Thursday, March 10, 2011

Movie Review: Hatchet 2 (2010)

Before talking about Hatchet 2, let's go back to 2006. The first Hatchet film was a blast. It did what all the advertisements said it would do and brought back the old school slasher awesomeness of days gone by. It was hilariously funny and campy, with tons of over-the-top gore and effects that made it an amazingly fun time to watch.

So here comes the "however." Hatchet 2 just didn't do it enough for me. It was surprisingly and sadly not as fun to watch as the first one, which had me laughing at the ridiculous characters and their lines just as much as the crazy gore. The sequel never even got a chuckle out of me. The shift in tone works for the story, though, and it was a great way to distinguish itself from the first film - I just can't help missing the tone from the first movie, I'm sorry!

Taking off from the very last frame of Hatchet, this sequel has our final girl Marybeth (now played by the always wonderful Danielle Harris) being rescued from the hideous Victor Crowley by another swamp-dwelling loner named Jack Cracker. However, Jack soon throws her out when he finds out who she is and sends her to Reverend Zombie to learn the truth about herself and the curse of Victor Crowley. Marybeth and Zombie then head back into the swamp with a team of hunters to finally take Crowley out.

The cast for this film is nothing short of a horror movie lover's absolute wet dream. Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Tom Holland... I'm thoroughly impressed. Tony Todd is pretty much a guarantee for me to watch any film, even if it's just him standing there reading from the Joy of Cooking or something.

The big thing the Hatchet films are known for is of course the excessive gore and Hatchet 2 is certainly no disappointment in that area. The first kill is most indicative of what's to come, albeit completely unbelievable. Victor pulls out Jack Cracker's intestines with his bare hands, then strangles him with them, then somehow manages to lop his head clean off with them. It's not like he was using piano wire or some other such shit, it was freaking intestines and intestines cannot cut off someone's head. But of course it was still amazingly fun, so I honestly don't really care.

The body count is upped from the first film with lots of new, clever and gruesome ways for people to die. Highlights include: head bashing with a hatchet; a sander to the back of the head; double chainsaw crotch-to-head slicing; a brutal jaw rip; and the biggest highlight of all, Tony Todd's demise. He gets chopped in half and then gets flayed when Victor pulls his body out of his skin by his protruding spine. Whoa. I fear for Adam Green sometimes. He's getting a little too good at coming up with this kind of stuff. Not really - he needs to keep coming up with this kind of stuff because it is AWESOME.

One thing I liked about the plot was the extended backstory given about Victor. The original story presented was okay, but didn't explain how Victor could be this vengeful ghost in the swamp. In fact, I always just assumed that he didn't really die when his father hit him with the hatchet and sort of hid out for years like Jason did. Now though, we learn that Victor was cursed in utero by his father's, Thomas Crowley, wife because Thomas was having an affair with his wife's nurse while she was dying of cancer. He was born a monster and really is an innocent, having to pay for the sins of his father, literally. So now we feel even more sorry for him now like we do with Leatherface and Jason. Poor deformed little boys.

Hatchet 2 isn't true movie length, which is disappointing because I wanted more. It clocks in at about 82 minutes - too short! Sure we all knew where the basic story was going when it started - more people go into the swamp, more people get killed, Victor Crowley gets killed - so I guess you don't really need that much time to tell that story, but can you blame me for wanting more Hatchet? The sequel is still a great movie, though. Loved the gore (very, very well done), loved the actors and their performances, and loved that Kane Hodder also gave a terrific performance, and looked dead sexy... as Thomas Crowley, of course, not Victor.

Back to my comment about Tony Todd reading from a cookbook... that would be kind of awesome. Just picture that beast of a man standing on a spooking soundstage and using that amazing voice to say things like, "Beat two eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, sugar, and paprika. Stir well." Ohhhh, I'm weak in the knees. Todd especially could make that sound incredibly sexy and/or scary.


  1. I have seen Hatchet but not he 2nd one.. will have to check it out.

  2. Agh, I can't wait for this movie. Great review.

  3. I need to watch this one! Not to mention, I need both for my collection.

  4. I really enjoyed the second one as much as the first, but it might be because I was one of the lucky few who got to see it in the theater before it was pulled. All of us laughing and reacting to the gore as a group really increased the fun factor.

  5. totally agree! Impressive gore and a terrific cast - but sadly waaay less entertaining.

  6. I was all out on this one, boring, unfunny, and Danielle was awful in the lead