Dear my subconscious, what the fuck?

Really, brain? What the fuck?? I've watched some of the 'scariest' movies known to man, and not once flinched. I've seen The Shining, The Ring, The Grudge and The Excorcist. I've sat through all manner of torture tripe; Hostel 1-2, Martyrs (okay, that one made something of an incredible emotional impact - but it didn't really scare) and even a Human Centipede. And not since I was, oh say ten, has anything given me nightmares (back then Mary Shelley's Frankenstein managed it, Jebus knows how). Truly I thought I was unflappable.

And then last night in search of some late night TV slop, I happened across The Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows. I've seen the first one multiple times, and even that didn't bother me. Can you say overrated? The sequel eschews the 'found footage' gimmick of the first movie in favour of a more traditional kids-in-the-woods horror tale. After watching the first movie, a gang of college kids decide to head on down to the woods to see if there's any truth in the Blair Witch myth. At their head is Jeffery, a possibly-crazy tour guide and video camera fanatic. On the tour, he takes the kids to the rotted ruins as seen in the first movie. Drunkening and partygoing quickly ensues. The youths pass out. When they wake up, their cameras and research have all been destroyed. They're all suffering from amnesia. All that remains is a few tapes. What follows is like a horror version of The Hangover.

I watched it, I was reasonably amused and then I went to bed.

And then in the middle of the night, something strange and unusual and horrible happened.

(No, not masturbation, I said unusual. That happens every night).

I woke up in cold sweats with the horrific horryifying feeling that something was in my room.

No, not that. The other one (I wish I could wake up to find Linda Blair in my room).

Not even that one.

The Blair Witch, I thought in my half-asleep stupor, was in my bedroom. In a little corner, between the DVD rack and the comic book bookshelf. And that doesn't even make sense, since the Blair Witch doesn't appear in The Blair Witch 2. And it wasn't just the Blair Witch that was in my room, but the supporting cast too. That guy from off've Burn Notice, the sexy Wicca and the kinda hot Goth were all there. But not the central couple (Tristine Skyler and Stephen Barker Turner) because they were a bit bland, unremarkable and forgettable. I couldn't see any of them but I knew they were there and I knew they weren't there, all at the same time.

Book of Shadows isn't even a scary film. It's got some good ideas and creepy sequences - I really enjoyed the pagan rituals, the group's mass hysteria, mis-perception of events and especially liked the movie's ending. I even found it more enjoyable than the predecessor, which is good but a little hokey and overrated. In no way is it scary though. It's creepy yet empty, like the House on Haunted Hill remake or Event Horizon. But there's something about the meta film-within-a-film scenario that managed to pierce my normally boob-obsessed subconscious enough to creep the hell out of me. Like Freddy Kreuger turning up in one of your own dreams (no lie: I stole Freddy's fedora when he last made an appearance) there's that idea in The Blair Witch 2 that the Witch can break through the boundaries of reality and 'infect' one's perception. Spreading the mass hysteria as experienced by the kids, perhaps? Damn, I am giving this much more thought than Book of Shadows ever could deserve.

By the way, this is the film I'm scoring, not the waking nightmare. There wasn't nearly enough gore, boobs or Timothy Olyphant to get that past the 2/5 mark.

1 comment:

  1. ugh. this is one nightmare I'll never recover from. I was such a fan of the original and I can't believe how bad this was. You know how bad it was? I can't even remember it. thanks for reminding me.