Monday, December 6, 2010

Hatchet II

Before I even say anything else, let me say this, I fully realize the kill sequences are the main reason most of us have any interest at all in seeing Hatchet 2. As such, there will be absolutely no spoilers here about any of them. I'll talk about it to some degree, but as for the details, my lips are sealed.

Now then, we all know the story, Adam Green promised "the return of  old school American horror" with the first Hatchet. Since it's release, I've seen/heard opinions of it from one end of the spectrum to the other from horror and non-horror fans alike. Personally, I loved it for what it was. It reminded me of the old, ridiculous horror movies that my brother and I would sneak and watch as kids. My one minor nitpick was with Victor Crowley himself. Sorry guys, but for me, the "next icon of horror" he ain't. Maybe it's my fault though, maybe growing up in small town Alabama has jaded me, but I've seen scarier dudes than Victory Crowley at Wal-Mart, and not at 3am either, 3PM. He's an ugly fucker with a scar on his face who wears overalls and carries a hatchet. I just described most of the residents of my hometown, both male and female.

So, not that there's any real reason to get into it much, I suppose this is where I normally so a little plot synopsis. Hatchet II picks up exactly where Hatchet ends, with the lone survivor Mary Beth (played by Danielle Harris this time *drool*) returning to Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd) looking for help in finding the bodies of her dead family back out in the swamp so that she can give them a proper burial. And if she manages to take "that fucker Crowley" down for good in the process, so be it. He advises against it initially, but finally gives in under one condition, that she bring her uncle Bob with her on the trip. Turns out the Reverend just so happens to know that it was Mary Beth's dad, her uncle, and one other kid, Trent (R.A. Mihailoff), that were responsible for what happened to Victor. So he offers up $500 cash for anybody willing to head back out into the swamp to retrieve the tour boat he lost in the first film, and spend the night hunting Victor Crowley. With Mary Beth's dad dead already, Victor only needs to kill these other two, and he will have his revenge,  thus lifting the swamp's curse forever, and returning the good Reverend's tourism business to prominence.

Of course these folks serve as nothing more than a body count, so there's really no point in going to any further detail about them. Now, about the body count. I don't know, maybe I was just in the mood to watch some people get slaughtered, but I was a little let down by Hatchet II in this regard. Pretty much everybody is killed, but it all happens so fast, and the kills just didn't seem as brutal as they did in the first Hatchet. What they were though, is way more over the top. I tell you no lie when I tell you that there is some ridiculously stupid shit that happens in this movie.Whether or not you enjoy that kind of thing will eventually make up your mind about Hatchet II.

If I'm coming across completely negative, that's not my intent, I actually enjoyed the movie. I just wanted more I guess. My absolute favorite thing about this movie though, is Danielle Harris. I love her. Lots. She is the glue that really held this together for me. For an actress who has been at this as long as she has, I love that she seems to have no delusions as to what kind of movie she's in, and she seems to be genuinely enjoying herself. You'll see what I mean when you get to the ending. The last 25-30 seconds are my absolute favorite part of Hatchet II, and it's because of her.

You know how if you watch John Carpenter's Halloween and Halloween II together, they basically make one kick-ass movie? I think that probably works best with Hatchet as well. As stand-alone movies, they both feel rushed to me, is that because the whole point is that we want Kane Hodder to hurry up and get to the dismemberment? Probably. Should I even want more out of these films than that? Probably not. But for whatever reason I do. Fans of Hatchet will love Hatchet II, people who liked Hatchet a lot, but were hoping for a little more from Hatchet II (like this guy) may come away a little disappointed, and will probably still say that Frozen is Adam Green's best movie so far (again, like this guy).

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