* Prices may differ from that shown
Hatchet 2 (2010)
Running time: 85 minutes
Filmed as a direct sequel to Hatchet (2006) Marybeth, the sole survivor of the original New Orleans swamp massacre wants revenge against the disfigured and deformed Victor Crowley for killing her family and friends. She teams up with a bunch of hunters and the enigmatic voodoo doctor, the Reverend Zombie, and they return to the swamp ready to carry out their own form of swift justice. However Victor isn't the type of mutant to take things lying down and the hunters soon become the hunted as one by one they fally prey to Victor and his ultra sharp hatchet. Will anyone survive? Not if Victor has his way they won't....
There are times when only a schlock-horror film will do and Hatchet 2010 is about as schlocky as they come, it has all the done-to-death cliches that are synonymous for this type of film and Adam Green (director, producer and writer) certainly knew the ingredients he needed to add to make an ultra violent, blood splashed slasher that 'borrows' heavily from other films. Take the protagonist, Victor Crowley, for example, a hulking figure with murder in mind, He is the cliche bad guy, a Jason Vorheese clone but rather than carrying a machete like Jason did throughout the Friday the 13th films Victor has a hatchet; a double edged, razor sharp axe which he wields with abandon as he slices and dices his way through his victims. Victor has a similar back-story to Jason, he's the victim of a childhood curse and wrongful death and stalks the New Orleans swamp taking his frustrations out on the innocent visitors who end up at the wrong place at the wrong time and in Hatchet 2 he returns bigger and badder than before.
The plot is straightforward, they are in these types of films and as usual there is a plot device used to put a group of people in a position where they can be picked off one by one. Here the survivor of the first film, Marybeth (played by Danielle Harris, a different actress to the original Marybeth from the first film) stupidly decides that one encounter with Victor wasn't nearly enough so recruits a local witch doctor (the wonderfully named Rev. Zombie played by Horror icon Tony Todd) to help her with her stupid plan of killing Victor once and for all. This sets up the premise for this sequel and once the ten minute set-up plot device is established and all the characters in place the well trodden path of stalk and slash begins and Victor has another opportunity to polish off his hatchet and begin another round of axe-related shenanigans.
What saves this film from being just another in a long line of 'seen-it-all-before' is the inventive use of weaponary and the outrageous death scenes which are delightfully disgusting. Anyone choosing to watch this film will only be doing so because of the body count and Hatchet 2 delivers some of the most stomach churning death scenes I've seen for quite some time. The special effects are excellent, the blood looks sticky and visceral and the film-makers here really seem to be in tune with what the audience wants and gives them scene after scene of absolute carnage. Ironically it's Kane Hodder who is playing the part of Victor Crowley in this film (he's far more famous for playing Jason in 4 of the Friday the 13th's) so he's on familiar grounds in this role, it's another non-speaking part and once again he appears on screen complete with special effect make-up and a bad-ass attitude. Whilst Victor is perhaps not as well known as Jason Vorheese the similarities in characteristics are painfully obvious and Kane does have a certain panache for getting his hands dirty and plays this one just as he did as Jason in the Friday the 13th sequels.
It's not a bad film at all to be honest, it's just another stalk and slash with some great special effects and will definitely appeal to those of us who like this type of horror film. It doesn't try to be any different to any of the countless other films of similar ilk and I suspect that this was made with its intended audience in mind as there are some throwaway lines in the script which act like subtle knowing winks to us, the viewers, and these do engage and provide a bit of fun. Hatchet 2 isn't groundbreaking horror but I don't think for a moment that it actually wanted to be, it is one for the fans of this sub-genre and I got plenty of enjoyment out of the short 80 minute running time. It won't appeal to everyone, it is ultra violent and extremely gory but as I mentioned at the start of my appraisal of this film there are times when I do like to watch a no-brainer horror film and this more than satisfied me.
The film brings together a couple of the most well known, iconic horror actors (Tony Todd from Candyman and Kane Hodder from Friday the 13th) so should definitely appeal to 'fan-boys' and the death scenes are gruesome enough to provoke a reaction. The script and premise are flimsy but then again they always are in these types of film but the special effects more than make up for a weak storyline. The supporting actors are there just to be fodder for Victor and his hatchet and all in all the film is a bit of fluff that will probably be forgotten in a few years time.
I rented my copy of the film as part of my subscription to Lovefilm, if there were any extras on my disc I didn't bother watching them so this has been a film only review. To buy the film it will only set you back £4.99 if you get it from Amazon and for that price I don't think it would be a waste of money but my advice would be to either rent it or wait for it to appear on one of the Horror channels on Sky. Either way Hatchet 2 is well worth seeing if you set your expectations to low, I don't mean that to sound flippant but it isn't a film that will challenge your beliefs or offer you anything too cerebral but in it's defence I don't think that it wants to be anything other than a riotous 80 minute slasher film and on that basis it delivers.
4 stars as a rating from me, I enjoyed it and I would recommend the film to fans of this type of horror.
Thanks for reading my review.