A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's not much that's worth seeing in Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, although some teens may be interested. Parents should be aware that this slasher flick is filled with graphic sex, violence, and profanity. Characters are shown drinking heavily and smoking marijuana. There are glimpses of topless girls and rear male nudity that occurs in the context of a drug-influenced occult sex-and-death orgy, as well as full frontal female nudity. There is frequent use of strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," and "pr--k."
What's the story?
In the world of BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH PROJECT 2, the first film has created a sensation, with witch-obsessed tourists flocking to the small town of Burkittsville, Maryland. Four young adults join tour guide Jeff (Jeffrey Donovan) on his witch-hunting excursion into the woods and wind up spending the night in the home of killer Rustin Parr. The next morning, they can't remember what happened during the night, but one thing is certain -- evil is afoot, and they're connected to it.
Is it any good?
What made the original Blair Witch Project refreshing, especially from a parental standpoint, was its lack of onscreen violence or sleaze (its R rating applied to abundant profanity). The eerie camera's-eye-view narrative allowed the viewer's imagination do all the spooky work. This sequel features gory, repeated close-ups of knives plunging into torsos and flesh gashed open.
The filmmakers behind Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (who aren't the original Blair Witch writer-directors) are documentarians who made a more absorbing nonfiction feature called Paradise Lost about a murder case in which three high schoolers may have been falsely accused because of their gothic looks and music, not unlike the so-called Wiccans here. Whether it's borrowing those discussion-worthy themes from Paradise Lost, or referencing names and places from The Blair Witch Project, Book of Shadows finishes in last place.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why The Blair Witch Project was so popular, and how Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 attempts to capitalize on the original movie. Is the first film just as scary, or even scarier, even though it isn't as gory as this sequel?
What do you think is the appeal of horror movies? Why do people enjoy feeling scared? How scary is the movie? What are the scariest parts? What's the difference between jump-scares and other kinds of scares? Does a movie have to be violent to be scary?
- In theaters: March 26, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: March 26, 2002
- Cast: Jeffrey Donovan, Kim Director, Tristan Skylar
- Director: Joe Berlinger
- Studio: Artisan Entertainment
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence, language, sexuality and drug use
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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