I think at this point we can all agree that the found footage horror subgenre has not only jumped the shark, it has also caught the shark, ripped the hook from its mouth, slaughtered the shark, cut it into steaks, eaten the steaks, and pooped them out. That’s why I feel perfectly justified in expressing my opinion that although The Blair Witch Project was a watershed moment in horror, the sequel is the one that holds up better today, at least in terms of watchability. Frankly, I’ve always enjoyed the hell out of the second one, even though at one time I felt a bit sheepish about it. But I recently watched it again for the first time in several years, and I have just gone ahead and decided my love for The Blair Witch Project 2 is shameless.
The story is this: in the universe of The Blair Witch Project 2, the first movie was a fictional film, and now tourists are trampling the redneck paradise of Burkittsville. That guy from Burn Notice is the weird guy in town, now capitalizing on the movie by running an ultimately ill-fated tour of Blair Witch related sites, and we see in flashbacks that he has been in the mental hospital in the past. So the movie quite effectively sets him up as a red herring when the for-real killings begin. There’s no napkin full of something unidentifiable here; we get the full experience of seeing some people get butchered, and we see some ghosts. And although we do get a person standing in the corner, the film quickly confirms that they are fucking dead.
On the other hand, even though the violence is much more in your face than in the original, the resolution of this film dishes out a heaping helping of that ambiguity that I know we all love so much, if the amount of hits I get on my Session 9 post is any indication of said love. We’re never sure if the killers are insane, if they are possessed, if they are lying, if the Blair Witch is killing folks, and even whether or not cameras can lie. And for added fun, Blair Witch 2 serves as a time capsule for the year 2000, complete with goth fashion, a pathological liar, lots of weed smoking, and an eBay addiction. If you haven’t seen this in a while, or if you’ve written it off as not worth the trouble, give it another shot.