hatchet | hatchet ii | sequel | adam green | danielle harris | kane hodder | tony todd | victor crowley | slasher | action | comedy | parry shen | tom holland | r.a. milhailoff | aj bowen | alexis kendra | ed ackerman | david foy | colton dunn | john carl buechler | thriller
Film: Hatchet II
Director: Adam Green
Writer: Adam Green
Starring: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder and Tony Todd
This is a movie that I was intrigued to check out after I finally saw the original. It had been time in between my viewing of that one and seeing this, I should point that out. I needed to see this one to watch the third since that one was a list of movies I needed to see.
Synopsis: Marybeth (Danielle Harris) escapes the clutches of the deformed, swamp-dwelling iconic killer Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). After learning the truth about her family’s connection, she returns with a group of hunters to finally kill the bayou butcher.
Now I did shorten the synopsis a bit as it was wordy, but that gets you what you need to know. This picks up right where the last one leaves off. Marybeth Dunstan is fighting off Victor. She is pulled out of the swamp by Jack Cracker (John Carl Buechler). He is all about helping her until he learns of who her family is. He sends her away before he is visited by the monstrous killer.
She makes her way back to New Orleans. She seeks out Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd), like she was told, but he refuses to see her at first. She does convince him and when he learns who she is, he agrees to take her back into the swamp to help retrieve her father and brother’s bodies. He does request that she bring along her uncle though. It is during this that Justin (Parry Shen) comes downstairs. His twin brother was the captain of the tour from the previous day and he’s worried about what happened to him. Zombie is strategic in what information he relays.
Zombie makes calls along with Justin which attracts a bunch of hunters to his shop. The mission is to go out into the bayou, find his boat and kill Victor. Many leave once they hear what they’re going to do. There are those who stay. Of them, Trent (R.A. Mihailoff) was requested to be there by Zombie and it takes some convincing to stay. There is also Layton (AJ Bowen), Avery (Alexis Kendra), Cleatus (Ed Ackerman), Chad (David Foy), Vernon (Colton Dunn) and John (Rick McCallum). Uncle Bob (Tom Holland) also shows up. He doesn’t want Marybeth going back out there, but she is so adamant that he comes along.
At first, they don’t find anything. It is decided to split up to cover more ground. This proves to not be as smart as they think. The groups all meet their fate when they encounter Victor Crowley. This is part of the plan for Zombie though, as he thinks he knows of a way to break the curse of this ghost that is haunting the swamps.
That is where I’m going to leave my recap as this doesn’t have the deepest story. To just brace you before coming into to seeing this, we are getting a slasher film here. It is paying homage to movies of the past like Friday the 13th where the story isn’t the most important part. This is more about the kills and the gore. That is not to say we don’t get good parts to the story though.
To delve a bit more into that, I like the settings of the swamps in Louisiana being used. They are spooky to start. They tend to be dense and remote so it is hard to get to them. It is also difficult to get out as well. There are also people that live out there who keep to themselves so I could see a manic like a Victor Crowley living out there, off the land and no one encountering him unless you come into his territory. What is also intriguing is the wildlife that lives out there. Victor lives in Honey Island Swamp, which according to this is closed to the public to prevent people from going in and never getting out. Zombie is breaking the rules by sending his tour groups in there. There’s a slight commentary on capitalism that I can appreciate.
Something else with the story I want to give credit to here is that writer/director Adam Green made a straight continuation. This starts the night of the first movie and then we are into the next day. Marybeth is doing what she can to kill Victor and she seeks out those that know about him. That is a perk for me. What I do have an issue with though is troupes that slasher films have. I will admit I’m more forgiving for the movies that came out 40 years ago. Green is paying homage to them, which is fine. I just can’t give too much credit as it isn’t necessarily original.
Moving away from the story, I’ll go to the acting. I have an issue with movies not getting the same actors or actresses to play the characters in the sequel. I get that at times, it is out of their control. In this case, I can be more forgiving since they got royalty with Harris. She plays the role of Marybeth just fine in my opinion except for one thing. She cannot do a Louisiana accent. It is bad and it takes me out of it to be honest. I think that Todd is solid as Reverend Zombie. Hodder is good as Thomas and Victor Crowley. He has such opposing size that it works. The gag with Shen I’ll let slide, since he is just playing the same character with a different name. Holland was okay as Bob. I’d say the rest of the cast of Mihailoff, Bowen, Kendra, Ackerman, Foy, Dunn, McCallum and even cameos by Buechler, Rileah Vanderbilt, Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Lloyd Kaufman, Joe Lynch, Mike Mendez and Green himself were all solid.
Let’s then go next to the major part here which are the effects. What is interesting is that this movie is gory, but not in a way that grosses you out. It is almost comical. I’d say that a majority of the deaths are solid. They went practical from everything that I could tell which I’m a sucker for. There was just a death right in the beginning that I didn’t care as it was too over the top. This is a movie where we are cheering for the killer and seeing the wild things they do. Aside from that, I would say the cinematography was well done, especially with making the swamp feel like a character. With how deep they are in, it feels like they are lost.
In conclusion, this is a solid follow up. I like the paying homage to slashers of the past and making this modern iconic villain in Victor. He is a tragic figure that Hodder plays well. The story makes sense to get this group out in the woods. The acting is good enough for a movie like this and the effects are as well aside from a couple spots. I think the deaths can be fun. The soundtrack also fits for what was needed as well. For me, this is an above average movie. It is worth a viewing if you’re a slasher fan for sure.
My Rating: 7 out of 10