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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hatchet 2 (2010) Horror Slasher Ghost

Hatchet II (2010) - So lets do this again but up the gore and fill out the story a bit, and see what Hachet II is all about. The film again is as advertised but unfortunately not quite up to the quality of the first film. It starts immediately where the first film ends except final girl Marybeth has a different actress, instead of Tamara Feldman we have Danielle Harris. Harris at this point is a veteran horror actress started as a chjild in the genre in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) & Halloween 5 (1989), then later appearing in the remakes, Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009), and also Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet (2009) and after this film playing Belle in the under the radar but very good vampire flick Stake Land (2010). Hatchet II promises to up the gore factor and indeed it does, but unfortunately it is not a better movie than the original. There is something missing, it may be that the bringing back of the classic slasher was unique in 2006, than it was in 2010, but something is missing in this film that the original had. Harris for her part was a not as angry as the Marybeth portrayed by Feldman, instead she sort of come across as whiny. Then there is the long setup before finally getting out into the swamp. I am sure writer / director Adam Green felt he owned us some more back story but it seems to this writer that he over did it. So we end up with an elaborate set up and lots of back story before we finally get what we are promised, inventive kills and lots of fake blood. Are the kills worth the wait, well I think they are but the viewer definitely won't come away from this film with that same happy feeling they got from the first one.
   The story after getting away from Victor Crowley, with the help of the urine drinking swamp man Jack Cracker (John Carl Buechler) we learn a bit more about Marybeth's family. Her father it seems was one of the three boys who threw the firecrackers that set Crowley's house ablaze all those years before. He with his brother and another boy Trent are the reason Victor was killed accidentally by his father in the rescue attempt. So you could surmise that revenge on them could break the haunting of the swamp. Through flashback though we learn even m,ore unnecessary back story about the boy who would become the ghost Victor Crowley. It sort of explains why he was born deformed in the first place and why a horrible end was inevitable for he and his father. Doesn't really need to be explained but we get a good section of flashback devoted to it. I guess Green was trying to add some real depth to the character but really all it does in delay the anticipated bloodbath.
  Marybeth at Jack's suggestion goes to see Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd) and when he learns who she is hatches a plan to end the curse and thus open the swamp back up for his tour business. Now there is no way to know what ultimately will stop Victor Crowley from appearing every night for murder and mayhem and the movie even states that. Still Zombie figures if he can get the remaining two men responsible for Crowley's death out into the swamp, Victor will kill them and the curse will be lifted. So on top of the already over complicated plot he creates another scheme where he lies to Marybeth so she will bring her uncle and the town's hunters so he can attract Trent. He presents a ghost hunt saying to the group that he will give each hunter $500 to behead the ghost of Victor Crowley, again paper thin this excuse works and we have a group of hunters all heading into the swamp to kill Crowley. Marybeth for her part just wants to retrieve the bodies of her Father and Brother but we all know how that is going to work out.
  It's all a bit tiring to get all this back story where the first film seemed to relish the journey without trying to create depth, this story is trying to create a myth that will last but it really takes away from the pacing. When the hunting party is fully formed things get movie and we get the action promised but it is only after the long setup. Again the gore is excellent fun with buckets of fake blood thrown against trees and walls and lots more including:
  • An intestine pulled out and used as rope to strangle the person (and pop the head off).
  • A bloody birth scene with ridiculous scared to death face.
  • Gruesome mouth mutilation
  • Propeller and face meeting
  • Beheading and totally inappropriate hatchet in the privates
  • Super long chainsaw up through the privates
  • Axe kill with belt sander chaser.
  • Beheading using table complete with blinking eyes
  • Person pulled in half and top half manually skinned while still alive
The players are adequate with Kane Hodder returning as Victor Crowley, and Parry Shen returns this time playing his own twin brother Justin. The hunting party consists of Bob (Tom Holland), Trent (R.A. Mihailoff), Layton (AJ Bowen), Avery (Alexis Peters), Cleatus (Ed Ackerman), Chad (David Foy), Vernon (Colton Dunn) and John (Rick McCallum). 
When the film is done nothing is really resolved, there is a twist but no resolution so the third movie will have plenty of room to finish up the story. If I was going to recommend one of the two films it would be the first. Don't get me wrong this film is watchable just missing something the first had in spades.

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