The Horror Honeys: Book of Shadows Is The Sequel We Deserve to Blair Witch

Book of Shadows Is The Sequel We Deserve to Blair Witch

A Zombie Honey "Witch Month" Review with Bella


Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
I know that I am not the only person who loves this movie. I know I’m not, because I live-tweeted it before reviewing it and at least ONE other person joined in without hemming and hawing. So that’s saying something. Something other than the #HorribleHoney strikes again.

Anyway.

I truly believe that Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is the EXACT sequel we needed after The Blair Witch Project. Blair Witch was a singularly unique experience, IF you saw it when it came out. The hype surrounding the “documentary” was viral before viral marketing was really a thing. People, who knew better, questioned their judgement regarding the “reality” sold to them for this found-footage frontrunner. Horror fans arrived at theaters in droves to devour this new(ish) form of horror movie. And when they left, as with a lot of horror, it proved to be quite divisive.

What we know now is that whether you loved Blair Witch at it’s release or not - the movie does not hold up well. We can give credit where credit is due for the amazing marketing, the attention to tie ins, and the relatively unknown found-footage format. But revisiting Blair Witch, or seeing it for the first time, is usually a fairly “meh” experience. Which is why Book of Shadows is so perfect as a follow up! It is NONE of the things that Blair Witch was. It didn’t even aspire to BE what Blair Witch was.

In fact, Book of Shadows took everything innovative that Blair Witch did, threw it into the woods, and set the woods on fire. Book of Shadows is, for all intents and purposes, a horror-by-numbers movie. And that’s one of the reasons I find it so damned entertaining. It is formulated to be that way:

  • References the original movie- complete with believer conversation about whether it was real or not? Check!
  • Protagonist backstory filled in with cutscenes from a psychotic break? Check!
  • Revisiting the site of the original movie without the shaky cam? Check!
  • Stupid white people doing drugs in the woods? Check!
  • Creepy children? Check!
  • Creepy children walking backwards? Check!
  • Grumpy law enforcement? Check!
  • Naked girl? Check!
  • Twist Ending? Check, Check, Check!
  • An actual witch and her book of shadows? Well… we can’t have everything, I guess.

Witch Orgy? CHECK!
There’s nothing surprising about Book of Shadows. From the credits to the cut scenes to the “make everything go backwards” explanation*, you know what you’re getting from this movie. And sometimes that is just what you need. I feel like it’s exactly what you need in the case of a sequel to Blair Witch because while it doesn’t hold up well - Book of Shadows doesn’t have to hold up at all. It is exactly what it is all of the time; whether you watched it in 2000 or 2016. It’s a fair movie and, an only slightly less, fair horror movie.

A group of Blair Witch fans travel into the woods only to lose time and begin to become psychologically unhinged as their recorded lives fail to match what they believe their reality to be. Throw in some gore sequences, the return of a witch, and some boobies… Who wouldn’t want to watch that? Plenty of people. Clearly.

Book of Shadows is not a well-loved, or even well-liked movie. Because it IS bad. But I think that it knows it’s bad. That doesn’t give it a pass - but I do. The acting isn’t terrible, the script is actually tolerable, the horror- while generic- is passable. It went a different direction than Blair Witch, what direction it went is still up in the air… but it’s a nonsensical journey I’m always happy to take.

*pinch*
And if none of that isn’t reason enough for you to watch and enjoy Book of Shadows, consider this: Jeffrey Donovan (yes, of Burn Notice fame) is the main cuckoo- and let’s be honest, he was born to play a lunatic AND a spy. Oh, and you get to see his naked tuchus.


RATING: I found some sticks in the woods, I took them home to make a stickman, but instead I watched this movie.

* I cannot be the only one who realized that when the self-proclaimed witch was recorded dancing around the tree naked - that she was doing so backwards, right? As in, shifting time, right?! RIGHT?!

Love it or hate it, talk to Bella about it on the twitters @MissBellaBlitz