October is finally here, and you know what that means. Halloween! The best time of the year. A time to lose sleep from marathoning horror movies, a time to celebrate the disturbing and a time to make your friends and family question your sanity. Although that last one might just be me. Plus that happens all year round. Moving on!
Of all the horror movies out there, The Blair Witch Project is seen as one of the best. With tension you can cut with a blood stained knife, to creating a brand new genre of horror it has stood the test of time. It did all that with little to no budget and no real monster. It played mind games with millions of moviegoers back in 1999 and still continues to scare us to this day.
Unlike its sequel.
After all, the sequel is plagued with terrible acting, confusing plot and completely dropping almost every element that made the original stand out from the crowd. Hell, they didn’t even bother to make it a found footage movie.
Wait, what sequel are you thinking of?
Oh, I see, you thought I was talking about Blair Witch, the sequel that came out this year. Nope, but I can see why you thought that. In fact, both sequels have more in common with each other than they do with the original film. The sequel I was addressing was Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.
Since Blair Witch came out, everyone has criticised that film for being a lazy and weak film. To be fair, that is true. However, at least Blair Witch made sense. It had a decent story and the scares were rather good. I went to go see it with my dear friend Shiloh and I spent a fair amount of time with my head stuck into my shirt. Ask her if you don’t believe me.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is a completely different story. This film came out just one year after The Blair Witch Project. It has next to nothing to do with The Blair Witch Project, the horror movie it reminds me of is Event Horizon. It just keeps cutting to, I guess you could call them jump scares, with a really weak explanation at the end.
Now that I think about it, the best way to describe Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is cheap. The film is nothing but cheap effects and cheap ‘scares’ if you can call them that. Remember that I said that the new Blair movie scared me? This film just bored me. There is nothing good about this film. At least Blair Witch tried to create a new story and tried to get you invested in the characters. They failed, but at least you can tell they tried. such is not the case with Book of Shadows, as they only connection to the original is that they keep name dropping it.
The one thing both of these movies do is show us the Blair Witch herself. This is what bugs me out the most. The original works so well because we don’t see her, therefore our minds conjure up what scares us the most to fill in the blanks. How the Witch is portrayed is handled very differently and it kinda shows us just how different and really are. In Book of Shadows, she looks like a drowned woman. Real inventive. In Blair Witch she looks, how best to put this, she resembles the meaty monster from Amnesia.
While Shiloh and I were leaving the cinema (and after she had stopped laughing at how big a wimp I was) we started talking about the Blair Witch’s design. She brought up the good point that going with a typical witch design simply wouldn’t have worked. I agreed, yet I would have preferred if we hadn’t seen her at all.
I could talk about Book of Shadows for hours, but Nostalgia Critic already did a hilarious review that I recommend you check out.
In conclusion, is Blair Witch a good film? Yes, I think so. Is it better than The Blair Witch Project? Of course not. Blair Witch is forgettable, but you can tell that there was genuine effort put into it. The same cannot be said for Book of Shadows. That film is failure manifest. There is a reason why that film has been forgotten.