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Jul 25

Hatchet II

hatchet2Genre: Horror
Year: 2010
Country: USA

Director: Adam Green
Starring: Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Parry Shen, Tom Holland

 

Victor Crowley lives again

 

Marybeth was the only survivor of the tourist group that visited the swamps where the serial killer Victor Crowley lives. The very next day she goes to see the Reverend Zombie, to get his help in going out to the swamp again and finish Crowley off once and for all.

Zombie tells her Crowley’s backstory and why he is not someone who can be killed off the same way as a normal human being, but he also has his own desires to get rid of him and gathers a group of hunters to join him and Marybeth on their hunt of the demented killer.

I didn’t care much for the first Hatchet movie. It played like it wanted to be an homage to the 80’s slasher films, without showing any knowledge of what it was that made that subgenre so great in that decade. I figured that the sequel would probably just be more of the same, but perhaps I was too hard on the first one and even if this one was bad it would at least have Danielle Harris in the leading role.

She took over the part of Marybeth, which was portrayed by Tamara Feldman in the first film. It is an odd choice to just let Harris have this part, since she they look very different from each other. It’s not the character was that great in the first film that they needed to bring her back in this one either. I’m happy that they got Harris for this, but I would much rather have them make up a different character for her to play.

The story is, again, very simple. Use some time to give the characters some backstory and then have Crowley slaughter them all. We get some more information on Marybeth and the history of her family and also some more information regarding the origins of Victor Crowley, which includes a laughably bad emotional flashback with Kane Hodder. Crowley is still a very dull killer for me and if you don’t like him then there’s not much else to enjoy except some gory kill scenes.

Well, fans of Tony Todd will appreciate that his part as Reverend Zombie gets way more screen time on this and again, Danielle Harris is in it. I will gladly admit that I got a thing for her, but even so she is also a very good actress and few modern scream queens can portray being terrified like she can. That being said, I didn’t think she was anything special in this film. Usually she shines even if the production is more low budget than this, but I guess someone thought it would be a good idea to make Marybeth cry and be sad as much as possible.

Director Adam Green also tried to add every famous and loved horror actor he could in this film with people like Tom Holland, John Carl Buechler, R.A. Mihailoff and even Lloyd Kaufman popping up in small roles or cameos. It kind of feels like a cheap way to say “hey, I’ve got all of these genre guys in my movie!” and few of them actually gets to do very much. The other new characters are mostly annoying and not worth spending time on. If Green wanted to make an homage to the 80’s slashers then he should also have added some charm and innocence to the film, that’s what made those older ones work. Not violent gore, although the violence in this film are the highlight of it.

What it does have going for it is that it does look visually good and some of the scenes in the swamp are done quite well. There’s way too much humour in this and it ruins any chance of having suspenseful scenes. It is almost enough one-liners to make it categorized as a horror comedy.

I didn’t care for Hatchet and I don’t care much for Hatchet 2 either. It delivers more of the same so fans of the first should definitely find stuff to enjoy here. The characters aren’t as annoying this time around and with me having basically no expectations of it whatsoever, I did find it to be a more enjoyable film and an improvement over the first one. And hey, it does have Danielle Harris!

 

 ★★☆☆☆ 

 

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