This shameless cash grab tries to ride the success of the box office smash indie film but utterly fails. This campy horror film is difficult to watch. The movie does nothing to scare or create any tension that was ever present in the first film. The creators thought they could throw whatever on the screen and capitalize on the past success but all this movie does is make a shameful movie that everyone involved most likely wanted to forget as soon as it was released.
Book of Shadows has nothing to do with any book that I could recall though I stopped paying close attention before the first hour was over. The movie stresses that this movie is involved with the first one with news story praising the success of the first film. The setting is the same Maryland woods as the characters are fanatics of the real film. The group goes out there and experiences the same phenomenon. It is a wonder that the first film could make this local so haunting and the second feels like a spoof film canceling out all the dread that was steadily built. Nothing scary happens at all during the initial scenes.
Jeffrey Patterson (Jeffrey Donovan) is the leader of the Blair Witch Hunt tourist group and uses his large van to drive out four customers to the location of the mysterious happenings. Kim Diamond (Kim Director) is a goth who claims to have psychic powers and tags along to investigate the woods as a fan of the movie. There are other characters like Erica Geerson (Erica Leerhson) played by a horror regular who claims to have witchcraft powers or something. None of the character development contributes much to the plot and the acting was terrible.
The film mainly takes place in an abandoned factory where tour guide Jeffrey has purchased the facility to investigate the strange happenings. None of the characters remember what happened the night before so they try to watch the video tape to see what happened. It's all pretty silly and not frightening at all. They start to break out with strange rashes and hallucinate people from a different time but all of this is wasted and really fails to create any horror. I can't stress enough how the director Joe Berlinger fails to create any horror, a total absence of tension and not even cheap jump scares.
As the reviews come out for the newest film, watching this film makes me fear that this film will be more like Book of Shadows than the original, just another attempt to capture 90s nostalgia and capitalize off of it with an inferior replica. The sequel simply lacks the inspired vision of the first, cannot mimic the gimmick of the documentary style, and don't know how to scare audiences. It looks like The Blair Witch Project should've just been left alone.