Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows (2000) - Synopsis
Arriving at a moment of unprecedented public appetite for reality-based entertainment, including television programs, movies and video games, Artisan Entertainment's Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 takes that fascination and finds in it the stuff of nightmares.
As it follows the twisted path traveled by five people fixated on The Blair Witch Project: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 journeys into a dark and dangerous place where the line between truth and fiction blurs and perhaps vanishes altogether. Individual perception grows increasingly untrustworthy as the film's protagonists find themselves caught in a vortex of unspeakable evil, the origins of which - human or supernatural - remain chillingly uncertain.
On one level, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 can be read as a tale of mass hysteria which addresses the potent issue of popular culture's impact on ordinary lives. Part of the film's genuine terror rests in the fact that it offers no easy or comforting conclusions; instead, it inverts a central conceit of its predecessor, asking us to consider whether Blair Witch Project, the (1999) - and by extension, any piece of popular culture that is blamed for violent acts - is the contemporary equivalent of amorphous villains like the Blair Witch.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 returns to Maryland's ominous Black Hills region to reconstruct a ghastly series of crimes committed in November 1999. In the wake of The Blair Witch Project and the prodigious media coverage devoted to its conflation of documentary style and supernatural legend, fans and curiosity-seekers have descended upon the movie's real-life setting of Burkittsville, Maryland. Jeff (Jeffrey Donovan), a black-sheep townie only recently released from a mental institution, has turned his powerful obsession with Blair Witch into a business and has lured four young people to Burkittsville for a tour of the Witch's purported Black Hills' haunts. Jeff's clients are also fixated on the film, for reasons they themselves may not fully comprehend. Erica (Erica Leerhsen) is a practicing Wiccan who has immersed herself in Blair Witch mythology, even though she decries the film's portrayal of her fellow witches. Grad students Tristen (Tristen Skyler) and Stephen (Stephen Barker Turner) are writing a book about the Blair Witch, but disagree completely about the story's basis in fact, with folklorist Tristen arguing that it must contain some grain of truth while Stephen insists it's a textbook case of mass hysteria. Completing the group is Kim (Kim Director), a hard-edged, sardonic Goth aficionado possessed of striking psychic abilities.
After spending a strange and disorienting night at one of the most sinister sites in Blair Witch lore, the five campers awake to a scene of destruction and no memory of having gone to sleep. They return to Jeff's abandoned warehouse loft to try to piece together what happened. But as Jeff leads Erica, Tristen, Stephen and Kim across the rickety drawbridge and unlocks the metal door to a chorus of barking dogs, they are entering a place no safer than the woods they just left. Inside, legend begins to bleed into reality as they become caught in a nightmare as inescapable as their own bedeviled minds. Too late, they realize that when they left the woods, they didn't leave alone.....
Directed by Joe Berlinger, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 was written by Dick Beebe and Berlinger, produced by Bill Carraro and executive produced by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez. The film's director of photography was Nancy Schreiber, A.S.C., editor Sarah Flack, production designer Vince Peranio, costume designer Melissa Toth and composer Carter Burwell. It stars Kim Director, Jeffrey Donovan, Erica Leerhsen, Tristen Skyler and Stephen Barker Turner.