Sunday, November 16, 2014

MR Hatchet 2

He's back, and he's really angry people tried to kill him the last time!

Friday the 13th series - Friday the 13th (2009)
Book One (Wildstorm) - Book TwoFriday the 13th (Avatar Press)
Jason vs Leatherface / Freddy vs Jason
Elm Street series - A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (WildStorm)A Nightmare on Elm Street (Avatar Press)
Halloween series - Halloween (2007) - HII (2009)
Halloween (Chaos! Comics)
One Good Scare - NightDance - 30 Years of TerrorThe First Death of Laurie Strode
Final Exam
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 1 & 2
Pumpkinhead 1
Chucky series - Curse of Chucky / Chucky (Devil's Due Publishing)
Candyman series
 Re-Animator series
Hatchet 1
Hack/Slash: My First Maniac - Me Without You - Omnibus Vol. 1 - Friday the 31st
Series 1 (DDP)Hack/Slash Meets Zombies Vs Cheerleaders - Series 2 (Image)
Revival Vol. 1 - Vol. 2
Tucker & Dale / Cabin in the Woods
Darkman series
It's Alive series
Gremlins - Gremlins 2: The New BatchCritters seriesTremors series
The Faculty / James Gunn's Slither
 Troll 2
The Thing from Another WorldJohn Carpenter's The Thing
John Carpenter's Prince of DarknessJohn Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness
Jacob's LadderJohn Carpenter's The WardEvent Horizon
DeepStar Six / Leviathan / Lords of the Deep / The Evil BelowThe Abyss
Deep Blue Sea

Movie: Adam Green's Hatchet II aka simply Hatchet II
Directed by Adam Green
Release date 2010
Genre Slasher/horror film
Country USA

Written and directed once more by Adam Green, Hatchet II is the 2010 sequel to the 2006 (already) cult classic.

The first film was a huge surprise at the time. It surprised a lot of fans of the genre and turned out to be a lot better than anyone would have expected it at first, I'm sure. Much to, even, Adam Green's surprise.

The first Hatchet proved to be a huge success, it made a lot of money on such a modest budget. It was an impressive entry in the slasher horror genre, a fun nostalgia trip in the pure style of old 1980s slasher flicks.

The original film was a great modernized "old school" slasher, which relied a lot on practical effects, inventive kills and an already classic slasher formula for our main "boogeyman" here.

This sequel sees the return of Kane Hodder in the titular role of Victor Crowley, along horror scream queen Danielle Harris (best known for her many roles in the genre starting with the original Halloween 4 & 5, Rob Zombies' Halloween I and II, Urban Legend, See No Evil 2 or even Left for Dead) as the film's heroine Marybeth, a role originally played by Tamara Feldman. Since she couldn't return due to a conflicting schedule, Adam Green was now able to pick up an actress he would have loved to have on the first film, I'm sure, but which might have proven more difficult to do so at the time without the notoriety behind the first film now to help. Alongside them we also get the return of Tony Todd who portrayed Reverend Zombie in the first film.

In classic slasher tradition, the story of this sequel picks up right where the last film ended.

We see Marybeth (now played by Danielle Harris in this recreation of the first film's ending) being attacked by "the ghost" of Victor Crowley, this dangerous figure haunting this New Orleans swamp. She is finally able to escape through the river. And the guy that was trying to warn the group in the last film picks her up on his boat. He takes her to safety inside his cabin. But once he learns her last name, he is forced to ask her to leave. And doesn't want to see her anymore. If she needs some help, she just 'ask this "Reverend Zombie " in charge of these swamp tours in the region, he knows the truth about Crowley. He can help her with that. The man is killed by Victor Crowley a couple minutes later after she leaves in what might just be the funniest or most original death in a slasher I've ever seen - you pick your opinion (I never thought I'd see a "death by intestines" followed by a decapitation, that's all I'm saying!..).

Marybeth returns to town and she locates Reverend Zombie's tour shop. Zombie reveals her business how he is behind all the swamp tours in the region. He learns about Shawn's death, the tour guide that was killed in the last film. His boat was really his. Until now they never really run into any real trouble, as long as they stayed the course! An incident was bound to happen, the swamp is dangerous! Zombie learns her last name, and it seems there's a family connection to Crowley...

Her father was one of the boys responsible for Victor Crowley's death in the cabin on fire, in the first place. We get a flashback revealing the entire complete backstory of Victor Crowley this time, how Crowley's father Thomas (also played by Kane Hodder, unmasked) had an affair with this nurse taking care of his dying wife, who was dying from cancer. Once the wife learnt the truth, she put a curse on their child before dying... That is how and possibly why Victor Crowley was born deformed. His father Thomas tried to confront these kids at the time, but they boys denied it to their parents. Thomas would end up a shut-in, live the the rest of his life in sadness, and he died of a broken heart some years later... And since that time, his son Victor now an undead spirit wanders his swamp, killing any people that comes anywhere close near his home.

They must find a way to break the curse.

Marybeth wants to get back to the swamp to bring the remains of her brother and father home. Reverend Zombie finally accepts, but she must bring a member of her family along. They decide to call in some external help, with another of Zombie's employees, Justin, Shawn's brother. Zombie lies to him and tells him his brother simply never came back with the boat, he might still be out there waiting for help. They hire a group of hunters to tag along. Marybeth gets back home for a shower and get help from her uncle Bob. They end up going back to the swamp with this big hunting party, which Zombie promised a lot of money to help bring the boat back and a lot more to whoever brings back the head of Victor Crowley, ghost or not.

Later that day they find the boat finally. There's nobody left around. In true horror fashion, they split up and a group heads up for Crowley's home while the rest stays with retrieved boat.

Zombie reveals the truth to Justin, that this hunter Trent Graves, and Marybeth's father and uncle were the kids that started it all ages ago. Crowley just needs to kill the last remaining of these kids so his soul can get some peace and he will finally leave the swamp for good.

While one group looks around the shed, the rest of the hunters is picked off one by one in deaths more violent one from another! Victor's feeling quite inspired, it seems. He hatches, he cuts to pieces and he decapitates them in all sorts of ways. But as Marybeth learns Zombie's true intentions, Victor arrives at the place and attacks them.

We get one epic battle between Victor and Trent. Trent tries his best, but he's no match for the slasher. Zombie tries to bargain Victor with Marybeth he dragged along outside the house. Uncle Bob turns out to be not her real uncle, her father's brother died from leukemia several years ago. Zombie is killed.

Marybeth lashes out one last desperate attack with Crowley's own hatchet! She hacks him to bloody pieces... Is this the end of Victor Crowley's legend?...  

Hatchet 2 debuted at the 2010 London FrightFest Film Festival before it finally arrived in the US, screened in a couple of festivals along its theatrical release.

As soon as the first death, the film shows us what we're about to expect. It picks up right where the first one left, and never stops from there. No recap, no narration, nothing, it opens just from that same exact last frame. And that's perfectly fine, that's how people used to make sequels back then, and I love that!

We get a proper better backstory for our supernatural killer, as the story continues.

The film still is a great tribute to old 80s slashers. With the first installment a popular more familiar established film, I'm glad this didn't end up a watered down PG-13-rated sequel. Adam Green had the entire film in his full control, he already pictured it while he was still making the original Hatchet. Which shows in how good this sequel stands out, making watching them both back-to-back really worthwhile. A lot of elements such as the backstory that were only alluded to or foreshadowed in the first film get properly expanded here.

Some slashers tend to forget the original earlier films to end up re-hashing the same premise and settings, doing the same things again and again anyhow. Here Hatchet 2 offers us a more proper continuation.

The film is full of this dark humor.

When it all comes down to it, it's a pure classic sequel in the proper sense of the term. We do get more of everything. More gore. More deaths. And even more backstory four our undead slasher killer!

The film features a fantastic cast, full of iconic figures of the genre from the likes of Halloween, Friday the 13th, Candyman, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more! Lots of fun cameos for the fans. Now with a bigger budget and means, Green was able to get a lot of familiar faces of the genre to star in his film. Such as R.A. Mihailoff as Trent Graves who even gets to square off with Kane Hodder! The director of such classics as Psycho II, Fright Night, Child's Play, Tom Holland in the role of Uncle Bob. We also get to see Parry Shen return as a different character in the form of the brother of his character from the last film in what would become a tradition and a running joke in the series. As well as Adam Green's Frozen's Shawn Ashmore and Emma Bell in a cameo, with Emma Bell even reprising her role from Green's previous film Frozen giving it a nice little epilogue/send off to the movie in a way. We also get a couple of other fun nice cameos for the fans, such as Adam Green on screen once more and even Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman!!

We finally get Crowley's entire tale, which is nice.

The film is so much fun to watch. The splatter scenes were allowed a much better budget and just feel more ambitious this time.

Well, there are a couple of questionable details when you get down to it. Like, would anyone having just escaped death the first time even want to go back to the killer they faced on the same day?! And the film might not feel as original or inspired as the first one, being a sequel. But it also feels more ambitious in scope and at least tries to expand on the mythos to finally one-up the previous entry.

The film plays with a lot of conventions of the genre. Victor Crowley is more of a "repeater" slasher who seems indestructible, and all this is probably pointless if they don't try to look for a way to put an end to the curse.

Adam Green is a great filmmaker, the film is great. The pacing is much better than the first. There's a lot of attention paid to the details. The film has great dialogues. At the end of the day it simply doesn't feel like any of these other generic modern horror films we usually get most of the time. Green simply really loves what he does, and it shows.

He even offers fans a fantastic fight between "Victor Crowley/Jason Voorhees" and "Leatherface" on screen, what's more to ask?

Hatchet 2 is much more focused on building the atmosphere, exploring the setting while having a blast at the same time! It simply does what a lot of these early 1980s slashers used to do, amp up the body count and explore the origin story.

It simply has a great "dream cast" for horror fans. Danielle Harris is, of course, always great. She picks up over this role from the first film with a Marybeth now broken, who has just lost her family and saw everyone die around her. And she now has to buckle up to be at peace with the events that happened. Also, she's looking for a resolution. Our traumatized heroine is now looking for revenge.

The film also has some gorgeous creature and make-up FXs. So much fake blood was used in this episode! Every kill tries to up the one before, and they all feel so imaginative and fun!

Finally Hatchet 2 has such a great rocking score, composed once more by the talented Andy Garfield. Also featuring some epic metal to open the film.

There were some controversies around the rating of the film at the time, due to all the blood and gore. But since this is all made in good fun and way over-the-top, they were able to get it out on theaters anyway, no matter what. Which resulted in two different cuts to please the MPAA, a R-Rating and an Unrated cut with proper entire death scenes on screen.

While not a lot critics seemed to like it back then, of course, the film received lots of praise and positive receptions from the general audience and fans alike. To much success. It's a much more fun gory sequel, just a fun slasher film, pretty dynamic.

Overall, HATCHET returns, the angriest most aggressive slasher is back in full form what no doubt most imaginative new slasher film in ages!

This is not a watered down cash-in, but still a loving tribute to the genre "for fans, made by fans". And it shows. The film looks great, it's really a fun film. Even Kane Hodder seems to be at the top of his form!

While it mostly feels like a repeat, the exact same film, mostly the same kind of people being picked one by one, trying to survive and Marybeth turning out to be our final girl, the sequel also feels like such a better more fun film. In all kinds and regards, it amps up what we got in the original film and even seems to be the better film of the two.

Also it was pretty cool to get that reference to Frozen (the real one, not Disney's of course!), connecting both films in a way.

It's more of a continuation than an actual sequel. One of the best recent slashers I've seen in ages, Highly Recommended for sure!

Adam Green was always interested in making two more sequels to the original film. Following the good positive reception of the second film, a final sequel was easily quickly greenlighted. But Adam Green didn't end up returning to the series behind the camera, to direct it himself. But at least he picked his own successor himself. He found the director in Hatchet 1 and 2's cameraman, BJ McDonnell who ended up taking on directing duties to continue story, one final episode that was released in 2013.

I give it:
3 / 3 Necronomicons!

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