Hatchet II Review (The not-so-special anniversary edition!)

Hatchet II (2010)

Starring: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd
Directed by: Adam Green



Here we have it, the one year anniversary of Cut! Print! Scream!! We've seen some changes, we've seen quite a few reviews and we've seen a LOT of bad jokes. Yeah, it's been a good year. And if you've enjoyed it, then you're definitely in luck, because this year isn't going to be much different. So stick around for another year of gory movies and shitty jokes, because...well, let's be honest. What else do you have to be doing right now, huh? Exactly.

Anyway, today we will be looking at the sequel to Hatchet, properly named Hatchet II. Why? Because Hatchet was my first review and this is the first anniversary, that's why. Enjoy!


The Premise

Having survived her nightmarish trek into the bayou by the skin of her teeth, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) returns to Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd) for help. Being the kind-hearted fraud he is, the Reverend quickly puts together a random assortment of hunters and general militiamen for a return trip, but not before spilling the beans to Marybeth about the truth behind Viktor Crowley (Kane Hodder) and what it has to do with her family.


"I said a HALF Windsor!!"




 The First Stitches

Hatchet II opens literally where the first movie left off -- Marybeth is in a death struggle with the rampaging ghoul, Victor Crowley. Luckily, she's able to free herself and escape to the water where she's later rescued by the droopy-eyed fisherman from the first movie.

Back at the hermit's cabin, Marybeth lets loose her story, which pretty much boils down to "My daddy died, so I came to see what killed him." It becomes apparent Daddy has something to do with the murderous specter milling about when the fisherman demands she leave immeidately and never return to the swamps after she tells him her full name. Unfortunately, though, her departure only leads to the appearance of Victor Crowley who promptly rids the fisherman of that annoying bubble on his neck with an intestine tourniquet (read: he strangles him with his own intestines until his head pops off).

With nowhere else to go, Marybeth makes a beeline straight to Reverend Zombie's shop. When the Reverend learns Marybeth's lineage, he provides her with the truth about himself and her father. From there, the Reverend rounds up a bunch of local hunters, albeit under the misinformation that they are to be searching for a boat...with guns...



Mending the Seams

Plot: As a continuation to the original story, Hatchet II kept the situation straightforward and linear; the entire movie revolves around a subplot from the original wherein Marybeth is out to avenger her father and it doesn't really stray too much from that path. There are a couple side plots (including Perry Shen returning as Justin who joins the search to figure out what happened to his missing twin brother, Shawn), but they don't really go anywhere, or in one case lead specifically to a kill scene. The story overall, though, rolls out at a decent clip. There's just enough exposition to balance the action and tension, giving just enough of the plot to care...until the heads started splitting.

Pun intended.

Characters: Aside from Marybeth, every main character is the same from the first movie. According to IMDb, this was a specific stipulation from the director and in my opinion, it definitely worked out. At first, I wasn't too sure about Danielle Harris taking over as Marybeth, but in the end, her performance was decent. The only real scene involving Marybeth I found memorable or amusing, though, was on the boat with Vernon (Colton Dunn). And speaking of which, I would like to personally vote Vernon the most irritatingly likable character in the movie. By far, he was probably the biggest asshole in the film, but in the end, it was great comic relief.

Setting/Atmosphere: Again, much of this section was the same as the last movie. The scenes in the swindler's shop, much like the scenes out in the bayou with Crowley all felt familiar. Considering it's been like a day, tops, since the first movie, this was a good thing. Continuity and whatnot, right?

Wrong on so many levels...

Special Effects: The main thing this movie did in relation to the special effects was add more blood. A LOT more blood. There was a lot to like as this movie simply overflowed with decapitations and disembowelments. And it was a little hard to pick a specific favorite death scene, but in the end, there was something about the chainsaw scene that just, I dunno, touched me.

Music/Audio: The riffs and tracks for this movie did very well to keep with the mood of their relative scenes. I was most fond of the swamp scenes, personally. And from the crickets in the bayou to the sound of Victor Crowley's hatchet bashing in the frontal hemisphere of a hunter's skull, the sound effects were pretty much spot on.

The Binding Stitch

Ultimately, I found this movie enjoyable, but not quite as much as the first one. It was a fun return to the deep, dark depths of the Louisiana swamps,it just didn't quite have the same charm as the first movie. I suppose that's the general concept with sequels, though, so take that for what you will. I really did like the movie altogether and feel it is another great addition to any slasher fan's collection. Unfortunately, though, it seems Adam Green will not be directing the third installment to the series, so let's hope this next movie can keep up the pace and wrap this trilogy up proper.

"I bet you want these pasties to go away, don'cha? Well, go watch the movie!"

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