Hatchet II Review

Hatchet II picks up directly after the events of the first film as Marybeth (after a swift bit of recasting) escapes Victor Crowley and the swamp that is his home. Just before she makes her escape though there is a brief scene that features the video camera from the first film and is a scene that probably provides the film with its biggest laughs. It also gives a few of the cast members who suffered gruesome demises in Hatchet a chance to reprise their roles from the first film.

When Marybeth does get out of the swamp her first thoughts are of returning and she approaches Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd) who lets her in on the story of how Victor Crowley came into being and offers to take her back to the swamp to hunt and kill him. Hiring a band of hunters and general lowlifes, Zombie heads into the swamp with Marybeth. Unsurprisingly, and in good slasher tradition, the group are then picked off one-by-one by Crowley in brutal and gory ways.

The deaths are crucial to the success of Hatchet II. Ask any horror fan their favourite part of a particular slasher film and they will undoubtedly respond with an outrageous death scene. Although I would not argue that the kills in slasher films are the only reason they are successful both as films and with fans, they have certainly become a key quality that fans look for. Horror fans appreciate the audacious approach to the deaths that directors and writers take and the excessive and elaborate special effects work that goes into them. Hatchet II is not only Green’s love letter to the slasher but it is also his salute to the fans (of which he is one) and their love of ‘the kills’.

Hatchet II is an entirely exclusive experience though and brings to mind the kind of fanservice that is common in anime. If you love horror and are a fan of the slasher sub genre then this film will have you applauding and whooping with delight (as it left many fans doing at its Frightfest premiere).

Nothing in the script, direction or performances is particularly extraordinary and it feels at times like all these elements are perhaps secondary to the various deaths. This is what the Hatchet films are about though. Born out of what I suspect is a frustration with the stagnation of slasher franchises and the dull and humourless remakes that have become so common, the Hatchet films are about fun in the horror genre. Hatchet II does feel like a breath of fresh air despite its reliance on tradition and recapturing older films and in building on the first film but amplifying everything Hatchet II succeeds in injecting a lot of fun back into the tired slasher genre.

Audiences seeking layered characterization or a complex plot will not find it here but if you want a laugh out loud, outrageous and splatter filled slasher then Hatchet II thoroughly delivers.

This review was originally posted at HeyUGuys.