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Hatchet II Outdoes the Original in Almost Every Way!

Hatchet II

Hatchet II picks up immediately after the events of its predecessor. Mary Beth finds her way out of Victor Crowley’s lair and back at Reverend Zombie’s shop. Marybeth is determined to recover the remains of her father and brother and avenge their deaths. She treks back into the bayou with Reverend Zombie, her uncle, and a team of hunters assembled by the Reverend.

Hatchet II made the controversial decision to recast the Marybeth character. Replacing a film’s lead is almost never a good idea but in this case it works. The addition of Daniele Harris to the cast elevates the sequel beyond the first film in terms of performance and likability of the character. Harris has much greater range than Tamara Feldman and really sinks her teeth into the role. Kane Hodder shows surprising versatility as he again takes on the dual role of both Victor Crowley and his father. Hodder brings an unexpected depth to the Mr. Crowley character that is sure to make the audience connect with him.

Victor Crowley’s backstory is further explored in Hatchet II. In this film, learn a lot about his origins and how he became the way he is. Crowley’s history is interesting and sets up a very entertaining revenge theme for the picture.

This 2010 sequel is full of great cameos. It features very brief appearances from Lloyd Kaufman, Mike Mendez, Shawn Ashmore, Joe Lynch, and more. Even the extras are comprised of genre film personalities and frequent Adam Green collaborators.

Hatchet II has a noticeably larger budget than the first film. Though it is estimated at under a million, Green is able to make every penny count and deliver a sequel that outdoes the original film in almost every way.

This second installment in the Hatchet franchise is full of clever one-liners and witty puns like the first. In one especially memorable scene, Uncle Bob tells Marybeth that the only thing Rev. Zombie is a reverend of is being an asshole. In the hands of more capable actors than the first film, Green’s screenplay really comes to life. The director has grown since the first Hatchet film and he works with a talented cast that includes supporting performances from Tom Holland and A.J. Bowen to produce solid showings from the onscreen talent.

The effects in Hatchet II are even more over the top than those featured in the original. Roughly five minutes into the film, a character is strangled and decapitated by his intestines. It is absolutely disgusting but gore hounds are bound to love it. Green continues to explore creative and disgusting ways to kill off his cast throughout the film and each death is more grotesque and inventive than the last.

The level of nudity in this film is on par with the original. Most of it is crammed into the opening sequence but there is a more than ample amount of bare skin.

Like the first Hatchet film, Hatchet II is paced at breakneck speed. It starts and ends with a bang and every moment in between is loaded with action, excessive gore, and clever dialogue. All of the scenes that don’t involve death are kept afloat by the well-written dialogue.

If you haven’t checked out this 2010 follow up to Hatchet, it is the rare sequel that outdoes the original. It is chock full of gore, boasts a great cast of genre film personalities, and further delves into Victor Crowley’s origins. The Dark Sky films DVD release of Hatchet II comes with two different commentary tracks and a featurette, as well as promotional TV and radio spots for the film.

WICKED RATING: 6.5/10

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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dogs, and cat hat(s).
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