Sunday, 23 February 2014

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

"You know, there are a lot of naysayers who say nay..."

Before I started blogging movies I tended to avoid films with bad reputations, as you do. But at least the prospect of reviewing a bad film after watching it offers the consolation prize of being able to administer a good spanking after the ordeal of watching it. This is one of those times.

I went into this film with predictably low expectations and, inevitably, this film slightly exceeded them- the ending, with reality shifting nightmarishly around our protagonists to make them guilty of terrible crimes that only they know they did not commit, is a good idea that would perhaps have worked well in a better film. Likewise, I enjoyed the metatextuality of the beginning, with all the characters having seen the first film and tourists flocking to Burkittsville as a result; it may be a trick as old as Cervantes, but it works.

Thing is, though, the only thing that works about this film, other than the snippet of Queens of the Stone Age's splendid Feelgood Hit of the Summer, is the meta stuff, and it should have been obvious why. The first film (itself arguably far less well-regarded now than at the time) worked, to the extent that it did, because of it's form, not it's content. If you took away the "found footage" aspect, you'd have a rather pedestrian film. So what do they so for the sequel? They do exactly that. The results are predictable. Literally the best thing about the film is the beginning, promising a metatextuality that doesn't materialise.

I suppose we have a slight commentary on the first film through the character of Tristen, a Wiccan, objecting to the idea of nature being evil, but the characters are generally annoying, forgettable and vaguely annoying all at once; it's hard to emphasise much with the film's protagonists, who are not particularly nice, charismatic or interesting. I didn't even like the female goth character, and that's saying something.

I suppose I enjoyed the sight of the tape of the missing hours, which rather resembled a music video by Tool or Marilyn Manson in its style, and the ending is moderately better than the preceding dullness, but this is very much a film worth skipping.

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