Horror. Worldview. Faith.

Hatchet 2 – Review

Hatchet 2 – Review

Feb 22, 2011

reviewed by hallo
directed by Adam Green, 2010

Hatchet 2 begins the action immediately where the first film ended with Marybeth (Danielle Harris) in the boat being attacked by Victor Crowley.  She manages to escape by being helped out of the water by Jack Cracker and is taken to his cabin in the midst of the swamp.  While there, Marybeth begins to learn more about the lurid history of Victor Crowley and how her family played a pivotal role in his death.  After being kicked out of Jack Cracker’s cabin (after he learns who she really is), she makes her way to Reverend Zombie’s voodoo shop (portrayed by Tony Todd) where she demands to learn the full truth of her past and Victor Crowley.   Come to find out, Marybeth’s father was one of the three kids who set fire to the cabin when Victor was a boy that ultimately brought about his death.  Marybeth is determined to go back to the swamp and bring her father and brother back so she can bury them and, if necessary, kill Victor Crowley once and for all.  She pleads with Zombie to help her and after a moment of hesitation, he agrees.  However, he first makes Marybeth bring along her uncle and also convenes a group of hunters and guides for the trip.

Well, from this point on Hatchet 2 delivers what you would expect.  A bunch of people being killed in the swamp by a ticked off bad guy.  We eventually learn that Marybeth’s uncle and one of the hunters named Trent were the other two kids who set fire to Crowley’s place.  Zombie believes that if Victor kills all three of his murderers, he will have his revenge and will disappear.  He believes his plan worked perfectly after watching “Uncle Bob” meet his demise.  However, once Marybeth catches on to Zombie’s intentions, she enlightens him to the truth; Uncle Bob was actually just a friend – her real uncle died when she was 12 from leukemia.  Uh oh.  That means Victor is still alive and finally comes after Zombie himself.  The film ends with Marybeth using Victor’s own hatchet against him, slashing him at least 20 times and then sealing the deal with a shotgun blast to the face.

I walked away from Hatchet 2 feeling much the say way I did about the original film; this was fun, gory, campy, and totally predictable.  I mentioned in my review of Hatchet that Adam Green was not necessarily trying to break new ground with his movie but was attempting to take a tried and true formula and do it well.  I feel the same way about Hatchet 2.  It is nice to see Danielle Harris of Halloween fame take over the role of Marybeth and amazingly, much of her mannerisms and tone still reflect the scared little “Jamie” from Halloween 4 and 5. Having said that, Tamara Feldman, who portrayed Marybeth in the original film, did a better job with the character than did Danielle Harris.  Harris is a horror legend because of her involvement in the Halloween franchise, but she is not a very good actor and leaves the film feeling very amateurish.

Concerning the direction offered by Adam Green, I just can’t figure this guy out.  He has moments of beauty where all the actors and the action seem to be in the  perfect place, followed by several minutes of sloppiness that scream “movie college” quality.  He continues to pay homage to classic movies of old, perhaps the most obvious being the very ending.  As Marybeth is chopping away at Victor, she repeats “die” several times, linking the ending of Hatchet 2 to the classic Corey Feldman ending of Friday the 13th part 4.

The gore is bountiful and executed well, with perhaps the best kill scene in the movie coming at the very beginning with the death of Jack Cracker.  His intestines are ripped from his body and as he tries to crawl away, he is pulled back by his innards.  Then, Victor wraps his intestines around his throat and chokes him until Cracker’s head explodes.

But it is the story itself that falls away and never comes back.  The mythology of Crowley is repeated time and again throughout the film, even with a pointless summation by Zombie at the end to make sure we all “get it.”  It seems that Adam Green wanted to take his story a bit more seriously this time around and whereas the original movie was a jolly mixture of laughs and gore, Hatchet 2 doesn’t know if it wants to be funny or serious.  Unfortunately, Green opted for the latter a bit too much and we are left longing for the overall feel of the original.

I was disappointed in this second installment.  Green initially said he was going to make 4 Hatchet movies.  After the release of this installment, he retracted his statement.  It could very well be that we have not seen the last of Victor Crowley, but we might have seen the last of him being directed by Adam Green.

Click Here to purchase Hatchet 2

One comment

  1. totally agree with this. Hatchet II did not carry the same charm as the first one did which is too bad because I waited near 2 years for this movie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *