Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

October 27th, 2000


Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

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College students at a Boston college become fascinated by the events of the three missing filmmakers in Maryland, so they decide to go into the same woods and find out what really happened.

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 4.0/10 (19,620 voted)

Critic's Score: 15/100

Director: Joe Berlinger

Stars: Jeffrey Donovan, Stephen Barker Turner, Erica Leerhsen

To cash in on all of the "real world" hype of the events in the first film, a man from Burkitsville, Maryland opens a "Blair Witch Hunt" tour, which shows patrons various locations from the original film. A bunch of college students decide to take the tour, and wind up in Rustin Parr's house. There, they decide to camp for the evening, but in the morning, they realize they didn't sleep and they don't remember anything that happened the previous night. From there, they go back to town, and discover that something...or someone has come with them.

Writers: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

Kim Director - Kim Diamond
Jeffrey Donovan - Jeffrey Patterson
Erica Leerhsen - Erica Geerson
Tristine Skyler - Tristen Ryler (as Tristen Skyler)
Stephen Barker Turner - Stephen Ryan Parker
Kurt Loder - Himself
Chuck Scarborough - Himself
Bruce D. Reed - Burkittsville Resident #1 (as Bruce Reed)
Lynda Millard - Burkittsville Resident #2
Deb Burgoyne - Burkittsville Resident #3
Andrea Cox - Burkittsville Resident #4
Joe Berlinger - Burkittsville Tourist #1
Sara Phillips - Burkittsville Tourist #2
Lanny Flaherty - Sheriff Cravens
Pete Burris - MBI Man #1

Taglines: Evil Doesnt Die.


Official Website: Artisan Pictures | (Russia) |

Release Date: 27 October 2000

Filming Locations: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $13,223,887 (USA) (29 October 2000) (3317 Screens)

Gross: $47,737,094 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

An owl appears in several scenes. In some cultures, an owl is a sign of death.

Crew or equipment visible: When Jeffrey answers the door to his house and the dogs are barking on the other side of the broken walkway/bridge a thin wire can be seen attached to a dog to keep it from falling.

Erica: [Erica finds a cache of video cameras at Jeff's house] I thought all your cameras got trashed.
Jeff: Yeah, well, you can never have too many.
Stephen: Uh, Jeff, I think we've had enough videotaping for one weekend.
Erica: Yeah, dude. Tour's over.
Jeff: Well, maybe the tour's just begun, Erica, because you're walking into the official Blair store. Come on in, everybody. This is where it all begins. This is the epicenter of the Blair Witch Hunt website. Uh, let's see now... I got my sticks. You can touch these, they're for the stick men. Don't touch those, those are drying. What else?

User Review

wan sequel to a true original


In all the print that has been devoted to the original `Blair Witch Project,' most of the discussion has been centered around the remarkable advertising strategy that managed to parley a quirky, low budget independent film into a multimillion-dollar box office success story. Of far greater interest actually is the arc the film traveled in terms of its critical and audience reception. Actually, this phenomenon can be easily charted by scrolling through the reviews of the film found on either or If you look first at the earliest evaluations of the film - when it was still an unknown entity riding the film festival circuit - you will note the almost universally rapturous response the movie received from viewers caught off guard by the originality of its concept and the uniqueness of its execution. However, if you continue to scroll through the reviews with the passage of time, you will notice a rather extraordinary development that occurs. At about the time the film officially opens to immense media scrutiny and unprecedented box office success, the reviews suddenly undergo an amazing change in tone. Due to the buildup of expectations resulting from the above elements, viewers begin to tear the film apart, mercilessly declaring it to be cheapjack, annoying, hopelessly overrated and totally lacking in terror or suspense. Rarely have I ever seen such a violent backlash against any film (though just try to find someone who will admit to liking `Titanic' nowadays - one begins to wonder just who were all those people who collectively managed to fork over all that cash to the tune of $600,000,000 in the United States and Canada alone). In many ways, though `The Blair Witch Project' may have made a ton of money (it is easily the most profitable film ever made), it may ultimately have been a pyrrhic victory for its makers since an audience that feels it has been `ripped off' once is not one who will be favorably inclined towards your next project.

Perhaps this helps to explain the dismal box office performance of the sequel, awkwardly entitled `Book of Shadows: Blair Witch Project 2.' As one who actually liked the original film (and, yes, I saw it long after the initial media hype had died down), I can't say that I expected much from this newest addition to the franchise. The first film was such a unique work stylistically that, even less than most films, it definitely did not cry out for replication. Actually, this new film starts off rather well, choosing to acknowledge the reality of not only the original project but also the media ballyhoo and frenzy that attended it. The film cleverly lampoons the cottage industry that sprang up around the first film, catering to tourists who descended in droves on the once-peaceful town of Burkittsville, Maryland, where the original fictional `documentary' was set. Taking over the reins from the first film's creators, writer Dick Beebe and writer/director Joe Berlinger create a scenario in which a group of fans, obsessed with the original film, embark on a `Blair Witch' tour that, naturally, turns out to be more than they bargained for. By eschewing fancy special effects of any kind and hewing closely to the `reality' conferred by its documentary style approach, the original film managed to convey a real sense of mounting terror as the people involved became more and more terrified and confused by what was happening to them. The makers of the sequel attempt to create essentially the same impact here but with far less effectiveness. Part of the problem is that the demands made on a big budget studio production are obviously worlds apart from those made on a small independent film in which experimentation and imagination are often allowed - and even, at times, encouraged - to flourish. As a result, the makers of the new film violate the very less-is-more credo that made the original film work in the first place. Thus, as these new characters begin to spiral down into confusion, terror and madness, we are offered a plethora of quick cut glimpses of demons, ghosts, flashbacks etc. that are more distracting than terrifying. We could believe what was happening to the characters in the original film because the single-camera technique made it all seem so plausible and real. This film just feels like the typical stock horror film, filled with fancy techniques but little of the stuff that true nightmares are made of.

More often than not, the viewer feels more like laughing at the silliness of the proceedings than gasping. Eventually, even the dialogue seems to be providing an almost subconscious running commentary on the film itself as the characters yell out at various points such pearls of wisdom as `This is too weird' and `This makes no sense.'

The story does a nice job at the end showing how what is captured on film or tape may not necessarily correlate with the facts of history. And, I guess, we are also encouraged to read the film in two ways - as both a genuine horror story in which the Blair Witch is somehow exercising her supernatural powers or as a study of mass psychosis playing havoc with a group of emotionally off-kilter people. Yet, in the long run, `Book of Shadows' just doesn't seem worth the effort. Any way you slice it, a horror film that doesn't horrify has failed to live up to its calling. Stick with the original model this time around.


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