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HATCHET II (2010)
Directed by Adam Green
Written by Adam Green
Starring Danielle Harris, AJ Bowen, Parry Shen, Alexis Peters, Ed Ackerman, David Foy, Tom Holland, Colton Dunn, R.A. Mihailoff, Rick McCallum, John Carl Buechler, Kathryn Fiore, Erika Hamilton, Tony Todd, & Kane Hodder as Victor Crowley
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One of the things that probably made me fall in love with the FRIDAY THE 13TH series of films was the interconnectivity of the first six films. Even with the misstep of PART V: A NEW BEGINNING, watch them all in sequence and there’s a story that that is unfolding and Jason evolves from neglected boy to man monster zombie through six films. Some of the film, like the first four, connected together so well that if you take away the title sequence and just edit it all together, it would be one long ass slasher film. I guess that’s why I think I loved HATCHET II more than the first because like FRI13 PARTS I-IV and HALLOWEEN I-II, this sequel continues right where the last film left off. I mean the exact moment.
Now the only difference being that latter HALLOWEEN sequel and THE LAST BOYSCOUT star Danielle Harris leaps into the role of Marybeth (played by Tamara Feldman in the first film). It’s understandable the gorgeous and pint-sized scream queen would be placed in this role. Much like her onscreen mom, Jamie Lee Curtis did in HALLOWEEN, Harris plays the final tough girl to a tee—giving off both a vulnerability and a spunkiness to make me believe she can get hurt, but also can kick ass despite her diminutive size. In HATCHET II she kicks unbelievable ass, especially in the latter portion of the film, as after she escapes the swamp, she finds herself back in the same swamp with a bunch of local merc, looking to cash in on a bounty on Crowley’s head.
The story itself, while adding more depth to the Crowley mythos by explaining his birth and death a little more, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. A whole lot of logic bending is required in order to believe Marybeth would ever step foot in the swamp again after the first ordeal. But again, this is a HATCHET film and the first film set the precedence for a lack of concern for a strong story over gore and violence. What this film does have is some great action scenes, more so than one might expect from a horror film. The scenes where Crowley fights Leatherface actor R.A. Mihailoff is classic as the two titans battle one another. Another memorable scene involves YOU’RE NEXT’s AJ Bowen still fucking a woman sans his own head, then the woman getting a hatchet wound in the old “hatchet wound”.
Off color gore and humor is to be expected in this romp which basically goes by the same framework as Green lines up a group of people to meet extremely gory and sometimes humorous demises one by one. One thing that separates both of the first HATCHET films from most is that most of the cast knows there’s a killer through the whole film and despite that knowledge, Crowley still manages to whittle them down to nothing. If any evolution at all is achieved in this modern slasher story, it’s the incorporation of knowledge is spread faster now than ever before so the job of secluding each of the victims before killing them isn’t necessary, Crowley is wide out in the open and more than willing to dive into a group of people if necessary.
HATCHET II while a bit repetitious, continues the fun established in the first film and again, as the last one did, leaves us with a jarring cut, suggesting that more Crowly action is yet to come in a third installment.