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YMMV / Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Invoked by the director. Were the protagonists possessed by the spirit of the Blair Witch? Perhaps their delusions were brought on by the woods themselves? Did the Witch alter the tapes, or their memories, in order to frame them? Maybe, since this is meant to be a dramatisation, the kids were just obsessed with the movie. As for Tristen's miscarriage, was it the drugs, or the Blair Witch?
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  • Complete Monster: In this Alternate Continuity, this version of Elly Kedward, aka the Blair Witch, is depicted as being less mysterious in favor of being more upfront and personal. Elly is the spirit that haunts the woods of Burkittsville and is responsible for centuries of death and disappearances, especially of children. When Erica theorizes that Elly was an innocent victim of persecution and makes contact with Elly, the witch is revealed to be a malicious being who starts off tormenting the tour group with visions of her child victims, and is implied to caused Tristen to have a miscarriage. Later it's revealed the witch has been possessing not just Tristen and Erica, but the rest of their group as well, with an addition of gaslighting; having them slaughter a group of tourists in a ritualistic orgy; having Kim kill a woman she had an argument with; and seemingly having Jeff kill Erica. When the group confronts a seemingly possessed Tristen, who goads them into hanging her, a tape later reveals that the witch had them under a delusion while killing a terrified Tristen, ruining the lives of her friends.
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  • Critic-Proof: Panned by critics but made its money back and grossed $47 million worldwide. It was still viewed as a disappointing follow-up to its predecessor however.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: One good thing that is said about the movie is the character Kim, with fans saying she makes the movie worth watching.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Joe Berlinger's original plan for the film (at least, before Executive Meddling kicked in) was to create a story about people who, in their obsession with a made-up urban legend about a supernatural killer, go on a killing spree. This horrifying scenario played out for real on May 31, 2014, when a pair of adolescent girls in Waukesha, Wisconsin lured a friend into the woods and stabbed her repeatedly due to their obsession with The Slender Man Mythos.
  • Narm:
    • "Yes, Erica, they're my tapes!"
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    • "I swear to Christ!"
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Steven discovers that the tape shows him and the others savagely killing an innocent Tristen - in stark contrast to what he thought had happened. As put by someone else "video never lies, but film does."
    • Kim discovering that she had murdered Peggy from the grocery store.
  • Sequelitis: While the first film is divisive, this sequel was trashed by critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the first movie a 85% Fresh rating and this movie a 13% Rotten rating, while their IMDb scores are, respectively, 6.4 and 4.0.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Upon hearing the original vision for the movie, it's widely agreed that it had a lot of potential. It was originally intended to start out as a satire of the Blair Witch hysteria, only to unravel into a massive Mind Screw - over whether or not the Blair Witch was real and messing with the protagonists, or they were all having a shared delusion brought on by the media. The studio wanted a more traditional horror movie - resulting in a lot of extra violence and gore that had very little to do with the story.
    • The Shout Outs to classic horror movies - Erica spinning around the tree to The Evil Dead, Kim eating the owl to Night of the Living Dead (1968), the barking dogs to The Omen (1976) and playing the tapes backwards to The Exorcist. The intent was to show how the protagonists are so obsessed with media that they've brought delusions from horror films into their reality - which is a pretty neat idea. The studio's insistence on more gore and violence gets rid of the context however.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: The scenes of Jeff in a mental hospital add nothing to the film, and were put there at the request of the studio to make Jeff into a Red Herring (as the film has No Antagonist).
  • Values Resonance: The intended message was lost under Executive Meddling, but director Joe Berlinger intended it as a film about viewers' relationship with horror movies and the line between reality and fiction. Following the Slender Man incident...
  • Vindicated by History:
    • The movie was trashed by fans and critics when it came out. As the years go by, and the original intent of the film has been revealed (as well as the heavy Executive Meddling it faced) - people are starting to see it as a very misunderstood work. There are numerous attempts at fan edits to bring the film to its original intent.
    • Numerous fans of the movie were upset that there was a sequel in the first place, as the hype was so strong, it was doubtful that any sequel would measure up to their standards.
  • The Woobie: Tristen loses her baby while in the woods, and must deal with either possession from the Blair Witch or a shared delusion. She's ultimately killed by the others, and it's unknown if she was ever really possessed.


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