Thursday, February 03, 2011

Hatchet II

I must say, that Hatchet has been one of the surprise favorite movies that I've found over the past few years. It, like Dead Snow, is a movie I heard about in passing but not much else so when I saw it available, I bought it, watched it and loved it. When I heard the sequel was getting a theatrical release, I was all ready to see it. Then it was pulled. So began my long wait for it to hit dvd. I have to say, it was worth it.

Is it as good as the first? No, but that doesn't mean it's bad. The first was a great blend of horror and comedy that puts it up there with the likes of Return of the Living Dead. The difference between the two for me, is similar to that between Alien and Aliens. The second film has a much darker tone, with Marybeth (now Danielle Harris mmmmmmm)surviving the first encounter with Victor Crowley and assembling a group of hunters to go after him with the help of Reverend Zombie, the odd voodoo man who told the people about the boat ride in the first movie, played by Tony Todd. Along the way, we learn more about Victor Crowley and why he is the way he is and exactly how they might be able to stop him once and for all and rid the swamp of his evil.

There's solid gore and some scares along the way, with some minimal nudity and some humor thrown in for good measure. This sequel feels more balls to the wall than the first. The hunters are invading Crowley's turf and he does not cotton to that very well, taking his vengeance with extreme prejudice and in often brutal ways. Jaws are ripped off, power tools are used and there is much, much blood and it is awesome. Meanwhile, the clock is winding down for our heroes to find a way to stop him for good and these victims aren't willing to go down for a fight, which results in one particularly awesome battle between a man and Crowley as they pummel each other.

My few complaints are that I don't particularly care for explanations for supernatural killers. It didn't work in Halloween. It didn't work in NOES. Didn't work in F13 either and it sure as hell didn't work in Hellraiser. I can't tell here if they're doing it as a sort of meta parody of that fact or because they thought we needed it. I'd rather they just kept to the basics and got to the killing as it doesn't add much to me for the story.

The second complaint is that unlike the first, we don't really know these characters. Yes, Marybeth and Rev. Zombie get a bulk of screentime and development, but we're left sorely in need of some fleshing out of the secondary characters. Nobody is really as memorable as Murray's part-time pornographer, the bimbos or the friends of Joel David Moore. We get a little on them, particularly the man and his ex, but not enough to really care when they're killed. It's a shame, but not a deal breaker.

If you liked the first or just want to see a good slasher, check it out.

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