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The Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Review by Alfta Svanni Lothursdottir

        I should preface this review by saying that I am one of the three or four people who did not see the original Blair Witch movie. But it was well nigh impossible to escape the media blitz that was the first Blair Witch movie, so while I have not seen the first movie I do know fairly well what it was about.
        The thing that made the first movie so interesting was it's twist on reality, choosing to play like a documentary instead of a movie. The new movie starts out like this, once again putting a twist on reality. In this movie the first movie is treated like a movie and the residents of the town were it was shot are now being overrun with tourists wanting to see where the Blair Witch movie was shot. You have interviews with the locals much like the first movie but this is where the similarities end because after this initial opening sequence the movie turns to the standard movie format.
        We have four people who have paid a fellow to take them on a tour of where the Blair Witch movie was shot. Of course we all know emmediately what will happen to the group while on this tour. You could not have a more stock group of characters in this group, all characters you have seen in 20 other movies. You have Jeff the tour leader. He's been in mental institutions but he really seems like a cool guy. Will he be the one to murder everyone? Then there is Erica the sex kitten wiccan. Throughout the movie, until her death, which is thankfully early in the movie, she is a walking billboard promoting wicca, telling us all the misconceptions. Too bad I didn't put some money down to bet on her being naked before the movie was over, I would have won. Then there is Steven the science guy who is writing a book about the Blair Witch phenomenon. He is, of course the ultimate cynic looking to prove that all this crazy Blair Witch stuff is bunk. He is also, of course, the first one in the group to start seeing crazy goings on. Then there is Steven's girl friend, Tristan, the nice innocent girl along for the ride. She's pregnant but Steven doesn't want the baby. She's poured herself into helping Steve with his project. Steven doesn't give her much credit for it though so she's feeling a bit neglected. Since she is the nice innocent one, she's the first one to go crazy and to be possessed. Then, last in the group is Kim the psychic goth girl. Kim works really hard to be gothic and mysterious. The only other major character is the Sheriff. He's always out to get the psychotic Jeff because he's bound to be up to no good. The actor playing the sheriff over acted so much that is was painful to watch at times.
        It doesn't take too much imagination to guess what happens. The group camps out where the house was in the first movie and strange things start to happen and Tristen and the sex kitten wiccan end up getting killed. The Sheriff wants to pin it on Psycho Jeff. A pretty good idea done in the most formula, paint by the numbers way you could do it.
        The main reason I wanted to review this film was because of what I heard about it's use of the Runes. Perhaps “misuse” would be better. We find runes inscribed on the foundation of the house from the first movie. The wiccan informs us that there is nothing to be afraid of. They are symbols of the witches language and are completely harmless and we would all know that if we could read the witches language. So here again we have our tradition being misrepresented as wiccan. Of course "wiccan girl" didn't know as much as she thought she did, as she gets killed a little later. When movies like this use our traditions without having any real knowledge of what they are, is it any wonder that the general public confuses us with wiccans?
        In the end the Blair Witch 2 is a good idea overall, done badly and yet another movie that mis-represents an aspect of the tradition of the Northern Way. I count the time and money spent as completely wasted.

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