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Hatchet II (2010)
Hatchet II is a 2010 American comedy slasher horror film written and directed by Adam Green. It is the sequel to Green's film, Hatchet. Picking up right where the first film ended, Hatchet II follows Marybeth as she escapes the clutches of the deformed, swamp-dwelling, killer Victor Crowley. After learning the truth about her family’s connection to the hatchet-wielding madman, Marybeth returns to the Louisiana swamps along with an army of hunters to recover the bodies of her family and exact the bloodiest revenge against the bayou butcher. The film sees the return of Kane Hodder and Tony Todd who portrayed Victor Crowley and Reverend Zombie in the 2006 film, respectively. Danielle Harris portrays Marybeth, a role originally played by Tamara Feldman. The film was originally screened at the 2010 London FrightFest Film Festival on August 26, 2010. It was released unrated in the United States on October 1, 2010. Picking up immediately where the first film ended, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) is attacked by Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder), but manages to escape. Jack Cracker (John Carl Buechler) finds her, pulls her out of the river, and takes her back to his cabin.
Unfortunately, pretty much every character who made Hatchet amusing has been killed off, and even the movie's final girl, Marybeth, is now played by a new actress. Tamara Feldman is gone, replaced by horror standby Danielle Harris, and while Harris is an old pro at the screaming-and-running stuff, she struggles mightily with the Southern accent the part requires, and in general seems a little awkward with Green's tongue-in-cheek approach. Also back for more are a couple of other genre icons: Tony Todd expands on his glorified cameo in the first film as Rev. Zombie, a voodoo huckster running tours of the swampland outside New Orleans, and Kane Hodder returns as disfigured series villain Victor Crowley. The movie picks up right where the previous installment left off, with Marybeth as the sole survivor of an excursion into Crowley's domain deep in the bayou. After narrowly escaping the monster's clutches, she makes her way back to the city and enlists Rev. Zombie's help in going back to retrieve the bodies of her murdered father and brother.
It's a paper-thin excuse to get a bunch of new characters back out into the dark, dangerous swamp as quickly as possible, although Green wastes plenty of time setting up the expedition and introducing a parade of interchangeable victims for Crowley to plow through. Parry Shen also returns from the first film, playing the twin brother of his original character, but his comic relief is weaker and seems out of place in this grimmer, heavier version of the story. Green is big on reviving the conventions of the slasher genre, and here he engages in one of the most annoying tendencies of slasher sequels by piling on a bunch of unnecessary back story for his killer, as well as connecting Crowley's background to the heroine's in a rather contrived fashion. A big part of Hatchet's appeal was in its simplicity, and laying out a complicated mythology is exactly what this series doesn't need. It bogs down the story and hurts the pacing.
But what about the gore, the whole reason the movie got any attention in the first place? There certainly is a lot of it, although it almost feels obligatory at this point, as if Green is covering up the fact that he didn't have any decent ideas for a sequel. Crowley smashes skulls and uses the world's biggest chainsaw, but other than an amusingly interrupted sex scene, none of the kills are particularly creative. Will you cringe at the brutality? Sure, at first, but after that you'll probably get bored, and the movie doesn't offer any other distractions from the characters' slow, inevitable march toward death.