Friday, June 21, 2013

Film Review: Hatchet 2 (2010)

Hatchet 2 (Review)
United States/2010
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

Marybeth (Danielle Harris) escapes from the brutal, deformed legend Victor Crowley in the swamps of Louisiana. Marybeth eventually learns the truth from Reverend Zombie (Tony Rodd) - her father was partly responsible for the tragic death of Victor Crowley and now he haunts the swamps. Now, Marybeth wants revenge, and, along with Zombie and a legion of paid hunters, returns to the swamps...

The story is very basic. Much of the backstory feels like a repeat of the first film; it's too much and too little - the background takes up over half of the runtime and hardly holds any entertaining or valuable details. Most of the dialogue feels like it's on repeat, as if they need to drill these hollow facts into your head; the mention the incident a dozen times; the rest of the dialogue is hit-or-miss humor. The final 30 minutes of the film unleashes a massacre filled with over-the-top gore; heads are smashed, bodies are vertically and horizontally cut in half, gallons of blood are liberally splashed and much more. The ending is predictable, but it works. If you're watching this for Victor Crowley, he's poorly utilized.

Although they are ridiculous and impressive, the kills lack real tension and build-up, and they also lack connection; I can barely remember any of the characters' names as they are poorly used, so I didn't care, at all. Now, I'm not asking for some deep, emotional characters, but I want my characters to have some, I don't know, character? At one point, I thought I could justify the generic story and characters by categorizing it as that purposefully-made B-movie that is so bad it's good... but, it's not, it takes itself way too seriously and fails to imitate the B-movie feel.

The acting is bad all-around. Danielle Harris is the biggest offender in the cast with her bland performance. Every time she spoke, I cringed - either she's completely emotionless or unbelievably over-the-top. Also, her facial expression is always confused - I mean, she literally has a confused look on her face as if she's asking "what's my next line?" or "am I supposed to stand here or there?" (Now, this may be involuntary, and I may be a bit harsh, but I think it really compliments her performance.) The performance is reminiscent to Rooney Mara's horrid performance in A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). Even Tony Todd was underwhelming as Zombie. He lacks the charismatic creepiness he's had in previous performances, the enthusiasm just isn't there. He does have a few exceptional scenes, though.

The gore effects are amazing. The kills are over-the-top bloody and creative. Gorehounds will not be disappointed during the final act of this film. It's not that it looks realistic, but it the kills are so unconventional and creative, I was impressed. The film is shot well-enough, not much to say about the setting as it is also poorly utilized. The music didn't catch my ear, but it wasn't distracting, either. From a technical standpoint, excluding the special effects, Hatchet 2 is simply acceptable.

Overall, Hatchet 2 is a treat for gorehounds. Unfortunately, the special effects can't redeem the generic story, the horrible acting, and the insulting use of Victor Crowley - Hatchet 2 will definitely taint the once promising characters and almost iconic Victor Crowley. In fact, everything takes the backseat compared to the special effects as nothing in this film has a shred of significance. I recommend streaming on Netflix before directly paying to rent or purchase.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Strong graphic violence and gore, nudity and sex.

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