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Hatchet II Blu-ray Review

“Hatchet II” is a step backward for writer/director Adam Green.

The plot: Continuing where the first film left off, Marybeth recruits the help of Reverend Zombie and a group of other sure-to-be-killed-by-Victor-Crowley folks in order to not only retrieve the bodies of her father and brother, but to kill Victor Crowley once and for awhile. Of course, Crowley doesn’t make things easy for the group and, to make matters worse, Rev. Zombie has a devious plan of his own which could complicate things for Marybeth. 

As I’ve mentioned in past reviews, I am a big fan of Adam Green’s work. I quite enjoyed “Hatchet” and “Spiral,” and thought “Frozen” was one of the best films of 2010. When I heard “Hatchet 2” was being made, I was naturally looking forward to seeing the return of Victor Crowley. Unfortunately, this sequel turned out to be a major disappointment.

The reason “Hatchet” worked so well was because it was an all-around fun throwback to 80’s slasher flicks. It had a great villain/monster with Victory Crowley, likeable characters, several great comedic lines, a great cast, unique, grizzly death sequences, etc. With the sequel, however, Adam Green seems to have forgotten what made the first film a success. Rather than creating an interesting continuation from the first film, Green opts to make an uber cheap sequel that seems more concerned with upping the kill count. Yes, we do get a backstory about Victor Crowley’s family, but I don’t think I’m alone in shrugging my shoulders at the “curse” revelation. 

To make matters worse, none of the characters/cast are remotely likeable here. Tom Holland can’t act his way out of a single scene as the Uncle Bob character, Tony Todd (who made an amusing cameo in the first film) walks through his role as the villainous Reverend Zombie, and Danielle Harris (whom I normally like) wasn’t as good as Tamara Feldman from the first film. Only Parry Shen shines here playing the twin brother of the character Shawn from the first film.

A few other elements I found lacking in this sequel were the cinematography, the creature f/x and the humor. Even though “Hatchet” had a low budget, the film looked  a lot more polished than the sequel. “Hatchet II” somehow feels like it had less of a budget than the first film as evidenced by the so-so cinematography. It just doesn’t look very cinematic and the handheld shots are distracting. As for the creature f/x, they looked fine when it came to the death sequences, but Victor Crowley himself looks a little different (and not in a good way). Crowley looked a lot more convincing and menacing in the first film. Lastly, I have to voice my displeasure about the lack of humor here. Yes, there are attempts at humor, but nothing here warranted any chuckles the way the first film did sadly.

To be perfectly honest, the only elements of the film I really did like were the references to “Frozen” and “Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon” and a brief video cameo by two characters from the first film. Those three quick scenes were really the only thing about this movie that made me crack a smile.

Summary: If there is a third “Hatchet,” I hope that Adam Green will mix things up about and take Victor Crowley on a more engaging adventure. Skip the sequel and watch the first “Hatchet” film again instead.

Video/Audio:

The 1.78:1 1080p picture quality looks A LOT better than the On Demand release as the colors are much sharper here. This is hands down the only way to watch the movie at home.

5.1 DTS-HD and PCM 2.0 Uncompressed audio tracks are included on this Blu-ray disc. From the buzzing of the chainsaw to the dialogue, the 5.1 track works particularly well here.

Extras:

* 1.78:1 1080p
* Dark Sky Film trailers.
* “Hatchet II” teaser trailer, trailer, TV spot and radio spot.
* “The Killing Machine”- A behind-the-scenes look at the special effects work on the kill scenes. 
* “Hatchet II: First Look”- Adam Green and other cast members chat about the sequel, the characters, the death scenes, etc.

* “Hatchet II: Behind The Screams”- A behind-the-scenes look at the production that covers storyboards, death scenes, directing, and so on.
* Two commentaries have been included on this Blu-ray disc. The first is a cast commentary by Kane Hodder, Tony Todd and Adam Green. The second commentary is the production crew commentary with Adam Green, Will Barratt and Robert Pendergraft. Both commentaries are infinitely more entertaining than the actual film. Lots of great production stories, info. about the cast, trivia, etc.

January 31, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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