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Film / Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

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Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is a 2000 sequel to The Blair Witch Project.

Five fans of the original The Blair Witch Project journey into the woods near Burkittsville to investigate the hysteria and mystery surrounding the film. After a night of heavy drinking, they wake up with no clue of what happened. Or what they may have done.

This film provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Sort of. A Direct-To-TV tie-in mockumentary Shadow of the Blair Witch clarifies that this film is a dramatization of events that 'happened' in the Blair Witch universe, and has different actors playing the characters in this film. This film can be viewed here.
  • Alternate Continuity: Like many expanded universe media of the original film, this movie isn't considered in continuity with each other. In this case, this is referred to as an In-Universe dramatization of events set shortly after the original movie was released in Burketsville.
  • Anachronic Order: We see snippets of the sheriff interrogating Jeff, Steven and Kim interspersed throughout the film — showing that something happened during their trip. There are also clips of the tourists being murdered at various points before and after it chronologically happens in the film.
  • Arc Words: "Video never lies."
  • Asshole Victim: Peggy from the grocery store refuses to serve Kim based off her appearance, and it's later revealed Kim killed her.
  • Big Bad: Elly Kedward, aka the Blair Witch.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Tristen (blonde), Kim (brunette) and Erica (redhead).
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kim finds a nail file in her bag from the grocery store. The security footage shows her using it to kill Peggy.
  • Creepy Child: Ghostly apparitions of the children that Elly Kedward killed appear throughout the film. A hidden message in the film suggest that Elly's ghost controls them and let them loose to torment the protagonists.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Jeff, Kim and Steven murdered all the tourists in the woods, Erica, Peggy in the grocery store and eventually Tristen herself. Either they were under the influence of the Blair Witch or suffered a mass hallucination. The tape of Tristen's death shows her being cruelly murdered — at odds with what her death scene showed. Steven's last words are screaming that somebody had to have messed with the tape.
  • Demonic Possession: Tristen apparently suffers from this at the Blair Witch's influence, but the ending reveals that the other protagonists also suffered this.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: Jeff's house is an old factory from the Civil War. He talked the realtor to selling it for a buck.
  • Drugs Are Bad: They not only lead to Tristen having a miscarriage (assuming the Blair Witch had nothing to do with it) but cause the protagonists to blackout and murder innocent people at the Blair Witch's influence.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Erica sympathizes with Elly and tries to make contact with her, only for Elly to bring about her death.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Elly acts like this while possessing Tristen.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble:
    • Jeff is The Cynic — only out to make a profit from the Blair Witch hysteria.
    • Erica is The Optimist — who feels empathy for Elly Kedward for being persecuted.
    • Steven is The Realist — believing entirely in objectiveness and decisiveness.
    • Kim is The Apathetic — she represents the outsider mentality of the Blair Witch hysteria.
    • Tristen is The Conflicted — as the one who may or may not be possessed by the witch.
  • Goth: Kim. Dresses in all black, and dark makeup, with a seemingly anti-social personality. That being said, she bemoans the negative stereotypes of goths, and manages to be the most rational and down to earth in the group.
  • I Have No Son!: Erica is not on speaking terms with her parents. However, when she disappears, the others try to call her parents out of concern, only to find they mean the trope literally.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kim is moody and anti-social, but she’s actually a decent person underneath it all.
  • The Killer in Me: It is revealed at the end that the three remaining main characters have been killing off their friends over the course of the movie, who they were hallucinating as evil people.
  • Large Ham: Dear lord, the Sheriff. He was one "I hates that rabbit!" away from being Yosemite Sam.
  • Meta Sequel: Rather than being a re-tread of the first film, the sequel is about fans of the first film investigating the mythology of it.
  • Mind Screw: It's left open whether or not Kim, Steven and Jeff were possessed by the Blair Witch when they murdered everyone. Or if they just had a shared delusion brought on by the hysteria of the legend. Or if something completely different happened and the witch messed with the tapes again.
  • Never Trust a Title: No book of any kind is ever plot-important. A "Book of Shadows" is a real life type of book containing religious text and instructions for magical rituals found within the Neopagan religion of Wicca, and in many pagan practices. It would be relevant to Erica in this regard, but she never mentions or is shown to have one.
  • Non-Indicative Title: Besides the faint connection to Blair Witch, there's no Book of Shadows to be seen. It was tacked on by the studio but does have some Wiccan connection.note 
  • One Drink Will Kill the Baby: Played with. Tristen is pregnant and drinks and smokes on the first night with everyone else, but you can hardly say she went light on it.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Several clues were dropped throughout the movie, as pointed out on the DVD:
    • Numerous shots throughout the movie have words briefly flash across the screen. Put together they spell the sentence 'Seek Me No Further'. Seek flashes across the screen from the campfire, Me is spelled out on the ground as Erica lies on the grass, No is on the window as Erica and Steven talk at the table, and Further appears on the headstone when the group first meets Kim. Combined with Tristen's curious spoken backwards sentence, the complete message is "Seek me no further or the children will again walk free" - implying that if the protagonists didn't stop pursuing Elly Kedward then she would send the spirits of the murdered children to torment them even more.
    • Kim steps over a man lying on the floor to get beer from the cooler in the grocery store. When she's talking to Peggy at the counter, there is no one on the floor. The man is an apparition of Rustin Parr, according to Word of God.
  • Sequel: The Original Title: Instead of being The Blair Witch Project 2: The Book of Shadows, it's The Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Thorn symbol appears and is marked on the protagonists, but here it has a different meaning.note 
    • There are several plot-relevant ones to classic horror films; Kim biting the owl is to Night of the Living Dead (1968), Erica spinning around the tree is to The Evil Dead, the dogs barking is to The Omen (1976) and playing the tapes backwards is to The Exorcist. According to the director, it's to show that the characters are so obsessed with media that they've started having hallucinations about it.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Possibly to parody the first film's habit of this.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The characters wake up hung over, Tristen and Steven's notes and research torn up and the equipment destroyed. A key plot point is rewatching the video tapes to find out what they did.