Blair Witch 2 (2000)
Director: Joe Berlinger
Five young people who are into everything that surrounds the "media" and who’ve seen The Blair Witch Project, trek to the woods where the original film was shot. When they leave the woods, they don’t remember what happened and they bring something back with them…it ain't poison oak.
Not scary, not thrilling but very eerie, unsettling and totally weird. I’ll start off by saying that this film does not contain an evil witch on a killing spree. This flick is basically watching five people lose their minds for 90 minutes. They’ve all forgotten a certain lapse of time from their excursion, they all have weird markings on their bodies, they all have supernatural hallucinations and one of them at a certain point, seems to be possessed (or is it all of them?). When a dead body pops up they start suspecting each other and when the end credits roll, you’ll be questioning the movie and begging for a second viewing.
At first, the film confused me with its back and forth. I didn’t know where I was. But as time went on, I found my way. Most of the movie is basically a big flashback. Two small things bothered me: We never get to know why Jeffrey was in a nut house and we never get to know why Erica’s parents have no knowledge of her existence. I also have to comment on the lack of tension and scares. Having some of that in there would have elevated this flick to horror classic status.
The film plays a lot with reality, it slaps it, bends it and breaks it. Supernatural vs. Psychological, take your pick, which one is real? The film throws so many odd things at you that your brain doesn’t have time to register exactly what’s going on. That’s not necessarily a negative thing, it actually keeps us (the audience) off balance and on the edge. When the film does decide to reveal something (like what happened during the lost time), it shows it too fast with lots of quick cuts and flashes. My eyes started to water from not blinking. In that respect I would have loved to have SEEN more of the missing time scenes, it would have drove the point home way harder. From what I caught, it looked like a wonderful time: Lots of blood and sex (my kind of party).
The film elevates our recent video camera fetish to higher heights. I have never seen so many video cams in one flick. I liked the part they play in the movie: revealers of truth.
Now if you’re expecting some stalk sequences, car chases or boo scares...look elsewhere. The only trendy thing about this flick is the soundtrack. The film is a mind trip and the most exciting physical thing that happens in this movie is a bridge falling. The actors are all pretty good (except that damn cop, he stunk), the film is very spooky, I love the observations the flick makes on the popularity of the first, I love the humor (great house alarm… lol), I love its non mainstream approach and its nihilistic tendencies.
Where the original was a faux-documentary, this one sells itself as a re-enactment. That aspect is treated with wit and intelligence. No, you won’t know more about the Blair Witch, no, you won’t see Heather or the boys again. YES, you’ll be treated to a horror film that stands firmly on its two feet, that takes the original into account but has its own story to tell in its own off the wall way. The movie’s substance might be questioned but believe me when I say that there’s more than meets the eyes with this bad boy. Berlinger injects the flick with lots of sneaky shots and the whole "real" life VS recorded events is something to really pay attention to. These characters are not what they seem, maybe they’ve also watched too many horror movies. This sequel is definitely NOT what I expected and I’m happy about that. I see so many fear flicks and don’t get surprised too often. This one pleasantly surprised me.
Some stabbings, owl munching, chest slashing…most of the gore is shown real fast…so don’t sneeze.
Kim Director is great as the Goth chick, she delivers the thespian goods and is way hot. Wonder what she looks like without the makeup. Jeffrey Donovan is very out there and gives a fun performance. Erica Leerhsen does "sensual" real well and had me foaming. Tristine Skyler is solid and really surprised me when her personality kind of changed. Stephen barker Turner puts a lot of emotion in his performance and looks very familiar (dad is that u?) The acting is overall solid but sometimes I felt it was a tad off. Maybe it was the lines, maybe the actors…I’m not quite sure. One thing is certain, that dude that plays the Sheriff should never act again. GO HOME!
T & A
Erica Leerhsen is naked often (yum) and Jeffrey Donovan rivals Mel Gibson in the best butt shot award.
Joe Berlinger goes all out with the style, delivering many quick cuts, slicks shots and turning his back on his documentary roots. The movie looks good, moves fast but I really would have appreciated more tension and some (non cheap) scares. I will give the man praise for taking an original approach in directing this film and delivering a movie that not only looks great, but also delivers something fresh and new.
A very, very hip soundtrack: Slaves On Dope, Marilyn Manson and of course, the horror soundtrack king: Rob Zombie.
Rest assured this sequel is NOT a reworking of the first. My advice: walk in with a very open mind, don’t expect a "Scream" like flick and don’t take your eyes off the screen. This flick is a perfect Halloween offering. It's not scary but it's different, creepy and very ambiguous. There are many ways you can interpret what’s going on. Blair Witch 2 follows its own rules but I’m not sure everybody will dig the game it's playing. I have a feeling that many people will hate this sequel but that with time the masses will learn to appreciate it for what it is: A different, ballsy, unorthodox film. As for me…sign me up for Part 3…I’m there.
At his audition, a camera was put on Jeffery Donovan and he was asked what he thought of the original Blair Witch Project. His answer: "I think it fucking sucks". He still got the part.