Halloween series.  This time, Michael Meyers wants revenge...for his constant murdering.  Stay tuned...

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