Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 | Crooked Media
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January 30, 2024
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

In This Episode

Halle and Alison find neither books nor shadows while ruining Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.







[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, hello. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: This is a podcast. Where we ruin a horror movie just for you. Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Just for all of you. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, how are you doing? 


Alison Leiby: I got us. I have a little thing to plug. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh great. 


Alison Leiby: Not plug, but. I’m back on baked potatoes. 


Halle Kiefer: You’re plugging. Baked? The concept of baked potatoes. [laughter] Tell me more of what’s going on in that baked potato. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, I haven’t I like obviously they are a winter food. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s hilarious. Yeah ooh, cozy.


Alison Leiby: I just like forgot how good they are. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re so fucking good. 


Alison Leiby: And how, like I prefer to do mine in the oven, but you can do it quick in the microwave, but like. 


Halle Kiefer: An air fryer. Even? 


Alison Leiby: I, as someone who doesn’t own an air fryer, I have no idea if that’s true. But you must be able to.


Halle Kiefer: Alison that will it will change your life. I’m just saying consider it. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t know it’s like—


Halle Kiefer: Maybe next Christmas. Next holiday. 


Alison Leiby: Maybe. But it’s like it’s so cheap. To have a potato just like a potato. And then what I put on it is butter. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh. 


Alison Leiby: Tons of salt and pepper. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Garlic powder. 


Halle Kiefer: Don’t mind if I do. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, please. Cheddar, sour cream and green onion. 


Halle Kiefer: Fuck. That makes. I need to get. I need to get a baked potato today. I need to make myself a baked potato. 


Alison Leiby: Every time I’ve been, like, talking about that, this is all I’ve really been talking about for the last week. And. 


Halle Kiefer: What’s happening over there? Are you okay? [laughter] All you’ve been talking about.


Alison Leiby: I’ve like texted one of my friends. I was like, I think I’m going to make a baked potato. And she was like, wait, now I’m going to make a baked potato. Like it’s. 


Halle Kiefer: It is something that has failed. 


Alison Leiby: Baked potato’s are back baby. 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. You heard it here first. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You heard it here last. It’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like certain foods fall out of popular conversation. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s such a 90s food.


Halle Kiefer: Yes. I was gonna say. I feel like I remember going to Wendy’s and they would offer baked potato chili.


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which as a kid, I was like, I want a burger or whatever I wanted. 


Alison Leiby: But now I’m like, I would do anything for a baked potato with chili. 


Halle Kiefer: I would kill myself for a baked potato. It’s I think. 


Alison Leiby: Next week I’m going to make chili and then also have baked potatoes. 


Halle Kiefer: Nothing’s stopping you, okay? 


Alison Leiby: Nothing is. 


Halle Kiefer: Nothing but yourself and not. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. Not going to get in my own way. I’m just going to do it. 


Halle Kiefer: Finally. 


Halle Kiefer: Anyway, that’s what’s new with me. What’s new with you?


Alison Leiby: Great I love it. God, what is new with me? I don’t think anything. Well, I think I’m gonna keep my, treat my Christmas tree up through Valentine’s Day because it’s pink. 


Alison Leiby: Well, it’s pink, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: I’m gonna do a Valentine’s tree, and I think I’m gonna go. Not a full Valentine’s Day house, but I realize how much I love heart shaped things. 


Alison Leiby: I love hearts, and I love pink. 


Halle Kiefer: And I do think, like, now that I am going to be entering my 40s this year. So I feel like I’m going to lean into being a, a mad older woman where I sort of, you know what I mean, I sort of have a theme. I go a little John Waters with it, no who’s going to stop me?


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. I think you should. 


Halle Kiefer: So, yeah, I think that’s that’s really all I have popping off, baked potatoes, things that are shaped like decorations. 


Alison Leiby: Valentines decorations. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s all happening over here. 


Alison Leiby: This is really this is what people come to this podcast for. 


Halle Kiefer: A banality, ten minutes of banality. And then finally, we describe a horror movie that you want to see. [laughter] Speaking of horror movies, damn. I, I we’re we’ll get into it. But this, this was a tough watch. We are doing. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: For sequels month. Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows. What I don’t fully understand is it’s not really focused on a book. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, well, that’s wild and was going to be a question of mine. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: I’m. Yeah, it sucks that the sequel sucks. But there are other sequels that you can see on Patreon. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh yes, our Patreon. Sorry. 


Alison Leiby: We are doing some sequels month is alive and well in Patreon this month, and we’re doing sequels of movies that are Patreon films. So if you if you caught the original Human Centipede, Halle is going to watch and recap the second one. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So if it wasn’t enough to have us shit out the first one in your mouth, guess what? You’re on the tail end of the centipede this time because you’re getting twice the Human Centipede. We’re also gonna be doing 10 Cloverfield Lane, which I have not seen and is more of a spiritual sequel to the first one. But we’re excited to do both of them. So please, crawl on over, with your mouth attached to someone’s anus, hopefully. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: To Patreon and take a gander. 


Alison Leiby: There’s two of you. 


Halle Kiefer: And both the original, Human Centipede and the original Cloverfield are on Patreon for you to listen to before you listen to the sequel. So you’ll be all set up, once you get it popping off for the New year. And yes, let’s. Sorry, I didn’t mean to immediately start shit talking the movie we are doing this week. 


Alison Leiby: No, I mean, I think if it if it deserves it, we must. 


Halle Kiefer: And let me just say this. So it’s directed by Joe Berlinger who is a renowned, documentarian. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: He did a number of the movies about, the West Memphis three, the poor, the three young men who were convicted and, of a ritualistic murder of children, and then due to sort of a grassroots effort that eventually reached celebrities, were released from prison after it seemed pretty clear they didn’t do it. And I don’t say this. We mean, it seems like his strength lies with the documentary genre. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, this just the trailer alone gave me, the CW. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that’s exactly it’s how it’s filmed. I would say this came out in 2000. So to be fair, that also was the. Look and feel. 


Alison Leiby: Was the genre of this. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. But I mean, like, shout out to Joe Berlinger for doing all this great work for the West Memphis three. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Didn’t didn’t know there was a connection. And again, hey, we all have to dip our toe into different, pools to find out where, where, where life is going to lead us. And, I would say a career in horror wasn’t in the cards. And he’s gone on to do much better and more interesting things, than this film. And also he, didn’t. Oh, he wrote it with, yes. Joe Berlinger and Dick Beebe, name I’m not familiar with, but I absolutely love it. 


Alison Leiby: Great name. 


Halle Kiefer: So yes, this, of course, is picking up, the year after Blair Witch, which I think it’s also a fun timeline. And we like to kick things off by having Alison watch the trailer. Alison, what did you think of the trailer for Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, which I now see is actually called Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. [laughs] No book? Even without you telling me what you had said, while we were organizing our record, that it was terrible. Even the trailer, I was like, this looks like both something I could watch and don’t want to, not because that’s scary. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, yeah, that’s the perfect way to put it, I’ll tell you. 


Alison Leiby: It really didn’t do it for me. I could like there’s a world where watching this trailer, I was like, I could see this ending up being fun, but I don’t think it does. Also, could it be more like if you didn’t tell me if you left all the dialogue out and you showed me—


Halle Kiefer: And frankly you should have. 


Alison Leiby: The trailer, the trailer for the original Blair Witch Project, and then the trailer for this and we’re like, are these two movies related? I’d be like, oh no, that’s very silly. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, you know, the first I would say swing and a miss in the film is that the very beginning is shot documentary style, you know, found footage as the original Blair Witch is. And then it switches to just a standard film, which I simply don’t understand. 


Alison Leiby: Why would they do that? 


Halle Kiefer: Perhaps one of the most iconic found footage horror movies. Again, as soon as that happened I’m like oh no.


Alison Leiby: Oh, no. Spaghettio. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, and I will also  say, in defense of Joe Berlinger, who again, I, immediately denigrated is that they have come out and said that the movie they were trying to make, this was changed a lot in post, and they didn’t have control. 


Alison Leiby: I’m sure. 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. So I’m sure whatever—


Alison Leiby: Networks and studios step in with like opinions and change things. And. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. So I believe whatever their vision was probably was a ton better. And unfortunately, this is the final product that we are forced to endure. 


Alison Leiby: I wish we could find,  I wish we could see it. You know. 


Halle Kiefer: I exactly if I, if we ever remake it again, I hope he gets to, complete his vision. He’s got other stuff going on. He’s he’s he’s busy. And, we always like to take a baseline scary. How scary do you find the concept of somebody actively looking for the Blair Witch? Knowing the events of the Blair Witch Project had occurred the year before? 


Alison Leiby: It wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t do it. And if somebody who was annoying decided to take up that charge. 


Halle Kiefer: And let me just say they did. 


Alison Leiby: I would let them.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. This is I would say the characters are, wall to wall annoying [laughs] in terms of why they’re there and the energy they’re bringing to what is obviously an ill fated trek into, the Black Hills, the woods outside of Burkittsville, Maryland, where the initial film takes place. And would you like to guess if there’s a twist? Alison and I, we did just record Candyman, where I fucked up and there’s a twist, and Alison was mad. So I’m gonna say there is a twist, but only because I think perhaps I. I no longer can recognize what a twist is because I’m like oh yeah, I knew that was going to happen. What do you think happens, Alison? Twist, twist or not? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: I feel like this is one of those movies where it either there is like absolutely no twist, and it’s like the most obvious plotting through the end. And you’re like, I don’t know. I mean, I guess I didn’t know that guy would die, but other than that, this is exactly what I thought. Or it’s such a fucking swing that it, like, no longer adheres to the rules of the film and, like, doesn’t make any sense. It’s one of those two options. 


Halle Kiefer: I would say it’s more of the former, but also this latter. Have you conjured the concept of, quote, “the rules of the film” does make me recognize that. I don’t know if I understand the rules of the film. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I’m sure this film doesn’t understand its own rules. If it’s the. Yeah, if it’s not really a twist, I guess it’s just going to be like, they get the witch to, they find the witch, and then some of them die from the witch, and then. The end. 


Halle Kiefer: Great. All right. [laughter] Let’s do this. 


Alison Leiby: Let’s do it. 


Halle Kiefer: All right. Again. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. We open on again my favorite thing in a movie. Text on the screen, laying it out. Lay it out. The following is a oh, I guess it explains. The following is a fict— Which is even more insane that this is how it begins. [laughter] The following is a fictionalized reenactment of events that occurred after the release of The Blair Witch Project. What? 


Alison Leiby: What? Wait.


Halle Kiefer: It’s based. On. It’s based on local records, local Maryland TV broadcast, and hundreds of hours of taped interviews to protect the privacy of certain individuals. Some names have been changed. That is quite an assertion. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. No. 


Halle Kiefer: And also, who would want that? Like it’s just say it’s a, it’s a documentary based on like just do the documentary style. They obviously hired you to do it you’re a documentarian. 


Alison Leiby: Right. We know. We know what that is. No one who saw this movie didn’t see the first one. And like, know, what that like. 


Halle Kiefer: Listen, yeah. This is this has studio problems written all over it. I’m just. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m going to say this, I’m gonna I’m gonna go ahead and, assume that’s the issue. We are now in the summer of 1999, and the Blair Witch Project has just dropped. Alison. We discussed, when we did the original film. Of course, I saw it in the theater with my father and was terrified by it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t think I even thought it was real, but I did it. It rattled me. 


Alison Leiby: It’s just scary. 


Halle Kiefer: And we get a really fun. They used to do this movies all the time. They probably still do. I just haven’t seen anything that’s not a horror movie in a in a minute where we see, like,  Kurt Loder, Conan, Siskel and Ebert, and they’re all talking about The Blair Witch Project and like, recorded little fictional, moments. And the question is, Alison, is The Blair Witch Project real or not? Which is kind of how it was marketed. So it’s fun that they’re trying to play with that. 


Alison Leiby: Could be really interesting. And yet. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, yeah, a lot of interesting stuff up top. But Kurt Loder informs us, who is of MTV news. In case you’re younger than. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Forty. 


Alison Leiby: If you’re. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He says, well, whether or not the movie is real, fans are flocking to the theater and they’re flocking to Burkittsville, Maryland to see if they can go to the woods and find the Blair Witch themselves. Don’t do this.


Alison Leiby: Is that Sandy Kenyon’s voice you were just doing? [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I had it. I was channeling Sandy Kenyon without realizing. Yes, we see Bruce. We see bunch of in in a documentary shot, a bunch of local residents talking about all the people flooding the town. Like, okay, I already love this. Like, I love this part. And we see this guy Bruce, and he’s like, they’re treating our town like it’s the Charles Manson Spahn Ranch. This isn’t haunted. It’s just a goddamn horror movie, people. Are they stupid? And we interview this other guy, townie Jeff, who, like, sells a bunch of, like, twig men and, like, T-shirts that say, Blair Witch and Blair Witch hats. He’s like, I didn’t see the movie because I was, in the hospital when it came out. But as soon as I got released, I saw it 17 times. I was like, well, we’re going to find out what that pause was before in the hospital was— 


Alison Leiby: Yeah what was that hospital visit all about? 


Halle Kiefer: We see these other tourists, Joe and Lauren. They’re like, oh, but if you go to the website, they have all these police photos and it’s like, is it real? We had to come and check it out. 


Alison Leiby: Also, like in 1999 like website. What an exciting thing. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I know. This other resident, Deb, says, you know, like all the tourists are filming all the time because they want their own slice of Blair Witch, so I don’t even take out the garbage unless I  have a full face of makeup, and it was like, that’s also interesting. Like now everyone in the town is used to being filmed, so I’m like, that’s another interesting way to take this. But this like when Andrew says, I wish they consider what using the word documentary in their dumb ass movie would do to our actual town. It’s not a fucking documentary. It’s a horror movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We then meet my favorite character in the movie, Sheriff Ronald Cravens, who is played by an actor named Lanny Flaherty. 


Alison Leiby: These names. 


Halle Kiefer: And is giving, also this is Maryland, by the way. 


Alison Leiby: I yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s like, get out of our woods and go home. 


Alison Leiby: Home. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t I’m not sure where the actors from, but like he doesn’t give a fuck like he’s— 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s amazing. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s more southern than anyone who’s ever been. Or lived in the South. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah Maryland is not— 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, he’s from Mississippi—


Alison Leiby: It has flavor of the south. But it’s not the same as, like, playing a southern. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Character. I always think of the 30 Rock. Elizabeth Banks being like, oh, I did that. She did an ad for, and she’s like, that’s before I lost my Maryland accent. And she’s like, oh no. Oh, do you have. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh no. 


Alison Leiby: The oh go, go. Oh [laughs] like, it’s so funny. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like it’s an accent you wouldn’t notice until someone makes a parody of it. Much like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Somebody. I worked with this guy and I was like, what is his accent? He sounds like a vampire, but also from New Jersey. And someone says, oh, he’s from Baltimore. And that’s exactly what it sounds like to me. I was like, there’s some Transylvania in there. 


Alison Leiby: Baltimore is a wild accent. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. 


Alison Leiby: A vampire who is also from New Jersey [laughs]. 


Halle Kiefer: Like if Dracula was pretending to be an accountant or something. Yeah. But. Yeah. Lanny Flaherty is an actor. He was born in Mississippi, so he’s a full, thick Mississippi accent, which I love in the middle of Maryland, and no one else has it either. 


Alison Leiby: And also where in Maryland this is, like. It’s not like, it’s like, oh, people from all over, end up living in DC or Baltimore. It’s like. Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and Ronald Cravens is giving Texas Chainsaw Massacre like he is the sheriff from a totally different horror movie. And his energy is so different, which is why I like, you’re like, you really try to do something, you know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s yelling at all these people like to get out of the woods like there’s no god damn Blair Witch. Alice, did you see all these goths, young goth people are in the cemetery? Like putting candles on graves, like running around the woods. 


Alison Leiby: Oh that’s so funny. 


Halle Kiefer: And they’re trying to shoo goths away like they’re raccoons in the trash. They’re like, get out of here goths. [laughter]


Alison Leiby: I wish this was a comedy. 


Halle Kiefer: I know because there are comedic moments, but like, yeah. 


Alison Leiby: It’s not. 


Halle Kiefer: You’re right, they should have just done that. Again, this came out in 2000. A lot more goth representation. I guess I suppose now you can still find it again. Let us know if you’re a goth and you feel represented. But then we’ll [laughter] we’ll consider your thoughts on it, I suppose. I do support goths. I—


Alison Leiby: Let us know if you’re a goth and feel represented. 


Halle Kiefer: And if not, we’ll try to figure out a way to get the word out, you know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, we’ll write something for you. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, there’s also a lot of jumping between timelines, which. Okay, there’s no reason to have done this, like, just do a documentary. And we talked. We see Jeff again, the townie who sells, like, the twig men. He says tourists come up to me, they hug me, they say it’s real. And I hug back and I say, I know. And then they say, I know and then. I say, I know. And I’m like, oh my God [laughter] this is a 90 minute movie. And everybody, it was, a million years long, as we now see on the screen, it says one year earlier, I’m like, oh—


Alison Leiby: Why? Why? 


Halle Kiefer: We find out that Jeff was at the Burkitt County Psychiatric Center. So when he said, oh, the hospital, he was put into a psychiatric facility. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s a very long sequence where he’s being intubated while the doctor, like, smokes, like, pours liquid into the tube. It’s like, I want to fucking puke. Watching this. 


Alison Leiby: What? You couldn’t smoke at hospitals in 1999? 


Halle Kiefer: It’s baffling. And we see Jeff sort of wake up and we see sort of an, up a shot of like, these doctors looming over and injecting him, and foam poured out of his mouth and. 


Alison Leiby: What the fuck? 


Halle Kiefer: And then poor Jeff being sprayed with a hose, screaming in a padded room. 


Alison Leiby: What is this place? 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know, and then we see him and he’s sitting in the common area with other patients, and he slams his hands down and he screams, enough. Title card, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. 


Alison Leiby: Insane. 


Halle Kiefer: And so we start zooming across the woods where the Blair Witch lives. And because it’s 2000, the year 2000, they’re playing Marilyn Manson’s Disposable Teens. It is a very 2000, soundtrack. And we get these flashing images of, like, a nude man’s torso bound with rope and knife, stabbing him in the torso, a body lying by a campfire, sort of like flashes of what’s to come. We then see a different timeline of Jeff—


Alison Leiby: Why? 


Halle Kiefer: In a in the future of Jeff in an interrogation room and the sheriff and a different cop cop comes in to yell at him, and we see on the screen it says, Monday, November 15th, 1999. 


Alison Leiby: What year? 


Halle Kiefer: 1999. So it is basically the fall after the movie came out. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And the officer tells Jeff. So it’s a year after Jeff was institutionalized and the and a couple months after the movie came out and the officer tells Jeff, we found blood in the van, and Jeff opens his eyes and looks up at him. Cut to Jeff on Friday, November 12th. So three days earlier. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Jeff has, he has, customized a van. Like a camel colored van with a stickman on the side that he is using to do Blair Witch Hunt. So basically it is a camping, a two day camping trip where you go into the woods, they look for the Blair Witch. But obviously it’s kind of bullshit, but it is something that like, I absolutely would do. We did this at the Lizzie Borden house, which eventually you’ll hear about that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Ostensibly. At some point this year. And, but he’s going to take people into the woods, you know, dick around, maybe scare them with a flashlight, get paid. And, you know, of course it’s going to end up badly because we know the Blair Witch is real. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So, I wrote I wrote here, we’re cutting between Friday, November 12th and Monday, November 15th. Off to a great start, if you ask me. 


Alison Leiby: And we’ve seen a year earlier, in 1998—


Halle Kiefer: Where Jeff is being hosed down at a psychic hospital. 


Alison Leiby: In the hospital. 


Halle Kiefer: So we meet our group of tourists who are going into the woods. And the first, couple is a couple. We meet Tristen, who is. So she’s really nauseous because of how badly Jeff is driving. And her boyfriend Stephen. They’re both grad students, and they’re working on a book called The Blair Witch History or Hysteria. So they’re trying to get to the bottom of things for their dissertation to publish a book about it. 


Alison Leiby: I guess, sure. 


Halle Kiefer: We also have Erica, who is herself a Wiccan. And she’s like, I’m here to resolve this, witches have been misunderstood. This was a persecuted woman. I don’t believe she would do anything wrong. We embrace nature, not evil. Erica, I do have bad news for you. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then finally, we go to pick up our final tour member, Kim, who Jeff’s like. Oh, yeah, she’s a goth. She said she’s psychic or something, and she’s lying on a grave in a cemetery when they go to collect her. And one of them asks, what are you doing? She says I’m trying to find the energy. And Erica says from the grave? And Kim says,  you don’t have to stand up. I’ve been on the road for two days, and I was like, this is again so. But so many goths in this movie. Goth representation.


Alison Leiby: Yes, goth. Let us know if you’ve if you’ve done that or if this is inaccurate. 


Halle Kiefer: Have you been lying on a grave? Because you’re tired, goth. As they, they load her into the van, too, and they drive into the woods. And Jeff is, of course, talking up. He’s like, this is an incredible time. We find out this is the inaugural outing of Blair Witch Hunt. He’s never done this before. 


Alison Leiby: Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: Despite the like, wait a minute. On the website says, over 10,000 happy customers. He’s like, oh, yeah, no, that’s for the merch. That’s I was selling the stick men. I’ve sold a bunch of those, this is the first time I’m doing a tour, but it’s going to be fun. I’ve got all sorts of equipment. It’s going to be great. And everyone’s like, well, I already paid for it. And they stop at a little convenience store for beer and food and all the locals are watching them all the locals hate these tourists. They hate goths most of all. They’re like, oh, this goth’s coming in here to buy beer. And we see, this old man’s trying to fix, one of the freezer, motors or whatever you call them underneath. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And they’re all just glaring at them, and Jeff says, don’t dive in the gene pool here. You’ll crack your skull. You can’t call these people inbred and expect them to, accept goths. Come on now. So the first stop they’re going to make, they’re going to stay overnight at the remains or the ruins rather, of Rustin Parr’s house. And in case you don’t remember, Alison, which I assume you don’t, Rustin part was a man who murdered seven children and claimed it was because the Blair Witch whispered it in his ear. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And so they’re like—


Alison Leiby: Very slender man. 


Halle Kiefer: Very slender man. And of course, they eventually, in the original, make their way to Rustin Parr’s house and, you know, things go downhill from there. But we’re going to spend the night there. It’s just ruins, like. It’s like you have tents, like they’re sleeping outside. It’s just sort of the stone structure of the home. And. 


Alison Leiby: Not us. That wouldn’t be us. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh hell. I would have stopped at the convenience store to be like I will, I will just call it Uber and go home. I, I don’t know what I was thinking. And Rustin, there’s like. Yeah. Rustin said like he heard the voice of the Blair Witch. And Kim says, I hear voices all the time. And then we cut to it. We flash to a man getting his head beaten in. 


Alison Leiby: Huh? 


Halle Kiefer: In flash back. So the flashes I think we’re supposed to believe at this point is Kim sort of seeing flashes of what’s going to happen because she’s like—


Alison Leiby: Kim is the goth?


Halle Kiefer: Kim is a goth. But then it’s like, if you’re psychic, don’t you know what’s going to happen to you? 


Alison Leiby: Right? Isn’t that like the whole. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Thing? 


Halle Kiefer: But I guess that’s that’s the thing about being psychic is it’s not real. So they eventually they drive in, they get to the house and well they get to the end of the road, and they have to keep walking into the, woods with their pack. So there’s no road right to the house. But they, they all have, like, tents and sleeping bags, and they bring all this camera equipment and Jeff’s saying, I’m going to give you the full Blair Witch treatment we’re going to put up, you know, infrared, dark ray, we’re going to put all these cameras up.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Motion sensors. We’re going to capture something. It’s going to be like we’re in making our own movie, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: As you’re walking, Kim turns to Tristen, says, how many weeks are you? Tristen’s like, I’m only six weeks pregnant. How did you know that? And Kim says, I don’t know, but Stephen wants the baby but you don’t. And Tristen’s like, what are you talking? How was this possible? And Kim says, well, so what do you think you’re going to do? And Tristen says, I don’t know. They just met very personal. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But I guess that is we find out is that Tristen and Stephen are kind of been fighting because, Tristen is on the fence and Stephen really wants the kid.


Alison Leiby: Okay. Well, that makes sense. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So they arrive at the house, which is just against stone ruins, and they find symbols painted on the low stone, fence around it. 


Alison Leiby: I would assume that everything is fake, like post. Like post Blair Witch. It’s that’s not like a projection or not. That’s not like a guess at what I think is happening. 


Halle Kiefer: I was like, oh.


Alison Leiby: Like, if I were them. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And that was like, this is all the frenzy of them. I would just assume everything is stuff that people did after the movie came out. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s a great point because Erica is like, oh, look like it looks like an ancient witch, witch alphabet? And Stephen says, it looks like recent graffiti to me. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right, exactly.


Halle Kiefer: Somebody just put this on to make it scarier. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, three weeks ago. 


Halle Kiefer: It probably was Jeff, the guy we’re paying, like to make it spooky for us. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But Erica says no, it’s actually very favorable to have these symbols painted on here, you know. And she says, don’t be afraid of, like, you know, the supernatural or of nature. Fear is a forerunner to failure. And they ask Jeff, what’s this gigantic tree? There’s a huge tree in the middle of the ruins. And Jeff says this was never here before. This is a new tree. And they all are like, all right, bullshit. Like, come on. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: You got to do a little. You have to like try a little bit, like, oh, a tree appeared. 


Alison Leiby: Right? 


Halle Kiefer: Like, we’re going to start drinking. So they go and they all get beers out. They’re like, okay, nice try. But Jeff is honestly kind of shocked. He’s like, well, think about it. Look how big this tree is. The house is built in 1826. The tree is at least that old. So what did they build? A house around the tree. But everyone’s like, you’re doing a bit. You’re trying to make it scary. So, like, we get our money’s worth. We get it Jeff. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. We then see a woman running in the woods, sort of a flash and a knife again, entering the torso of a man who is bound and shirtless, and we hear a woman’s voice saying evil intent in the ground may release soon, be found in peace, release the energy that might be through magic. Back in reality, we see that Erica is providing the voiceover and is doing a small, presumably Wiccan ritual crouched on the ground burning incense. And Tristen, who is, you know, again, a scholar, comes and joins her and says, are you casting  an evil spell? And Erica says, no, I’m actually trying to, like, purge evil and reverse the evil. The first law of Wicca is harm none. And I, you know, I would never cast an evil spell and Tristen says, okay, what are you really doing here? And Erica looks around and says, I want to commune with Elly Kedward, the Blair Witch herself. Don’t do this Wiccans.


Alison Leiby: Don’t do it. 


Halle Kiefer: Because obviously she’s like, no, no, I think she was misunderstood. I’m going to try to communicate with her. One, you didn’t know her. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And two, you are playing with some dark sided stuff. Don’t bother.


Alison Leiby: Yeah it’s a dangerous game.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah there’s plenty of nice things you can do.


Alison Leiby: Just keep going with your life and assume like she’s misunderstood. And that sucks. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and then Wiccans let us know if you feel represented in this. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And, again, we will. We’ll do our best. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Erica says, well, I haven’t really, like, communed with her yet, like, I haven’t accessed her, but I want her to be my mentor because I think she was misunderstood. I think she’s probably a good witch. And then, you know, her society like pillories, women and and anything that’s outside of Christianity. So, I, I’m going to go in this thinking that she can communicate with me and actually be a good influence. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Tristen is like, okay. And Tristen shows up. Erica, there’s a sketch. It’s the only drawing of the Blair Witch from her life, where she’s just like a little old lady with a bonnet, like she’s it’s what a  witch would look like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And, Erica is just in rage, and it’s like, you know, they killed that woman. You know, they dragged her in the woods, they tied her to a tree and left her to die. And we’re to think she’s the evil one. Like the people in the village were evil. I don’t believe that. There’s no reason they should have done that. Meanwhile, Jeff is setting up all of his night vision cameras and saying, we’re going to capture images of Elly Kedward. Like, we’re going to catch the Blair Witch. Like we’re going to get something like in the movie, you know? So everyone sets up their tents. Erica does a peace spell, Kim starts drinking immediately, and Tristen and Stephen, they take out all their papers in their, in the tent, like all their research papers. So they have both their writing and also original documents. I think you should take original documents into the Blair Woods—


Alison Leiby: I wouldn’t I yeah, yeah, I’d make some copies. 


Halle Kiefer: The point was just to wipe her ass with them like, or whatever she does. 


Alison Leiby: Best case scenario. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: It rains and they get wet. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Best case scenario, you drop them in a puddle. What are you doing?


Alison Leiby: Right like no. I yeah I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t wear my nice clothes. I wouldn’t bring original documents. 


Halle Kiefer: So that night the night falls, they make a fire and they’re all getting kind of loose, like we’re smoking joints, they’re drinking and Erica is like are we really to believe that Heather and those two guys were out there during the movie and none of them fucked, like, you’ve the greatest stress reliever on earth, and you’re telling me that they never got it on, they’re all like ha ha.


Alison Leiby: I would have a hard time, like pivoting into sex if I thought—


Halle Kiefer: You’re telling me if you were being terrified by a witch you wouldn’t fuck two guys?


Alison Leiby: I mean, I don’t know. Depends who they are. Also. Outside. Not the best kind of sex. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, on the floor. On the floor of the ground. That is the ground I suppose. 


Alison Leiby: On the floor of the ground. I can’t even sit on the ground for very long because of my back. Like.


Halle Kiefer: That’s a great point. There’s no. 


Alison Leiby: It wouldn’t be good for your back. 


Alison Leiby: No, there’s just no world. 


Halle Kiefer: The beast with three backs. Well, you know, again, it’s. [laughter] Something you can’t decide until you’re in that situation. 


Alison Leiby: That’s true. 


Halle Kiefer: But we’ll see Alison. 


Alison Leiby: We’ll see the next time I’m out searching for the Blair Witch and, making a documentary with two bros. 


Halle Kiefer: Listen, I mean, that’s a throuple I could get behind. 


Alison Leiby: I absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: Where we at—


Alison Leiby: Who knows? Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Boop boop boop boop boop boop boop boop. So they’re all even, like, they’re hanging out, they’re getting to know each other and Erica’s on her shit about like, oh, this whole thing, the movie gave, witches a bad reputation. Most witches are good. And it’s like, again, girl, we got bigger fish to fry. In about an hour from now. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we find out that Stephen and Tristen are writing this book together because they are divided. Oh, Stephen is basically like the Blair Witch does not exist. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: It is a kind of mass hysteria, I believe that something happened to them, but I believe, like, they became hysterical. They died in the woods, and then they cut this movie to make us think that there’s actually an entity rather than they, unfortunately, died out here because of very normal psychological human things. Tristen’s like, what we’re talking about is the same thing. Like basically like her argument is like, then it is real, like like whether or not there is a real human tragedy. Like they they made it real by dying as a result of it. And he’s like, I understand what you’re saying. I just think it’s stupid. And then they kiss and I’m like, this is not the kind of relationship I would be in. 


Alison Leiby: Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: Suddenly, Alison, a scream echoes through the woods. And they all leap up and run over to the sound. Alison, it is another tour group, the Blair Witch Walk, which I did think was funny. That another group showed up.


Alison Leiby: That’s again, fun. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Yeah. If we just committed to a horror comedy. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Erica. And Jeff get in their faces and they’re like, what are you doing here? We, like, already we already are tent’s already pitched. And the two guys are like, no, we’re allowed to film here. They of course have their own camera equipment. It’s like we’re allowed to film here. We have permits, in the back of the car and it’s like, no, you don’t. You know, they’re going back and forth and finally, Stephen, steps forward and says, hey, hey, just let us be here till dawn and we’ll switch off. I’ll be honest, we were all up at Coffin Rock today, and we saw something that really shook us up. And so everyone realizes what he’s doing. They’re like, oh yeah, don’t go to Coffin Rock, Coffin Rock okay? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Because it’s something real fucked ups happening up there and you don’t want to see that. Meanwhile, the two guys of the other group, it’s them, a Japanese couple and a German woman, and the tourists are like, bitch. We came to America to see something spooky. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Take us to Coffin Rock. 


Alison Leiby: And they’re like, okay, we’re going to do that. But then we’re switching off, okay? And it’s like, that probably would happen all the time if there is tourist stuff. So it’s like taking them to Coffin Rock. You can come back the next day. But Jeff is now paranoid, like these guys could come back and like, take my equipment. I paid all his money when they came back in the middle of night. And it’s like, yes, that’s, problem with having a bunch of camera equipment in in the night in the woods. Like, what did you think was going to happen? Like, you cannot there could be bears. There could be some guy taking your camera. I don’t know what to tell you.


Alison Leiby: You don’t know.


Halle Kiefer: But Kim was like, they’re not coming back. I know, because I’m psychic. And they all decide, like, you know what it’s like, be a problem because we’re actually going to stay up all night and we’re going to fucking party, so we’re going to be awake. They’re not even be able to take the cameras. And they’re like, woo.


Alison Leiby: Do you think you would want to be partying in a place that was scary. 


Halle Kiefer: I just think I wouldn’t want to be partying, partying in a place that didn’t have a toilet. 


Alison Leiby: This well, yes, the outside situation is really what’s the problem for me. Less the scariness. 


Halle Kiefer: But I will say, yeah, I would like to go camping. 


Alison Leiby: Say we’re going to a haunted house. So there’s toilets, there’s beds. It’s modern enough that you are, like, comfortable there, but it is like many, many murders happened, and you’re kind of like possibly trying to conjure a witch that may or may not have killed people a year or two before. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Are you getting stoned?


Halle Kiefer: I would like to. I would like to party there. Yes. What about you? 


Alison Leiby: I think so. I think I would—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, you’re already there.  


Alison Leiby: I would need to. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. That’s a really good point. You’re. Otherwise you’re just sitting in your tent listening to every owl screech. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah panicking. 


Halle Kiefer: And having a panic attack. 


Alison Leiby: If I could deaden my senses a little bit, I wouldn’t be so hyped up.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So they’re all partying, they all get wasted. And we see Kim lay down on the low stone wall and look up, and we realize that’s that’s when we realize the flashes are her visions. So we see, like screaming a knife, fire. And much like a lot of things with psychic visions, it doesn’t really, like, help her stop anything from happening. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Or affect the plot in any way. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, she also sees an owl and closes her eyes, and when she opens them again, the owl’s gone. So I think what I think the owl is the Blair Witch. 


Alison Leiby: Or that it could have flown away. 


Halle Kiefer: Nah, it’s probably witch. Witch. In the morning we see Tristen walking to the river holding a towel, and she pushes it under. She walks into her waist and her just her clothes and pushes a towel under the water. And when it’s, emerges, we see it is full of blood and a baby’s corpse. And Tristen wakes up from the start. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Tristen wakes up. It is morning. It was just a dream. And of course, they wake up and the campsite has been torn apart. So not only are all the cameras fucking gone, but there it’s almost snowing. The amount of ripped up pieces of paper everywhere. It looks like there’s confetti and everyone is panicking because they all were going to try to stay up, which wasn’t going to happen, but it’s like, oh, we all fell asleep and somebody came and trash all our shit. Tristen and Stephen are panicking because they had original documents. Again, don’t bring it in the woods. 


Alison Leiby: At least have them like in plastic folders. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 100%.


Alison Leiby: In a binder like, let’s not just like, have loose leaf paper that can’t be replicated out in the woods.


Halle Kiefer: And if if the Blair Witch exists, she, of course, is going to rip that shit up because [both speaking] she doesn’t want you finding out her business. Yeah. And. Oh, the last thing everyone can remember is this other group coming by, so they’ve lost five hours, and they’re like, did we all fall asleep at the exact same time? And then somebody came and did this, Kim looks because there’s like some cables left. She says the camera cords looks like somebody chewed the ends of them off, like it looks like an animal did this. And Kim says the cameras are gone. 


Alison Leiby: Outside, in the woods?


Halle Kiefer: Can you imagine it? But Kim tells the group, Alison, you’re gonna love this. She says the cameras are gone, but the tapes that would’ve been recording that lost time are here somewhere. And, like, how would you see them, she says I do? 


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: In my mind. And luckily, Stephen speaks for all of us. He goes, oh, Jesus. Yeah. That’s what I was like, oh my God. But she says, no, I know them. They’re under the rocks of the foundation. And Jeff sort of pulls back this corner and finds the tapes. They’re like, why did bitch? Okay, so you did this. Like.


Alison Leiby: Right. Give us the camera’s back.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Did you fuck up all our shit? Like, what is happening? Tristen is the first one to say we should leave. We should leave everyone’s freaking out and everyone sort of like, oh, is this Jeff’s whole plan? Jeff’s is like, try to scare us. So you set all this up and trashed our stuff? Tristen tells them, I don’t feel well. And when they all turn, she has, like, lifted her face, her hand and left blood on her face. And when they look, the crotch of her pants is soaked through with blood. She’s miscarrying. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So in case you were hoping there would be a miscarriage in this. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Horrible movie, it’s like, okay. 


Alison Leiby: Wouldn’t have guessed, but I guess now we’re here. 


Halle Kiefer: So they drive quickly to the hospital, and we flash forward to Jeff being in the interrogation room. And we hear again, we found blood in the van and he says, yes, because she was having a miscarriage. There’s probably Tristen’s blood in the van. It’s totally reasonable. We went to the hospital, and unfortunately. But they take her in. The doctor’s like she’s freezing. Like what happened? She has hypothermia. It’s like she’d been lying in ice water. And they’re like, we don’t. We don’t know, sir. I’m sorry. And they get her in and they sort of, start to warm her up. And the sheriff was yelling at Jeff, you know, in the future, and he says, you’ve been a pain in this town’s last for years. You better behave yourself. We don’t want to see you back in the loony bin. So it’s like. So we’re going to threaten to send you back into psychiatric care if we find out there’s miscarriage blood in your van, I guess. 


Alison Leiby: I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: So at the hospital, everyone hangs out to sort of, like, see how it goes. And Erica lays out a tarot and Kim tells Jeff, I’m sorry. This came in, and they said that, he lost like she lost the baby. And, we see the nurse talking to Tristen, and the nurse says to Tristen. 


[clip of Keira Naughton]: It was for the best. Your body’s telling you something was wrong. 


[clip of Tristine Skyler]: Something was wrong. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like, bitch, can I not get an hour of peace? Can I not take a nap before you say. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s for the best. 


Alison Leiby: Oy.


Halle Kiefer: There’s no one who’s in a hospital. Being wants to hear that‚. 


Alison Leiby: Thank God. Thank you. That helps.  


Halle Kiefer: Oh, phew. 


Alison Leiby: You know, in that case, it’s all been worth it. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. The nurse pulls back the curtain and we see in the corner of the room something that only Tristen can see is a sopping wet little ghost girl. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Walking away from her. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And as soon as she hits a sunbeam from the window, she disappeared. But as she walks backwards, she makes a sound. And I’m going to do my best impression. Gu gu go go go go go go go. [laughter] Alison. Were you to see such a thing? What would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: Now, I’m not sure I can even weigh in on that question without hearing that sound one more time. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Gu gu gu go go go go go go go go go go. And I was like, what is that? I guess just a general ghoul. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Ghoul sound. 


Halle Kiefer: He pressed the ghoul button on the keyboard and that comes out. [both speaking] Because I’ll tell you what, it’s not scary. I it’s just sort of confusing. 


Alison Leiby: No but it is weird.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’m leaving Maryland. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I’m getting the hell out of there. Also—


Alison Leiby: I’m telling somebody what I’m seeing. I’m getting away from all the people I’ve been with because they’re just a real pain in the ass, and no one’s really helping me out. And I’m gone. 


Halle Kiefer: And I feel like. I’ve already had a miscarriage. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: I’ve seen a ghost. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I had to sleep in the woods. All of my documents for my thesis have been just destroyed. [both speaking] Potentially by a witch or an owl. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, there’s, like an annoying goth who’s, like, half psychic hanging around, like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, psychic but not in way that you could warned me about my documents or my miscarriage. 


Alison Leiby: Not helpful at all. 


Halle Kiefer: The least helpful psychic. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I’m just like, I’m done with these people. I’m done with this life. I’m starting over. I’m moving to another state. I’m forgetting the Blair Witch ever existed. And I’m changing my phone number. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, luckily for, the continuation of the movie, she does none of those things. And not none of them do. They are all deeply committed to the rest of this film. 




Halle Kiefer: And again, we see flashes of violence in the woods again. Stephen goes to Tristen and says, and she says, I don’t want to stay here. I need to get out of here. We see them back in the van, and for a second I thought they were driving back to the woods. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, wouldn’t put it past this group. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I don’t want to make light of miscarriages, but I’m like, were I to ever have one? I could tell you 100%. The last thing I’d want to do is go back to the woods. 


Alison Leiby: The woods. 


Halle Kiefer: Immediately after, dealing with that. And but we hear Stephen says we have five hours of our lives unaccounted for. I want to watch those tapes and see what’s on them. I would say you do that. I’m going to fly home and lay down. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I’m going to be at a hotel. See you never. 


Halle Kiefer: But instead, they’re going to Jeff’s house and you might think, oh, well, maybe Jeff lives in a human house. No, Jeff lives in an abandoned broom factory. 


Alison Leiby: I’m sorry. 


Halle Kiefer: A couple miles out of town. 


Alison Leiby: What? 


Halle Kiefer: An abandoned broom factory. 


Alison Leiby: Broom? Like the, like a witch’s car?


Halle Kiefer: Like a witch’s car? What an excellent way to put it. The most succinct and accurate, I would say. He tells us that he bought it from the county for a dollar. And he lives in it, which is quite a deal. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Back in the sheriff’s office, he’s yelling at Jeff. He said I’d bet my entire pension that the blood on that van matches those tourists. It’s like he just said this woman had a miscarriage. Like you have to rule it out. You have, like. Yes, there’s blood in his van. We already gave you something you have to rule out before you go to the next question. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Jeff opens the door to his broom factory house, and suddenly you hear all these dogs barking, and everyone sort of lurches back. He says, no, no, no, it’s a joke. It’s a cool burglar alarm. When he opens the door, you hear all these dogs, but it’s just the alarm . 


Alison Leiby: A recording. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: So they go inside, he shuts the door and we see that to his front door is the only way in or out, and they stress this is a little bridge over essentially a creek that serves as a moat. Again, is that how you make a broom factory? I don’t know, never made one.


Alison Leiby: Nor have I. 


Halle Kiefer: So when we turn around, it’s a little bridge over a creek. So, we can go ahead, assume it’s going to collapse at some point, trapping them inside. Jeff shows them around, and we find out that he makes his money stealing things to sell on eBay. So he’s got a ton more camera equipment. Luckily. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s got, like, boxes of stuff in addition to his merch, company, where it’s like, he’s selling the stick men. 


Alison Leiby: Blair witch crap. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s selling. Yeah, yeah. Blair witch hats. He gives he gives Tristen a free hat. And I’m like, I guess that’s a nice trade. 


Alison Leiby: That makes it all better. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Sorry about all that stuff that happened. 


Alison Leiby: But here’s a hat. 


Halle Kiefer: And he shows them, I also remember from the initial Blair Witch, they had, like, the rock formations with a rock stacked on top of one another. And so he also has some of those. He goes, we also have these. Oh, my God, who made that? Oh, I made it earlier. And I was like, again, a funny moment. 


Alison Leiby: Funny but like, let’s lean into that more and listen to whatever else is going on with this film. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Erica. Our pedantic Wiccan—


Alison Leiby: Just like to also point out, no book yet. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, Alison I think you have to point that out, for pretty much the whole God damned movie.   Also not a lot of shadows. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Not a little book of them. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I’ll be honest. I did a search book in the plot of Wikipedia in case I’m like, well, maybe they mention, like, perhaps I misunderstood or something. And the only time the the title it’s the title is this book. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s no actual nothing in the plot about a book. 


Alison Leiby: Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: Perhaps the book that they were writing was The Book of Shadows, but that’s not what the title was.


Alison Leiby: Right. Nor would it make sense. 


Halle Kiefer: Nor would it make sense. [laughter] And if you think that didn’t make sense, get ready for act two. 


Alison Leiby: Buckle up. 


Halle Kiefer: We hear we hear Erica criticizing Jeff’s whole production of, like, the merch, and she’s like, just what Wiccan-ism needs. Capitalism based on greed and lies. It’s like, oh my God, we are trapped in here. Jeff very kindly gives Stephen and Tristen his bedroom, which has an en suite bathroom, because, you know, it’s like you, they at least need to lay down and, like, relax while we’ve decided to come back out here and watch the footage. And Kim tells Jeff, you know, they never should have let you out. You’re a long way from sane. And we seem flash in the hospital. So again, it’s like Kim knows that Jeff was in the hospital, so her psychic abilities, just her being mean about it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, like, use that information for good, bitch. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. In bed. Tristen, tell Stephen about the girl she saw, which they had seen her photo in their research. She said she had the same face, same clothes. Look like she’d been drowned. It was one of the girls I saw in the hospital. Eileen Treacle, one of the kids that was murdered during the whole Blair Witch initial. I was gonna say kerfuffle. Child, multiple child murders. 


Alison Leiby: The original. Like the the the, like seven children or the documentary crew that all died. 


Halle Kiefer: The initial children. So back. And this is a reference to the initial Blair Witch. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Incident. And Stephen’s like, well, you know, I think maybe you just had something really traumatic happen. You were on drugs, like, you know, we were in the woods, you just lost a baby, you know? And they have a conversation where she is like I dreamt that I hurt the baby. I feel horrible about it. And Stephen’s like, it’s just because we were fighting, and I’m sorry. It was really stressful. You didn’t do anything wrong. And she’s like, I’m sorry. I know I didn’t want it, but I know you did. And he’s like, it’s okay. And you really don’t put this on yourself. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And also, we’re about to be murdered, ostensibly by a witch. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So like, don’t beat yourself up on that. 


Alison Leiby: Let’s not get in the weeds on this. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So as they watch the, tapes, cause there’s five hours of them. So luckily the movie is five fucking hours long. At least it feels that way. They’re watching it and Erica realizes in the tape the gigantic tree that’s going through the middle of the house’s ruins, it’s just a sapling. The actual tree is gone. Why? Yeah. Some kind of witch thing, I suppose. Meanwhile, Jeff, Jeff notices that Erica has a rash peeking out from her neckline, and she’s like, oh, yeah, I’m starting to break out. They’re like, I guess it’s from the backpack rubbing me, but it’s just some sort of rash. As they watch, we see a flick of one frame and we see it’s five men with their heads sort of positioned together, and Stephen sees it and says, Coffin Rock and tells us as, another incident. This is from 1886. Five hunters were murdered up at Coffin Rock, their insides torn out and their bodies arranged in a pentagram. That damn Blair Witch. And Erica says, oh boy, the great American pastime. Blame it on a witch. Girl. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Grow up. 


Alison Leiby: Grow up. 


Halle Kiefer: Come on. You have to. If you’re a part of some religion, you have to know that some people are going to be bad. I’m Catholic, girl, you know, you just have to accept it. 


Alison Leiby: You just got to let it go. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Let go and get gone. But of course, they’re not going to, because they everyone in this movie doesn’t. It’s like they nobody draws any conclusions from anything that happens. From here, until the end. We, Tristen calls for Stephen when he goes up to the, bedroom. She’s asleep, and he hears the sound of children sobbing outside the front door. So he opens it, and then he too sees the ghost girl who walks backward. And this time she doesn’t say, goo goo ga go, go go go go. 


Alison Leiby: If she that could do that. Why is she even around? 


Halle Kiefer: Because she has to talk. She has a message for him. She says you brought it back with you. 


Alison Leiby: What voice did she use?


Halle Kiefer: Like a little girl’s. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: You brought it back with you. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like, I’d rather you brought it back with you.


Halle Kiefer: You brought it back with you. I wish too. 


Alison Leiby: I know. I’m sorry. We have a lot of notes. 


Halle Kiefer: If wishes were horses, you know, Tristen wakes up and said I heard crying in my dreams, and Stephen said, you heard it, too. I actually did hear it. And Tristen tells him I had a nightmare. The children were looking at my skirt as I twirled around and around, so I hurt them. What’s wrong with me? And Stephen says, I’m sure there’s a rational explanation for this, but let’s get the fuck out of here and go home. Finally. 


Alison Leiby: Thank God. 


Halle Kiefer: But now Tristen says, no, I’m not leaving until I understand what’s happening. 


Alison Leiby: Why? Go home? 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know, and Stephen’s like, if we’re not leaving. I’m giving you sleep medication, you’re going the fuck to sleep. And he says—


Alison Leiby: Bad energy either. 


Halle Kiefer: Take these pills. Well, but it’s like, at least I understand where it’s like, okay, well, you have to, like, lay down.


Alison Leiby: Actually rest. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Yes, please. And we see then for the first time, we see that Stephen is at the sheriff’s office in three days, and we see Stephen sobbing to the sheriff and saying it was, I’m sorry. It was an accident. It was an accident. So I think in the moment we are to think, oh, did he did he give her too many pills or something? No, it’s something much more confusing, actually. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, good. 


Halle Kiefer: Back in the editing bay, where they’re all watching the film, the footage of them when they were asleep, the. The tape jumps from 1:30 a.m., 1:32 a.m. to 3:57 a.m. and then back again, and they see a figure. 


Alison Leiby: Time jumps on this fucking tape?


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: People. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see a figure circling the sapling, circling the tree, and they slow it down and it’s a naked woman dancing around the tree. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: But they can’t see her face. So Jeff says, let me, let me digitize this so I could blow it up. He’s basically like saying the most generic. 


Alison Leiby: Enhance. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah it’s like enhance. 


Alison Leiby: Enhance. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, Erica, can you make coffee? And she finds Stephen in the kitchen looking very distressed. And Erica says, wow, you know, like Tristen’s the one who had a miscarriage, but looks like you’re the one who’s having a breakdown. Again, very helpful. Thanks everybody.


Alison Leiby: Great. Thank you. 


Halle Kiefer: A lot of emotional maturity. Alison, Erica comes over to give massage to Stephen, starts massaging his shoulders and then starts to go lower. 


Alison Leiby: Excuse me. 


Halle Kiefer: And so I’m thinking initially, oh, she’s a Blair Witch and she’s trying to fuck. They start making out, and when they start making out Alison and they start playing with it, the it’s sort of one of the things it’s like what the idea of somebody who doesn’t who’s never had sex thinks is sex, because suddenly they’re playing the horniest harmonica music. It’s like how saxophones were sexy. [laughter] And we’re just like, why were those instruments like, oh, [sound effect]. It’s like. Has anyone fucked to that? I mean again—


Alison Leiby: To like Blues Traveler? 


Halle Kiefer: Hey, if you fucked to harmonica music. 


Alison Leiby: Write in and tell us. 


Halle Kiefer: Do you feel representative of this, represented in this? Write in and please tell us. 


Alison Leiby: Wait. Harmonica music?


Halle Kiefer: Where it’s like [sound effect] like like like a honky tonk. Like we’re going to fuck on a pool table or something. And it’s like, I guess maybe if you’re fucking a pool table, but it’s— 


Alison Leiby: I guess but it doesn’t seem like the vibe here. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Just imagine the blues traveling guy’s standing over you while you fuck. Yeah. You know, so there, he basically throws her on top of the kitchen table and, like, sweep things on to the ground. 


Alison Leiby: She’s the goth yes?


Halle Kiefer: No, no. Sorry. This is Erica, the Wiccan. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So the Erica Wiccan, would you think it’d be like, I get it? No, nothing bad about the goth obviously. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But, Erica. Erica sort of her her. She’s less edgy, more earth. Mother. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So that’s why I was, like, when they start to fuck, I’m like, oh, are they. Is she the witch? You know, that’s what I—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that would make more sense. I have a feeling that’s the case.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, well, don’t worry, nothing will make sense at any point. But he she starts to, like, take off his shirt and, he has two runes carved in his abdomen. And she says, do they hurt? And he goes, oh, no, they’re just a little warm. And she says, don’t worry, I have them too. And rakes, her nails. 


Alison Leiby: What? 


Halle Kiefer: Down his bare torso, ripping open his skin. Stephen wakes up and he’s sitting there. He’s just talking to Erica. They aren’t fucking they, they haven’t kissed like Erica just looks at him like are you okay? It’s all fantasy. So now people are starting to like—


Alison Leiby: Lose it. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Again. Leave. You already saw the ghost girl—


Alison Leiby: There’s stuff going on. You don’t need to solve this mystery. Just get. Hit the bricks. 


Halle Kiefer: Kim calls them. And it turns out that Erica is the naked woman dancing around the tree. And she looks phenomenal. 


Alison Leiby: And good for her. 


Halle Kiefer: But Erica is like, is this a joke? Did you make this? How is this possible? And then, like, you have no memory of this. Is this a Wicca thing? Did you do this? Did you plan this? Like. As soon as any evidence comes up, they all turn on the person immediately. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Great. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, I didn’t do this. I don’t know what is going on. I don’t know how you filmed this. This is awful. You know, and they’re, like, did you do all this, Erica? We know you did. Kim then demands Jeff’s keys to go buy beer, and Jeff says, go get coffee, too, if you can leave. Just just leave. 


Alison Leiby: Don’t come back. 


Halle Kiefer: Why are you still here. Just have Jeff be like Jeff. Call me if you figure something out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Who cares. And, Kim goes to find Erica, who’s Erica is really distraught because the video and she’s now, like, do praying and sort of doing another ceremony in another room trying to do a spell. And she tells Kim, I think we brought something back with us. Like, I can send some sort of force. Kim says, no, you’re just freaking out. And Erica lifts her shirt and she has carved ruins on her body. And Kim says, I have those two. No, don’t worry. I think it’s poison oak or something Alison. They’re obvious symbols embedded in their skin as if carved with a knife. Erica, of course, says they’re obviously not poison oak. But Kim’s a goth. So she’s doing her own thing. So she’s going to go get beer and goes back to the convenience store that we saw earlier. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And there’s these three asshole teenagers that are like, hey, Morticia, I’ve got something. You can suck the blood out of here. 


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: And then, right, it’s like class act, and she she goes in and a woman hits her from behind with a grocery cart. And again, that perhaps was the attitude towards goths, goths at the time. And she says, you’re here with those witch people? You keep coming into our town, going in the woods and bringing stuff back out, like, why are you even here? Which I don’t think is the worst point. If you think this is real, it’s like, why are you fucking with us? 


Alison Leiby: Weird. 


Halle Kiefer: Kim’s basically like, fuck you guys. Brings her beers to the cashier, whose name is Peggy, and Peggy refuses to ring her up just because she’s a goth, and also probably because she’s possessed by some sort of witch. At some point, Kim goes ballistic and reaches over and like, flicks Peggy’s nametag and it’s just like, you’re going to fucking ring me up and I’m going to get out of here and go to this fucking hillbilly town. Peggy will not serve her. And basically is holding a nail file like a metal nail file, kind of threateningly. So Kim grabs this Peggy woman by the throat and threatens her, and we see Peggy press a silent alarm and a security camera turn on. So it’s like, worse, even if there’s no witch. There’s now footage of you strangling this cashier. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Not great, not great. 


Halle Kiefer: And Kim throws cash at Peggy and storms out with the beer in a paper bag. Back at Jeff’s place, things have gone from bad to worse. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, good. 


Halle Kiefer: Erica is trying to pray to Persephone. Of course, the queen of the underworld. And Tristen is looking out the window and has locked eyes with, you guessed it, the owl. I hate it when I lock eyes with an owl. [laughter] Kim goes back, which is inexplicable to me because I’m like, I’m already in the van. Oh, right. Why don’t this fucking drive drive to New Jersey, get out of the state. You know, Jeff is still watching all the footage from last night. And as Kim drives back, we see the teenagers from the convenience store sort of pop out in the road and throw a rock through her back, the back window, and she turns to scream at them. And when she turns back, there is a line of seven old timey children across the road. Of course, the children that Rustin Parr killed. She instinctively jerks the wheel, and the van slams into a tree. Fortunately, it’s not so badly damaged that she can’t drive it, which is both anticlimactic. And I think at this point in the movie, an insane choice. 


Alison Leiby: Agreed. 


Halle Kiefer: But regardless, she heads back to Jeff, and when Jeff gets, when she gets back to Jeff. She takes the beer bag, and when she reaches inside, she cuts herself on the nail file and she looks at it and it’s covered in blood and she doesn’t remember why. Then like, she’s like, oh, Peggy had that. Why is this in my beer? I don’t know, but anyways, there is now a blood soaked nail file that is just on its surface, you know, is going to come back later. Jeff is sort of nodding off in front of the screens as he’s watching hours of footage and, Kim comes and tells him, like, hey, I saw a bunch of kids on the road. They were like, old timey. I have to assume those are the kids a Rustin Parr killed. I don’t know what the fuck’s going on, Alison? Jeff turns in his chair and suddenly he is in an orange jumpsuit, being electrocuted as if in an electric chair. 


Alison Leiby: Um. 


Halle Kiefer: And Kim starts back, and then Jeff wakes up and John says, oh, did you get coffee? Dawn breaks at Chateau, what the fuck is going on? They all wake up and the van is completely totaled. And they’re all like Kim, how did you even drive this back? She says it was fine, like it was a dented fender. I have no idea what happened. 


Alison Leiby: It’s now Saturday?


Halle Kiefer: So I think it’s Sunday morning. And then we know by Monday. 


Alison Leiby: There’s police.


Halle Kiefer: Least some of them have been arrested. Yeah. So, Kim’s like, I don’t know what happened to the van. It was, it was damaged, but, like, not insane. And Tristen wakes up and tells them all. They dip their hands in blood and put them on our bodies. Look. And she lifts her shirt and there are little tiny, bloody children’s handprints all over her body. 


Alison Leiby: The fuck? 


Halle Kiefer: And they all left their shirts and there are bloody children’s handprints on their body. And they say, that’s crazy. Wait a minute. Yeah. Where is Erica? Alison? 


Alison Leiby: Where is Erica? 


Halle Kiefer: They go and they find Erica’s clothing and jewelry all laid out like she just disappeared. And all of her stuff fell to the ground. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] That’s a fun thing. 


Halle Kiefer: And Kim lifts a necklace and sees a pentagram, and Kim runs outside and she screams Erica’s name, but there’s no reply. Alison, I got to ask you, who will survive? 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: What’s the Goths name again? 


Halle Kiefer: The Goth is Kim, which I really struggle with. Because that’s not a goth name. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: But you know what? Every name is a goth name, and I support it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then Kim is the Wiccan. Oh sorry Erica is a Wiccan. 


Alison Leiby: I think Erica and. I don’t want Tristen to die because she’s already kind of been through some shit. But. 


Halle Kiefer: I know. 


Alison Leiby: But I do feel like the two of them will die. And the men. And. Our psychic. Will.


Halle Kiefer: Kim. 


Alison Leiby:  Will survive. 


Halle Kiefer: All right. Great. 




Halle Kiefer: Everyone. Much like in many of these movies, I feel like Jeff’s like Kim and Erica. You’re probably playing a tricky little bitches. 


Alison Leiby: Okay 1999 also. 


Halle Kiefer: As soon as there’s one thing, that they could, like, blame someone. It gets it goes to an eleven really fast. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But Jeff does have a point where he’s like, Kim, can’t you see where she’s at in your mind? You said you were psychic. It’s like, well, let’s. I also had that question. 


Alison Leiby: Kind of sometimes. 


Halle Kiefer: And the answer is no. Tristen says maybe she called someone. It’s not like you can’t drive up here. Maybe somebody called. Maybe she got picked up or something, and they’re like, okay, well, do we know? Well, she had to put like an emergency contact or something like could we call that? And it’s her dad. And, Erica told us that like, her father was an Episcopal minister, and so she’s kind of on the outs with him, estranged from him because she’s a Wiccan, but he’s like, whatever. I don’t talk to them. But they have his number. They call her dad, and his secretary answers like, I’m sorry, he’s out. The reverend’s out. Can I take a message like, oh, we were calling about his daughter. We’re just wanting to know if he’d heard from her, just in case. The woman says the minister doesn’t have any children. And hangs up. So it seems there’s. Okay. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So, she made shit up, but it’s fine. There’s nothing that has happened that we can’t explain. It’s just part of a group hysteria that we’re having. And I know I am a scholar, so I don’t. I’m not outside of it. I know what could happen to me. Stephen is so desperate that this is not supernatural. But Jeff does say to him, dude, spare us the bullshit. Come on. 


Alison Leiby: Come on. 


Halle Kiefer: Jeff finally gets the point of the tape where he sees figures sort of arriving at the ruins. He’s like, I knew it. I knew these dumb motherfuckers came and stole my shit and wrecked our shit. I’m calling the sheriff to report their vandalization and theft of my cameras. And he calls the sheriff, and the sheriff tells him to turn on the television. He’s like, what? They turn on the TV, unfortunately, and the Blair Witch Walk hikers. So the other group of tourists—


Alison Leiby: That went to Coffin Rock. 


Halle Kiefer: Were, of course, found dead at Coffin Rock. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, well. 


Halle Kiefer: And. Oh, how did they die? I’ll let the sheriff tell you, because I we’re going to insert a clip here. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, great. 


[clip of Lanny Flaherty]: Disemboweled Jeffrey. 


Halle Kiefer: And the way he said disemboweled icon, because everybody they cut to him, I’m like, I wish it was that movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. Give us that. 


Halle Kiefer: We just like dabbing his forehead and screaming, disemboweled Jeffrey. It’s so good, Icon. [laughter] Unfortunately, much like in the original story, their bodies were laid out in the shape of a pentagram. The sheriff is now like, okay, so I already hate you. You’ve been in a psychiatric hospital. You’re calling me saying you were in the woods, and now all of these people have been disemboweled? I’m sorry. Jeff. Not looking good for you. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I’ll be totally honest. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely not. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m also not. I’m obviously a sheriff, so I do want to pin this on his, people as quickly as possible. Which does, I think, go up to the West Memphis three of Joe Berlinger’s career where the sheriff’s like. I just got to pin this on somebody. I like it. I can’t deal with the Blair Witch of it all. You know, there’s also this weird sequence where he’s talking to the sheriff and the sheriff is on TV and waves to him through the TV. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is funny, but again. And he tells Jeff, like, you better not leave town, even if I leave the county because I’m coming for you. However, Jeff has bigger fish to fry. And by fish I do mean owl, because the owl then explodes through one of the windows and collapses in front of the the grout. The group. Sorry, what was your question? 


Alison Leiby: Who? 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, boy. 


Alison Leiby: I’m sorry. I had to. We’re talking owls. 


Halle Kiefer: It was good. Would you eat owl meat, Alison?


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like, I like. I just don’t see how it’s that different from other birds. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t think it would be. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I’m sure the meat of a wild owl has, like, more bacteria stuff going on than like a farm, raised? Actually, I don’t even know if that’s true. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Because they eat like rodents and stuff.


Alison Leiby: I think if it was presumed that it’s safe, like if it was, if I knew it was safe. Yeah, sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, let me Google it real quick. 


Alison Leiby: They don’t seem to have a lot like they seem big, but that’s mostly feathers. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. I think it wouldn’t be the juice wouldn’t be worth the squeeze. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Would you eat an owl? 


Halle Kiefer: As someone who doesn’t know much about owl meat? Okay. Now, according to again this Google. So again, who’s to say what? Any of the. Any value of this? The first answer says no. It turns out you can’t eat owls. It is. It’s often, is illegal to hunt or capture them for food. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Because they’re mostly protected by law. So that’s more of a legal issue right then. 


Alison Leiby: Physically. 


Halle Kiefer: And according to Reddit, what do owls taste like. And one of the answers. The first answer is there’s not. There’s very little meat on an owl. [laughter] There’s very little meat on owl to the point that it’s just not worth the effort to catch and eat one exclamation point. So again, that is not answering the question. It’s answering other questions. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Somebody might have about eating owl. My girlfriend and I would like to cook an owl for Thanksgiving. Does anyone have a good recipe? I don’t know if you know this Alison. The answer is no. This is just cooking like a turkey. What are you talking about? 


Alison Leiby: Also, like—


Halle Kiefer: Does anyone have what Reddit is this?


Alison Leiby: Also we want to cook an owl. Like, I’m sorry that you should go to jail for that. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: Also, just seems like this person is bragging about having a girlfriend. Oh, you have a girlfriend who’s gonna eat—


Alison Leiby: Got it. Yeah. You guys are going to do it together. Fine. 


Halle Kiefer: Brag much? That was 14 years ago somebody asked that.


Alison Leiby: They’re probably dead. 


Halle Kiefer: So yeah. So the fucking owl explodes through the window. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: And again, again, is that the Blair Witch? 


Alison Leiby: Who knows? 


Halle Kiefer: I am assuming they all run downstairs except for Tristen, who goes back to bed and Jeffrey realizes, like, wait a minute, I don’t actually know any of you people. I don’t know if I like. We’ve just found out Erica lied, so I don’t know if I can trust any of you like Stephen. I don’t know you, but I’ll let you. I’ll just let you know, I’m not taking a fall for those murders. Like if I’m getting arrested. Yo, you all are getting fucking arrested. So nobody’s leaving here. If if, you know, until this gets figured out. Everyone except for Erica. Because the Erica has disappeared. Is now together. And Kim says, let’s just be honest. We brought something back with us from the woods. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. Fine. 


Halle Kiefer: But Jeff goes, I’ll tell you what it is. It’s Erica, and it’s like, piece it together, dude. So you think Erica had enough time to go in and murder and disembowel everybody? And that was like, controlling the hours. Like, what are you talking about? 


Alison Leiby: She’s not controlling any owls, that’s for sure. 


Halle Kiefer: But she said, oh, she’s just one big pissed off witch, and she can make herself disappear. Okay, so if that’s true. How are you going to catch her? 


Alison Leiby: What’s the plan? Move on.


Halle Kiefer: I think she’s actually a witch. And she says, Jeff, Jeff, you’ve got to have friends. Do you know anyone with a car? Just like, get us out of here. And then finally we see Kim in the sheriff’s office on Monday. So we now know that the people who survived are at least. Jeff. Stephen. And finally, we see that, Kim the goth has also made it to the sheriff’s office, and he says you think your makeup and your black clothes gives you power. But you’re just a scared, cowardly little girl. And I wrote what is happening? 


Alison Leiby: What is happening? 


Halle Kiefer: But Kim is like, let’s cut the shit. Something happens in the woods, something evil. And Jeff looks and Kim is eating the owl. But then he blinks and she’s just eating the old fried chicken that he had in the fridge. But you do get somebody eating the owl meat at least.


Alison Leiby: Well that’s a funny little visual for this film. 


Halle Kiefer: Tristen yells look outside, it’s Erica. And Stephen runs to the door and we see Erica on the bridge. She’s wearing just her undies and no brassiere and she says, you know who it is and you know what you have to do. Alice suddenly the bridge over the boat outside the broom factory collapses and Stephen plummets and is barely able to grab the ledge. He begs Tristen for help, but his girlfriend just looks down at him and then walks back into the factory, and Kim and Jeff have to come and haul Stephen up. Up in her room. I mean, I imagine Stephen was going up to be like, why didn’t you save me from the bridge collapse.


Alison Leiby: That’s kind of weird. 


Halle Kiefer: Tristen is on her bed, spinning in circles and screaming. I’m having Elly Kedward’s dreams. I’m going insane. And she tells Stephen, basically, when the Blair Witch is tried tied with a tree to die. The bad boys from Blair Village came to her. They let their big dogs bite her, poked her with sticks, and when she bled, they put their hands in it and pressed their palms onto her flesh. And when she didn’t die, the townspeople took her off the tree, put a rope around her neck, and hanged her. And Tristen says, I think I’m going crazy and soon says, no, you’re not. Stephen, I got bad news. Kim at least has some rationality and says, to Jeff, I need to call the hospital. I’m really worried about what’s happening with Tristen. And he says, oh, yeah, the phone books over there on the desk. She goes to open the drawer. I’m like, do they not have 911 of this town? But she’s looking for the hospital number, and she finds a drawer full of files on all of them, complete with photos of, like, herself, Stephen and Jeff. And he’s she’s like, what the fuck is this? Did you research us like what is this? You have all this information, all these photos? Jeff, of course, has no idea where it came from. Is like, did you bring that in here? I didn’t make that. We now see, on Monday, the sheriffs throw down the case files. So I think we’re to think, that, the case files were from the future when they are being investigated, which again is an interesting idea, but it just not.


Alison Leiby: It just isn’t working for me. To be honest. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s the, the the mechanism is off. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So just kind of like it’s just not running smooth. Finally we hear Sheriff Cravens yelling for Jeff outside of Jeff’s house, and we hear him knocking at the front door, which should be impossible because, as you recall, the bridge to to the broom factory is out, and we see Jeff creep up to the door to unlock it and he’s having flashbacks of when he was institutionalized, and he opens the door and sees the bridge is collapsed, but on the other side are actual dogs barking. So these dogs are. 


Alison Leiby: Going nuts. 


Halle Kiefer: Suddenly from the alarm reel and he slams the door and he runs up to his closet and grabs a shotgun, and he runs back, throws the door open, I guess to murder all the dogs. 


Alison Leiby: I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison the dogs are gone. Everyone’s also assembled, being like, put the gun away. Dude. We don’t need a fucking gun this is not good. Jeff slams door and goes to put the shotgun away in the closet. And inside is Erica’s dead nude corpse. 


Alison Leiby: Jesus Christ. 


Halle Kiefer: But also it’s funny because it like, they kind of like, propped up. Like she’s propped on the corner, like, with rigor mortis, but she’s clearly just standing there with, like, corpse makeup on. [laughter] However. Now, Kim, Jeff and Stephen are all screaming at each other, blaming each other for killing Erica because they’re like, somebody killed Erica and put her body in here. Nobody knows who it is. Tristen shows up and says it’s all backwards. The girls walk backwards. The ghost walk backwards. Erica dance backwards around the tree. It’s widdershins. And Jeff says what we’re all thinking. What the fuck is widdershins?


Alison Leiby: What is widdershins?


Halle Kiefer: Widdershins is the concept of. And again, I had it all open until my computer. So basically, widdershins is, counterclockwise. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And the idea is sort of like you were undoing something. It has a superstitious meaning. It’s sort of, to go against it. It’s bad luck. So it’s sort of like a witch would be going widdershins. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: A Christian, perhaps would be going clockwise, widdershins is the opposite of the natural order, right? The order of the clock is right, and everything against it is widdershins. Now, what does that give us? 


Alison Leiby: Nothing. 


Halle Kiefer: Jack shit. But Kim says, wait a minute, widdershins, backwards. Let’s play the tapes backwards. And Jeff says, that makes no sense. And Kim says, I know, but just do it. Which I always thought was the most honest moment to me. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I know—


Alison Leiby: But just do it. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, they go to play the video backwards. This is like I to me this is crazy. Like as I’m coming up to this, I’m like, is this a twist? But there’s just like when you sort of like yeah. So go to play the video backwards. And Alison, it turns out that they trashed it all. It’s like, yeah, the Blair Witch made you destroy all your shit. So they see it, they all start stripping. Everyone’s naked except for Tristen and who is kind of wearing this, like, dark robe, and she’s sort of commanding them to drink and like, like, like, make out with each other and fall down, and tear up all the papers. She’s, like, commanding them. And the men sort of bowed. Erica’s nude with a skull in her lap and all the better bowing down. And I’m like, okay, I’m, I’m back on board. 


Alison Leiby: I’m into this. 


Halle Kiefer: I like this. And, we see Tristen sort of swinging a sword over them. So the mistress of ceremonies and she gives them all a knife and another knife and another knife and she commands them. And just then we see, Tristen grabbing the owl, we see her hiding the tapes under the rock. And I did write. This sucks so bad. 


Alison Leiby: This does suck. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m just like, we gotta. But she’s so. Because she’s basically sort of just throwing her arms up in a bathrobe over and over, and everyone’s doing the best they can, but it’s just not really amounting to much. And they all turn to Tristen. They’re like, you were leading us, you were in control. And Tristen’s like, I don’t, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And Kim and Stephen grab her and Stephen asks, what did you do, Tristen? Jeff takes a camera and they said, Tristen, just admit it. Just admit what you did. And Jeff says, we’re not going to hurt you Tristen. We’re not like you with your baby, okay? And Stephen says to Tristen, the witch kills babies. And Tristen, of course, starts to push them away, and as she does, she suddenly drops the innocent act. She tells them you’re all going to fucking die. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And she starts to climb up the spiral staircase to the top floor of the again, the broom factory. And she tells them, you’re all afraid. You’re like the little children of Blair Village. Tristen’s gone now. And of course, we don’t say it because we don’t need to, baby. She’s the Blair Witch. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And they’re basically demanding that she admit that she killed all those people. In reality, they’ve obviously at her command. Killed the five people. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see her. They get to the top of the loft. And Tristen grabs a cable and ties it around her neck. And Stephen’s like you cannot do this. And Tristen says, no, you can’t do this, Stephen. You ballless bitch. And Stephen shoves Tristen off the loft and her body falls and she is hung just as the Blair Witch was hung in her day. And that’s when we finally get a glimpse of them killing the other tourists in a in a nude frenzy with the knives that Tristen, aka the Blair Witch has given them. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, I should have mentioned this earlier. Tristen looks a little bit like Kristen Wiig, so if you wanted to imagine that, I’m sorry, I should have said that earlier. 


Alison Leiby: That’s great. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s I was like, who does she look like? And then finally and then I’m like—


Alison Leiby: That’s Kristen Wiig. 


Halle Kiefer: While she’s dangling from a rope. I’m like, It’s Kristen Wiig. And they all look on as Tristen’s body twists and turns hanging from the ceiling. Alison, we hear a news report the next morning. Reporter says, I’m standing here. I also didn’t know is a broom factory until now, when she says. I’m standing here in an abandoned broom factory in the tiny hamlet of Jericho Mills Mills, a few miles from Burkittsville. And I was like a broom factory. That’s what that was, she tells us. Three fans of The Blair Witch Project have committed a series of ritualized murders. And then finally we get more Sheriff Craven’s. And he’s, of course, interrogating Stephen, Jeff and Kim at the station. And Stephen says, I don’t remember any of this and now he’s showing them the video, Kim’s like, I don’t I don’t know what happened. I know I didn’t do anything. And the sheriff shows Kim the bloody nail file and then shows security footage from the store. She stabbed Peggy to death with it. She didn’t just—


Alison Leiby: Cut herself. 


Halle Kiefer: Strangle, lightly strangle Peggy, and then cut herself. She stabbed her to death. And we have it on film. And the officers come to Stephen and they say, did you kill your girlfriend? He’s like, no, he says. She was taunting me. She asked me to push her. I swear to God, it was an accident. It’s like those are actually three different arguments. And also you did. And we start we see footage of them as the media starts, a swarm of them being led into the sheriff’s office, because obviously it’s a huge story and Stephens like, no, Jeff videotaped the whole thing. You’ll see. We didn’t kill those. You’ll see what really happened. And of course, when the tapes are shown, the tapes don’t lie like they might have had their own experience. But like, the tapes are what happened. We see, Kim stabbing Peggy the cashier to death. We see a new Jeff dragging Erica’s body into the closet and shutting the door. So I think we’re to think Jeff killed Erica. And Jeff’s like no, I didn’t do that. That’s not how it happened. I don’t remember doing that. And then on the tape, we don’t see Tristen basically admitting to being the Blair Witch or putting the rope around her neck on the tape. She’s begging for her life. 


[clip of Tristine Skyler]: Oh stop it, oh God Stephen don’t please.


Halle Kiefer: He wraps the rope around her neck and pushes her off the loft and says, that fucking witch. And of course, Stephen’s sobbing and screaming at the police saying like, no, that’s not possible. Somebody, somebody fucked with the tape. And Alison. We leave. We leave our trio as we zoom over the woods, and we see more tourists arrive to seek out the Blair Witch. The Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. So, hypothetically, what are. Some fatal mistakes you think may have been made in Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2? 


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: Going to find the Blair Witch at all. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Number one with a bullet. You got it. You can’t be out here looking for the Blair Witch. You can’t do it.


Alison Leiby: And then also, once things start going crazy and weird and we start getting weird, like, I’m not, like, all going to a broom factory to go over footage to see what happened. Like, that’s when things. Really. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Once. I’ve already been hospitalized once. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah that’s enough. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m not going with these virtual strangers who I just met. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, at least in the original. Like. Yeah, they don’t know each other that well, but they are part of the same film school, like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, we know each other. Kind of. It’s like you genuinely don’t know anyone. So. So there’s just so different elements where it’s like it could have been about. Oh. Do we suspect each other or is it like there’s so many opportunities where it’s like that could have been an interesting way to do it. And this one said no no no no no no no, we’re not going to pick anything at all. We’re going to go through. And that’s what the thing is when you get to and I’m like, this actually is scary. Like the idea being shown video. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Of what you actually did. 


Alison Leiby: Is scary. 


Halle Kiefer: And I feel like works. And even though the movie’s a mess, I was like, I wanted to see that movie, where this was the ending. Yeah. And I think just. I also was like, if you’re a goth, don’t hang out with a guy named Jeff. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, great agree. 


Halle Kiefer: No Jeff. 


Alison Leiby: No, goth. 


Halle Kiefer: Take a. Take a. Take a minute before hanging with the goth. It’s a bad combo. The bad energy everyone was bringing. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I feel like just other than that, just. They’re just all dumb. They all just should have left. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah everybody’s an idiot.


Halle Kiefer: Fatal mistake being any of them. Yeah. And then finally, where would you place. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 on the spooky scale. Alison?


[voice over]: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: This is a two. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, I agree with that. I’m gonna give it a two because there were certain moments where I’m like, okay, this is a effective. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Seeing the footage that isn’t reflecting. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: The reality that I experienced, like that would be like, all that would I would be like, ooh, that’s kind of scary. But everything else


Halle Kiefer: I agree with that. To me, the narrative, the problem is like, oh, so we’re the whole movies are watching video. It’s the way, everything feels so random. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Is because, yeah, the driving action is watching video, but then you got to go. It’s gotta be the ring. Like, then it’s got to be about the video. It’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: You’re interacting with it and the video that we see where everyone’s like when you see that it’s Erica dancing. And Erica realizes like, that could have been an interesting, scary moment. So I don’t know, maybe that’s what they’re going for is like. You know. I it’s again, so many opportunities. I think if you they just made this documentary style. If the just made this found footage. It would have worked so much better. Just have the same stuff happen, but have it be from the immediate experience to put us in there, you know, versus we’re watching it. It looks like the CW, but. 


Alison Leiby: Watching people watch TV. 


Halle Kiefer: But, Joe Berlinger, he went on to bigger and better things. You know, he found he found found his bliss. And, there are more Blair Witch movies, so we’ll have to do them, in time. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Well, thank you, Alison, for letting me explain a movie to you. As you— 


Alison Leiby: I mean, for for watching and explaining. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, this one was. This one was a tough one. I’ll say. All right. Thank you for listening, you guys. We love you very much. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, we love you. And, please keep it spooky. 


Halle Kiefer: Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for show updates. And if you’re just as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. This show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.