Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Trick or Trailers: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
It's somewhat disconcerting to me that the year 2000 seems like such a long time ago. Looking at this trailer for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, it somehow seems like even more of an ancient relic than trailers of much earlier vintage. Maybe it's the Artisan logo on the front. Seeing that, it's like "man, what happened to those guys?" They were a thing for a while and then - poof! - gone.
This trailer says it all about how little Artisan understood the phenomenon of Blair Witch in the first place. That movie was a classic case of lightning in a bottle and as soon as this trailer starts to unfold, you know that didn't happen this time around. I expect executives at Artisan really believed that if the first Blair Witch could do so well looking like (in their minds) a piece of crap, then if they made a real movie this time, with slick production values and special effects then people would literally turn out in droves.
Of course, this movie does have its fans - when you come down to it, nearly every horror movie attracts at least a minor cult following eventually - but I don't remember being too taken with it myself.
I definitely think that whatever missteps were made with BW2 proved educational to the people behind the Saw films and, even moreso, Paranormal Activity. BW2 was such a cautionary tale of how to blow a potential franchise that it set an example of what to avoid.
While The Blair Witch Project made plenty of people think twice about cavalierly walking into the woods, its sequel taught other studios and filmmakers to handle their horror franchises with care.