Someone's going to have to explain to me why this movie is being used as an example of a four-star on the Horrorthon Rating Scale. We meant the original Blair Witch Project right? The one that everybody from Roger Ebert to Kurt Loder says is like the best movie since the movie they made about sliced bread? The standard bearer for found footage films? Because right now it looks like we're putting this movie on the level of Evil Dead II -- either Johnny Sweatpants, who put this list together, is on crack (not out of the realm of possibility -- he also thinks lemons and limes taste the same), or I missed something huge and awesome about this movie.
The original Blair Witch movie is the first really high profile found footage movie. It hit a level of notoriety that'd be next to impossible to duplicate, so the filmmakers made the reasonable decision to take the franchise in a different direction. The sequel is a conventional dramatic horror movie, making only sparse use of footage-vision and always viewed after the fact by the characters. This is, oddly, where the film is at its best. In fact most of the key twists in the film involve discoveries made watching footage after the fact.
There are a few satisfying moments of spookiness. The presence in the woods isn't just hostile, it's hypnotic. It can come in the form of visions, or slightly more involved alter-realities -- all of this is effectively made and helps capture the atmosphere of fright particular to forests.
I enjoyed these things only in spite of the characters, though. The movie follows five people on a Blair Woods walking tour, "The Blair Witch Hunt." There's the leader, who has chin pubes and used to be in an asylum. There's a husband and wife researching a book they're co-writing on the Blair Witch craze -- which makes them, not conspiracy theorists but rather people who are interested enough in conspiracy theorists to write a book about them, which is almost as strange. There's the goth girl who maybe has ESP. Then there's a real live Wiccan.
This is totally the team I would assemble if I were entering a big D&D tournament, but I was bored of the conversation before the 10 minute mark. It's nothing wrong with the writing, or even really the acting -- I just tired of the characters and the conversation. Early on in the movie they encounter "the Blair Witch Walk," another tour group -- two Japanese tourists and a German one and two Americans with cameras. I thought, "I wish I were with those dudes instead." That'd have been a much shorter movie, it turns out.