Starring- Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Parry Shen, Tom Holland, R.A. Mihailoff and Kane Hodder as Victor Crowley
Over the past couple of years Adam Green has become one of my favorite horror filmmakers and the passion he has for horror and filmmaking shines in his work. Originally I liked Hatchet, but I didn’t love it, but now I consider it a personal favorite and it’s a movie I can watch over and over again and never get tired of it. In my opinion Hatchet is one the elite slasher flicks and the best slasher flick of its decade. Frozen was an excellent movie and the short films Adam has made I loved each of them. Going into Hatchet II I wasn’t totally sure what to expect since a lot of the times sequels can be far inferior films and while there are many great sequels, but in the horror genre it seems there are far more bad than good, with Adam Green returning it gave me so hope since many of the poor sequels often had different filmmakers.
Hatchet II is Adam Green’s 2nd film in 2010 the first one released was Frozen, which I felt set the bar for 2010 and easily took my top spot for 2010 and thus far nothing has come close. Hatchet II was a solid flick, but does suffer from the shortcomings of many sequels and I think the biggest problem was the movie just seemed sort of rushed and this does very much show in the final product; with that said however Hatchet II was a lot of fun, but I’ll admit the movie was a bit of a disappointment. Like I said before originally I liked Hatchet, but now I’ve come to absolutely love the movie so maybe on a re-watch Hatchet II will be the same for me. Regardless though I still enjoyed Hatchet II, but I did expect a little more from it.
Adam Green besides becoming one of my favorite directors has also become one of my favorite writers. With Hatchet he wrote an excellent script with some very highly entertaining characters; each one somehow added to the enjoyment of the movie for me and above all Hatchet was really funny at times and Adam blends the comedy and horror together perfectly. The script for Hatchet II was entertaining, but I felt as if it needed a bit more work done. Some of the characters are entertaining, but for the most part they are faceless victims and don’t have their own identity as those in the original. I liked the fact Hatchet II picks up right where the original left off and I liked what Adam was going for and in some ways it works, but again it just felt a bit rushed and like more time was needed; also Hatchet II delves deeper into Victor’s backstory and no stone is left unturned and while it doesn’t hurt the movie I’m not sure all needed explaining.
The script for the original was really fun, but nothing was too serious and in some ways it was a parody of the slasher flicks of the 80s, but at times Hatchet II was a little serious and I don’t know, but I felt as if it just didn’t work. In Frozen Adam Green proved he can write really great drama to go with the horror, but in Hatchet II these elements (which are few) again felt out of place. By no means did I find Hatchet II poorly written as there is plenty of entertaining moments, but as a whole I just felt as if the script was lacking in certain spots.
As director Adam Green delivers an entertaining flick, but it is his weakest film to date, which for me says a lot since despite the problems I still liked the movie. Unlike the original the characters aren’t as entertaining to carry the movie when there are lulls in the action so the pacing can be a little sluggish in some spots. What I loved about the original is how Adam set a tone from the opening scene and kept with that, but Hatchet II never really has a clear direction to go in and it seemed as if it was almost there, but not quite yet. To my surprise there were many scenes that were played straight, but then it switches the tone and plays out more campy and every so often it goes back and forth, which makes things a little messy at times.
Even with all the comedy in the original there were still some solid moments with suspense, but Hatchet II really does sort of lack in that area and even though I think Victor Crowley (Hodder) is an excellent villain he wasn’t as imposing here as he was in the original. I think the problems I had with Hatchet II have more to do with the script than the direction and while Adam Green doesn’t suffer the pitfalls of many filmmakers have with sequels, but he does make a film inferior to the original.
The death scenes however is where Adam really gets it right and delivers some truly excellent kill scenes that are loaded with gore. Slasher flicks often feature over the top death scenes and while that started more around the mid-80s some early 80s slasher flicks also had some crazy deaths and Hatchet II like the original has plenty of over the top deaths and while the original was gory this one ups the ante in that department and thankfully there are plenty of deaths. I really don’t understand why the MPAA has such problems with these flicks. The deaths aren’t meant to be realistic; they’re meant to be absurd and campy and again I just don’t get why these films get hit so hard.
Danielle Harris takes over the role of Marybeth first played by Tamara Feldman in the first Hatchet and typically I hate when actors are re-casted and while there are exceptions in general I really dislike that, but with Danielle taking over the role I suddenly didn’t mind it as much. I really loved the character of Marybeth in the original and Danielle does just as good a job in the role as Tamara. Like the original film while everyone else is a bit silly and out there the Marybeth character is played straight and like the original I think that is the movies biggest strength. As great as a character Marybeth is I do think the loss of Ben played by Joel David Moore did hurt Hatchet II. In my opinion it really was Ben who carried the original film and his loss does slightly hurt Hatchet II.
Kane Hodder once again does an excellent job in the role of Victor Crowley and while many will always cite him as Jason first I think of Crowley since there were a few actors to play Jason before Kane, but he is the originator of Victor Crowley; Kane clearly loves playing these characters and it very much shows in Hatchet II and the highlights for me were Victor going up against Trent who was played by R.A. Mihailoff who is best known to horror fans for playing Leatherface in the 3rd Texas Chainsaw flick.
Overall Hatchet II was a bit of a disappointment and inferior to the original, but it still manages to very much entertain. I have this feeling that when I see Hatchet II again my rating will go up, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
** out of **** Making "Hatchet II" work wasn't much of a task. I was almost sure that Adam Green - returning for the sequel as both writer and director of Victor Crowley's legacy - was more than up to the challenge after seeing and in many instances just down-right loving the original "Hatchet"; but it would seem that he's gotten lost in his own mythology. There are as many reasons that attribute to why "Hatchet II" is not a good film as there are to why the original was; … more
HATCHET 2 After the first film was released it started to gather that all important cult fan following. That was more than enough for Adam Green [Hatchet, Frozen] to get his sequel financed. Of course he already had plans on doing that any way so it worked out. Now this time around he is looking to add to something that was already loved by many. In a lot of cases like that films can fail miserably if not done right. Luckily he knows what his audience … more
This film while good feels a like a bit of a step down though for some reason. All the elements of the first film are there but it just doesn't seem like it is on the same level. I think that while the humor is there it just isn't as humorous. That was my favorite thing about this first movie. Don't get me wrong this is still a very good flick and very fun, you know, turn the brain off flick.
Hatchet II is a 2010 American horror film written and directed by Adam Green. The film stars Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Tom Holland, and R.A. Mihailoff. The film was originally screened at the 2010 London Fright Fest Film Festival on August 26, 2010. It is set to be released unrated in the United States on October 1, 2010. It is the sequel to the 2006 film, Hatchet.