Movie Defense Force: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

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You've probably defended this movie as well as anyone can.

It's not good but it's nowhere near as bad as people claim.

On it's own merits I still don't really like BW:BoS but that's largely because I wasn't overly fond of any horror films coming out around that time (I blame the Scream franchise), with Ginger Snaps being the only horror film in my collection from that year that I still find watchable.

To be sure, even if I don't like the movie itself there are things about the BW:BoS concept that I like. The idea of following up a found footage film with a "based on true events" traditional film is actually a brilliant idea and one that I'm surprised hasn't been tried since.

Triaed:
Ooh, do Twilight!

he wont since twillight is legitimately bad movie.

And i though i was the only one that found Blair Witch 2 enjoyable. Turns out i was right all aling, Cha, in your face internet.

Signa:

Triaed:
Ooh, do Twilight!

Wait, wait, wait. You're asking Jim Fucking "thank God for him" Sterling to defend Twilight? What the hell man?! Are you trying to drive him to suicide?!

And Jim, you're going to have to step it up a notch (just a tiny notch is fine). As enjoyable as this episode was, your argument boiled it down to "it wasn't as bad as it could be/people were too harsh on it." Having never seen the movie, that may be a completely fair assessment of it, but that argument can be applied to just about any movie that doesn't have universal acclaim. Your Aliens 3 video gave us some real reasons to not hate it. I'm not foolish enough to think that choosing a movie to defend and then finding something about it that will make it shine in the light is an easy task to do every week, but if this is to be expected for your average quality, you may as well as not bother. The internet is already full of movie reviewers and people who love to rage on about rage. However, if you can bring it like you did with Aliens 3, there's no reason for your show to not thrive. There's not enough reviewers out there willing to say why something doesn't suck, an itemize each tangible facet of the movie that other viewers just flat-out ignored.

What can I say? I like to see a grown man squirm :-)

By being a sequel to The Blair Witch Project, this movie received a lot of attention and a lot of hate. If it would have been a stand alone movie, it would have received no attention. No one on the internet would have ever reviewed this if it was just The Book of Shadows.

I really don't dislike this movie, but it annoys me when a "cash in" improves the fate of a mediocre movie. The writing, directing, and acting value of this movie isn't worth the money it brought in.

I enjoyed watching this review, but I hope that all of them aren't about cash ins.

Right again Sir Sterling. Right in games right in films. Blair Witch 2 is not bad at all.

I remember this film. They had some sort of contest where they placed clues in the film. I only found one: it's in the scene where the goth girl is introduced. One of the tombstones has a name written on it, but when the angle changes, the inscription is different and that was one of the answers you had to send in. Apparently there are more of them scattered throughout the film.

Is that... is that Jeffrey Donovan?

Damnit, now I have to watch this movie.

I never liked Blair Witch 1. It actually stands as my worst movie of all time.

I had no expectations for this piece of visual trash, and apparently I was right to think so. This movie is simply bad. The characters are flat, boring, two dimensional cookie cutter stereotypes. Even worse is their infuriating petty, selfish, self-righteous, greedy attitude that pervades the whole movie. Why do I care about them? Why SHOULD I care about them? Their terrible people in a terrible place doing terrible things.

This movie can't hide behind it's visuals either. It's luke warm at best, and if you want eye fodder, go watch Altered States, Video Drome, or even the human centipede for god's sake! It's uninteresting, uninspired tripe. It's atmosphere is atrocious. You'd have to be twelve years old to think that was alarming or disturbing in any way. You want atmosphere, go watch carnival of souls, ANYTHING other than this movie.

Slogging through the mangled wreck that is the main body of the movie is not justified by the admittedly decent twist at the end. I was ready to walk out half way through, the only thing keeping me watching was pure masochism.

Finally, Jim just because it was comparable to other bad movies from the late nineties doesn't make it passible entertainment. I didn't like most of the visual popcorn from that decade, and I especially didn't like this.

Jim I respect your attitude towards properties that are generally considered unpopular by the drooling masses, I really do. I thought your alien 3 review was spot on and the passion you brought to it was refreshing. This movie however needs to be buried. It like other movies of it's age are a testament to the fact that you can get away with lowering the standard of quality in visual media and people will still pay top dollar for it, either through gullibility or simple determined stupidity.

Interesting series Jim, I hope it thrives. Maybe I'll be able to generate some interesting conversations/arguements to build up your comments and traffic. :)

That said, being late to the party I'm going to mention an issue that Jim might want to consider when talking about why certain films fail, or get more in the way of flak than they deserve, which I would have started back with "Aliens 3" had I been paying enough attention to the site to see the new series launch:

One has to remember that with really popular franchises that spawn a lot of official "branded" material there are expectations of quality and consistincy. With "Alien 3" for example this movie got slammed in part because it was released AFTER an extremely well received run of comics done by "Dark Horse" which were supposed to be an official continuation of the storyline, and picked up with a surviving Newt and Hicks in that universe. It set a pretty high bar for the continuation of the series. The problem with "Alien 3" to a large extent was that it not only took a huge dump on the continuity which series fans loved (pretty much if you saw that movie, you were probably reading the comics) but it also failed to improve on it in the eyes of the fans. It might have been forgiven for ignoring a comics continuation and the fact that it was SUPPOSED to have been official, IF it had produced something equally strong, and while "Aliens 3" might have been fine as a movie, it was a complete failure due to it's own competition in brand. It actually damaged the franchise by destroying the comics continuity which people could no longer get into as being "official" while leaving behind what fans felt was comparitively crap.

With "Blair Witch 2" (bet you were waiting for me to get on subject) it's a very similar situation. The original Blair Witch was popular enough to spawn series of young adult novels, merchandise, and even a series of video games, all of which were fairly clever and built up the mythology surrounding events. Basically if you were a serious "Blair Witch" fan, you were following this stuff, and it's success was apparently how they gauged that there was enough interest to do a sequel. The problem was that like "Alien 3" they pretty much ignored most of the stuff that had been established (though I believe there were a few referances) and arguably replaced a growing mythology with something that was inferior to most of the creations surrounding it. Whether the movie was on it's own merits that terrible, you have to remember that the core audience wasn't just looking at the movie on it's own merits. That's something critics need to learn to understand.

I also think that "Blair Witch" in paticular was built around a franchise killing premise. That is to say a lot of wierdness with no real answers ever being intended. Some people naively think this makes horror movies "better" but in reality is just pure laziness. In the end what sells a good mythology is when everything ties together and the end result is as cool as the mystery was. That's hard to do, but then again writing was never accused of being easy and
it's why good ones are so lionized. People ultimatly wanted to have the questions clearly answered, and despite the end of "Book Of Shadows" they really weren't. The tie in products were however beginning to answer those questions before they were squashed, and really if they had used the movie sequel as a sort of finale of the process it might have been a lot better received. That said, if you look at what happened with "Lost" when it began to get dragged out (and post finale falloff, despite the horrbily tacked on answers) and things like that, you can see why what they tried to do with "Blair Witch" just generally doesn't work, albiet it WAS one of the first mainstream movies of this generation
to try it.

Now, I notice that MDF's intro mentions a lot of franchise movies as paragons of what should be defended. In defending these movies however I think you need to consider the big picture, especially as it stood when these movies were released. Oftentimes that makes it easy to understand why the fans didn't rally for them like others. For example when looking at "Freddy Vs. Jason" the movie was entertaining, but then consider that that was a fight every 80s seriel horror fan had in their mind since they were little kids, dozens of scripts were presented over the years, many of which were linked, and tons of people had sketched out exactly that fight one way or another. The problem I think was that they made a mistake of trying to make a movie aimed at a very select crowd of long-term horror nerds too accessible, didn't give it the depth and minutae people wanted, and in the end released a product that while okay as a movie actually managed to be inferior as a Jason Vs. Freddy confrontation to a lot of fanfics or leaked scripts featuring the idea.

This might sound strange, but in closing I'll say that this kind of recurring mishandling of established mythologies might be a thing of the past as media winds up growing closer together, and you start seeing ARGs connected to video games and movies, and so on, to the point where in some cases you get cohesive mythologies built accross a number of platforms, none of which gives the entire picture, but is intended to be experienced together.

I think as a template for franchises, companies need to look back as far as HP Lovecraft, the guy who built what is pretty much the most enduring horror mythos ever, despite the involvement of a number of period authors and wierd tales creators with their own ideas. That is to say that they need to develop a solid vision of "the truth", keep to it, and then have someone to administrate consistincy with that even as things are being added to it. I mention this because it's possible to have some really good mysteries involving the Lovecraftian mythos and then tie everything together in the end and have it all make sense while still being pretty bloody terrifying... which is largely why the mythos continues to survive and be used today. In the hands of a decent author (you don't need to be an incredible one, which is part of the point) you can consistantly produce some nasty stuff keeping to those tenets.

To be honest when I was younger I thought for a little while that "Blair Witch" might have grown into something similar if not as pervasive, and on a more limited scale. "Book Of Shadows" kind of ruined that to be honest, and truthfully after tha movie it didn't seem like there was much interest in developing the universe. The same can be said of "Alien 3" for that matter, when the people building it were crushed under the weight of a inferior movie that wrecked their work, they kind of gave up on it.

That's the whole problem though. Blair Witch 2 is a terrible Blair Witch movie, in the same way Final Fantasy: Spirits Within was a TERRIBLE Final Fantasy movie.

If you just called it 'Book of Shadows' or 'Spirits Within', both movies are pretty decent, Spirits Within even inspiring Mass Effect with it's visuals.

Triaed:
Ooh, do Twilight!

From my understanding, the point of these videos is to take movies that are seen as being awful and show how they're actually good, or at least decent.

That can't be done with utter crap featuring vampires that sparkle like pixies.

OT: I've seen a couple other people say it, so I'll say it too. Personally I thought Book of Shadows was better than the first one. The only part of the first one that I found creepy at all was literally the last 3 minutes when they're in the house, the camera goes down stairs, one of them is just standing in the corner with his back to the room, shaking, and as soon as you see that there's a scream, a thud, and the camera gets dropped.

I liked BoS better because they didn't try the whole "Oooooooo this actually happened and we found the tapes!" BS. They said "We know this is just another "scary" movie and so this time we're going to make it like one." That is, they actually made a MOVIE this time rather than giving three jackasses a couple cameras and sent them out in the woods so people could throw stuff at their tents while they slept. This was an actual movie with an actual production, and personally I found parts of it to be creepier than anything in the first one. All in all, while I acknowledge it's not a fan-frickin'-tastic movie, I've never really understood the hate that this movie gets.

PS: I always thought the goth chick in this movie was hot. :3

Captcha: "Which one does not belong?" Only choice possible: "emo kid". o.o

Are you sure it was reviewed too too harshly?

I don't think so...

jim, ditch the intro... it seems uninspired and phoned in by whoever 'composed' it

I thought Book of Shadows was better then the original to be honest. It really wasn't that bad when I saw it and I watch a lot of horror movies.

GaltarDude1138:
Are you sure it was reviewed too too harshly?

I don't think so...

Wasn't Doug walker who also said that the amazing spider man was good?

Actually, I don't mind NC but I think his review of Book of Shadows further emphasizes Jim's point. He was harsh on it, and in all honesty I didn't think the movie was that bad. Not everyone on the internet is going to have the same opinions.

Even if it was said, I'll say it again; if not, then let me start- do the Room

OT, pretty good episode all around, it's nice to see new shows pop up here.

Sorry, all I got was goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl, goth girl....and so on.

I didn't like the original Blair Witch project the first time round, I attempted to watch it again a few times but I just can't stand it. If this movie is not really related it might be okay or at least less annoying than it's namesake.
So I might give it a try, although that's mainly because when bored I'll watch pretty much anything.

Magmarock:

GaltarDude1138:
Are you sure it was reviewed too too harshly?

I don't think so...

Wasn't Doug walker who also said that the amazing spider man was good?

Actually, I don't mind NC but I think his review of Book of Shadows further emphasizes Jim's point. He was harsh on it, and in all honesty I didn't think the movie was that bad. Not everyone on the internet is going to have the same opinions.

And....what? You think that because the guy said a bad movie was good it invalidates every criticism he brings up? Yeah, because that's how criticism works...

And sorry to break that statement but no, he wasn't overly harsh. He asked very legitimate questions which, so far, haven't been answered by anyone, least of all the "it's not that bad"-faction here.
Like what's up with the nose-slime-scene at the beginning? How did Donovan's character get out of there? Why? Did we ever see it having an impact on the events? What was the point of that scene? Was he the only one admitted to...Arkham Asylum, I guess? And why do we have to know that when the movie itself just cuts after the so-called "twist ending"? What's up with the nose-slime?

Or the Goth-Chick. Why was she psychic? Was that ever brought up? Do we ever find out anything about how her abilities work, when or why? Why wasn't the "witch" in the group fascinated by an effing PSYCHIC Gothgirl? And as far as the plot is concerned, why did she have psychic powers? Basically all she did with them was to find out that the author was pregnant, where the video tapes are and that they should play the tapes backward, all of which could be easily achieved without throwing a random supernatural ability in the mix which no one seems to be particulary bothered about.

And again: What's the bloody book of shadows? It's right there in the title, it's the first thing any viewer is going to know about the movie, so why don't we ever see or even hear about it? In fact, is there any book at all in this movie? The closest thing we have to a book is the author's script and that gets torn up without having any impact on anything whatsoever.

These are all very legitimate questions and we haven't even touched the plot, the setting or even the bloody Blair Witch. So no, no harsh criticism at all, just utter confusion created for no bloody reason.

Headbiter:

Magmarock:

GaltarDude1138:
Are you sure it was reviewed too too harshly?

I don't think so...

Wasn't Doug walker who also said that the amazing spider man was good?

Actually, I don't mind NC but I think his review of Book of Shadows further emphasizes Jim's point. He was harsh on it, and in all honesty I didn't think the movie was that bad. Not everyone on the internet is going to have the same opinions.

And....what? You think that because the guy said a bad movie was good it invalidates every criticism he brings up? Yeah, because that's how criticism works...

And sorry to break that statement but no, he wasn't overly harsh. He asked very legitimate questions which, so far, haven't been answered by anyone, least of all the "it's not that bad"-faction here.
Like what's up with the nose-slime-scene at the beginning? How did Donovan's character get out of there? Why? Did we ever see it having an impact on the events? What was the point of that scene? Was he the only one admitted to...Arkham Asylum, I guess? And why do we have to know that when the movie itself just cuts after the so-called "twist ending"? What's up with the nose-slime?

Or the Goth-Chick. Why was she psychic? Was that ever brought up? Do we ever find out anything about how her abilities work, when or why? Why wasn't the "witch" in the group fascinated by an effing PSYCHIC Gothgirl? And as far as the plot is concerned, why did she have psychic powers? Basically all she did with them was to find out that the author was pregnant, where the video tapes are and that they should play the tapes backward, all of which could be easily achieved without throwing a random supernatural ability in the mix which no one seems to be particulary bothered about.

And again: What's the bloody book of shadows? It's right there in the title, it's the first thing any viewer is going to know about the movie, so why don't we ever see or even hear about it? In fact, is there any book at all in this movie? The closest thing we have to a book is the author's script and that gets torn up without having any impact on anything whatsoever.

These are all very legitimate questions and we haven't even touched the plot, the setting or even the bloody Blair Witch. So no, no harsh criticism at all, just utter confusion created for no bloody reason.

Oh good look at all this text, anyway I think you completely missed the point so I'll reword it. You shouldn't let internet film critics dictate your opinion on everything. Book of shadows was no better or worse then any other horror shlock that came out at the time, that is all.

In the mean time look up Doug Walker's review of The amazing Spider man and then lok up Movies Bob's review of the same oh wait I'll just link them to you.

Doug's review http://blip.tv/bum-reviews/doug-walker-reviews-the-amazing-spiderman-6243849

Movie bobs review http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escape-to-the-movies/5995-The-Amazing-Spider-Man

These two review couldn't possible be for apart, which one is more valid, I'll let you decide as for me I just don't care.

Episode 2 of this series is IMHO a little early to be attacking straw men in the opening spiel.

'You probably haven't seen the film and probably think it's the worst film of all time'

Well, no. In fact I suspect many people's opinions of it will be pretty much what Jim thought: it's not THAT bad, and it's utterly unremarkable. That, in itself, is probably what keeps people from having fond (or any) memories of this film. And that's before you throw in the disappointment that those of us who really liked the first film felt... even forgetting that, it's just not a film that you'd recommend to anyone to watch after you'd seen it.

I hope we don't get a lot of Movie Defense Force episodes which defend average films for being not quite as bad as some fictional people might think.

P.S. Halloween 3. Now there's a sequel which doesn't have anything to do with the original that I'd recommend to people :)

Magmarock:

Oh good look at all this text, anyway I think you completely missed the point so I'll reword it. You shouldn't let internet film critics dictate your opinion on everything.

I don't. As you would have noticed by actually reading "all this text" (seriously, since when are 5 paragraphs 2-6 lines much text?) these are just obvious plotholes which serve only to confuse and are never explained. And as I said before, I myself wondered about the same things when I saw the movies. The NC-review is just a nice summary of basically everything wrong with that movie.

Book of shadows was no better or worse then any other horror shlock that came out at the time, that is all.

And that is a redeeming quality...how? I don't think pointing out that you're not alone in shit creek makes it any more endearing.

In the mean time look up Doug Walker's review of The amazing Spider man and then lok up Movies Bob's review of the same oh wait I'll just link them to you.

Erm...why? No, seriously, what significance do these reviews hold concerning Book of Shadows or any of the questions that flick brings up?

So, when are you going to do Indiana Jones 4?

Has anyone else noted that the theme song sounds very similar to "I want to Disappear" by Marilyn Manson?
At least I thought so

I watched this movie shortly after it got to video, and I didn't find it bad as much as it was just really dull. Not a lot happens in it that you haven't seen elsewhere. Horror movies need to be interesting in some way, and for me this one simply wasn't. Not bad, just ...dry.

saintdane05:
So, when are you going to do Indiana Jones 4?

Only point is you need to make up your own mind on things and I didn't get that impression from you, other then that I don't care :/

Magmarock:

saintdane05:
So, when are you going to do Indiana Jones 4?

Only point is you need to make up your own mind on things and I didn't get that impression from you, other then that I don't care :/

I'm... uh... I'm confused. Could you rephrase that?

saintdane05:

Magmarock:

saintdane05:
So, when are you going to do Indiana Jones 4?

Only point is you need to make up your own mind on things and I didn't get that impression from you, other then that I don't care :/

I'm... uh... I'm confused. Could you rephrase that?

Don't worry about it.

saintdane05:

Magmarock:

saintdane05:
So, when are you going to do Indiana Jones 4?

Only point is you need to make up your own mind on things and I didn't get that impression from you, other then that I don't care :/

I'm... uh... I'm confused. Could you rephrase that?

I think he was so invested in avoiding my questions that he even missed the right Quote-button xD

Burn Notice is one of my favorite guilty pleasure shows. The revelation that Jeffery Donovan was in this as the protagonist was...REALLY weird.

Triaed:
Ooh, do Twilight!

That movie IS actually bad (probably not as bad as Internet Cool People make it out to be, but it is TERRIBLE).

any reason we are not getting any more of these?

Anybody remember the Blair Witch videogames? ;)

Blunderboy:
I'd forgotten all about this film.
It's a shame Micheal couldn't bring Sam along, he's used to spooky happenings in the woods.

image

That picture perfectly represents my facial expression after seeing the first Blair Witch. I was 11 and I already wanted to become an alcoholic because of it.

Best quote from the first one:

"Fuck"

I have to admit that I also quite like this film. Sure, it's no masterpiece, but as a horror film aficionado (I go through the horror section of local video stores alphabetically over time and get anything I haven't already seen) it is far far better than almost any horror film sequel in existence (not counting Evil Dead here). If anyone's seen Amityville Dollhouse you'll know what I'm talking about as far as terrible films go. Most shocking moment of that film was a woman masturbating whilst thinking about her son (now that's something you don't see everyday).

As said in the review/defense, the film was panned because it had 'Blair Witch' in the title. Hell, I actually saw this film before I saw the original so to me it was all completely new material.

Hell, one of the primary reasons I saw it was the goth chick (hot damn I've always had something for goth chicks - Fairuza Balk, I'm looking at you. RIGHT NOW.

EDIT:

AWAR:
Anybody remember the Blair Witch videogames? ;)

Why yes, yes I do. Only played the one where you're that girl paranormal investigator who goes out there in 1930 or so. Holy Christ ... not many games where the 'hero' ends up massacring a whole town and then blowing her own brains out. Made it more memorable than the original movie if you ask me.

I didn't have much interest in watching this because of the name. I agree, had it been titled something else it probably would have done okay. I actually did rent it though at one point and I didn't think it was that bad really. It was a little dry and boring at times, but the acting and quality seemed decent enough. If I remember correct there was a suggestion at the end of the movie to watch it while playing it in reverse to see hidden things.

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