Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
dead snow 2: red vs. dead | dead snow | tommy wirkola | vegar hoel | stig frode henriksen | orjan gamst | martin starr | sequel | zombie | zombies | supernatural | action | comedy | norway | iceland | united kingdom | united states | jocelyn deboer | derek mears
Film: Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (Død snø 2)
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writer: Tommy Wirkola, Vegar Hoel and Stig Frode Henriksen
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Ørjan Gamst and Martin Starr
Since I finally got around to seeing the original, I figured that I might as well go through and check out this sequel as well. I really enjoyed the first one so that really helped and wanted to see where they took this one. The synopsis is still on the run from a group of Nazi zombies, a man seek the aid of a group of American zombie enthusiasts and discovers new techniques for fighting the zombies.
We pick this up right where the last one left off. Martin (Vegar Hoel) is attacked in his car by Herzog (Ørjan Gamst). He does get the car going and ends up tearing off Herzog’s arm. The Nazi zombies meet up with their leader and he brings anyone back that they kill.
Martin wakes up in the hospital where he is in custody. Since they never found the bodies of the zombies, he is accused of murdering his friends by Gunga (Hallvard Holmen), a local cop. He also realizes that the doctor attached the arm from the car on to Martin, the problem being that it didn’t originally belong to him. At first he can’t control it and he ends up killing those that get in his way. He flees into the night.
His path leads him to a museum where he meets Glenn Kenneth (Stig Frode Henriksen). It is there he learns more of the past for Herzog and through Glenn, learns where he is going. Herzog shows up at the museum as well, killing everyone there. It is after he leaves that Martin realizes that his arm has a power that he didn’t before, he’s able to raise people from the dead like Herzog. Reinforcements are called in as well. The group is made up of Daniel (Martin Starr), Monica (Jocelyn DeBoer) and Blake (Ingrid Haas) who’re known as the Zombie Squad. Daniel when he learns about Martin’s ability figures out a way to prevent Herzog from completing his mission, which involves a unit of Soviet soldiers led by Stavarin (Derek Mears). Can they get there in time though?
Now I can say, my thoughts on sequels are that if you’re going to do it, you really need to ramp it up more than what we get in the previous one. What I like here is that we get some of that. I like that we get to see more of what Herzog does in his ability to raise the dead. We also get more to the story where we get a bit of Dawn of the Dead in that he is trying to complete the mission he had in life.
My problem then becomes, how did he come back from the dead in the first place? I thought the idea in the original film was that he and his men have been patrolling that area. It now seems that Martin and his friends did something to wake them, but I don’t recall that being established. The only thing would be finding the gold hidden under the floor boards at the cabin. If that was what did it, no one has found it in the all the years after the war? I just feel this is a slight inconsistency. The other thing is we see that the bodies can be continually brought back to life until they’re pretty much a pile of mush. We see it done in both this and the pervious film, but the men just seem to give up here when their soldiers are killed in the climax. Also the Nazis have a tank, they could have decimated the other ranks, but they don’t. It just feels like some plot-holes personally that don’t ruin the film, but effect it from being better.
Because I don’t want to end this aspect of the film on a downer, I like the introduction to these new characters. The Zombie Squad is funny, because they’re nerds. On top of that, I like the concept of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. In World War II, the Soviets were allies to the United States, so it fitting they would team up here. They kind of have to be since Martin brought them back from the dead, but that’s semantics. Plus I love that Monica is a Star Wars fan. Doesn’t necessarily fit, but I like seeing good looking nerdy girls.
That will take me to the pacing. I do feel that this goes a bit long for a horror comedy. We get a runtime of 100 minutes, which I think there are ten minutes that could be trimmed. I don’t necessarily know if we need everything that we get with Gunga and his police officers. It doesn’t really add anything if I’m going to be perfectly honest and flees like comedic padding that didn’t land for me. Other than that, I think we get some good action here and it is pretty fun overall. The ending is a bit odd, but it doesn’t hurt the overall product.
As for the acting, I also thought it was good. Hoel reprising his role was solid. We don’t get much character growth, just what we got in the previous film has already happened so it is just him continuing being the badass. I guess this is a slight issue if someone jumped into this sequel without seeing the first. Gamst is solid as the villain as well and his look is just great. Starr is funny in this leader of the nerds type of way. I like DeBoer and Haas as well. It is interesting to see Henriksen take on a different role here that is nothing really like his from the previous film. It is also fun to see Mears as the leader of the Soviet unit. I would say the rest of the actors who are both human and zombies alike were solid in rounding out this movie for what was needed.
That will take me to the effects, which again I thought were good. The zombie make-up looks great. The practical effects were really good and I have no complaints there. Since this movie ramped up the gore, we do get a bit more CGI which doesn’t always look great. I would have to say though that on the overall, I’m much more positive on the effects than negative. The film is also shot pretty well if I’m going to be perfectly honest.
The last thing to cover would be the soundtrack. For the most part it fit for what was needed and didn’t necessarily stand out. What I had to talk about is the song that is used for the final sequence. They use Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. At first I was confused, but when I realized where they were going, it was great. I love that song and it makes what happens quite funny as well.
Now with that said, I really dug this sequel. I think that it did some good things to build off what we got in the previous one. There are some minor plot-holes that are created though so I did have a slight problem there. The acting though is good across the board and I think that the effects are for the most part. There are some minor issues with the CGI. I do think that this runs a tad long, but other than that, it is still fun and I do enjoy it. Being a comedy does hurt building tension. I’m not going to lie though, there was a scene with Glenn that really had me tense. The soundtrack fit for what was needed so that also helps as well. Overall I’d say this is an above average film. It is a bit of a step back, but still worth your time. Interestingly enough, this film is in English which threw me off a bit with the first one not being so there’s that.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10