Back to the Bayou: Hatchet 2

Deadly Movies Reviews | Hatchet 2 (From FrightFest 2010 London)

Danielle Harris in Adam Green's "Hatchet 2'

When Adam Green announced to a horror partisan audience at London’s FrightFest that he had made ‘Hatchet 2‘ “for you“, the horror fan, he wasn’t lying. This is a film for horror (specifically 80s horror) fans and aficionados, much like his debut feature ‘Hatchet‘. I would imagine that Green couldn’t care less what non horror fans think of his Hatchet movies, his career will be furthered by the likes of his tremendous ‘Frozen‘ or forthcoming Chris Columbus produced ‘Killer Pizza‘. As a horror fan himself the ‘Hatchet‘ films are his indulgence in the genre, his footprint, and his sheer enthusiasm for all things blood and guts shoveled into 90 mins.

This is non more evident than in his casting choices, with genre veterans Danielle Harris (Halloween 4,5, and remakes), Kane Hodder (former Jason Voorhees), and Tony Todd (the Candyman) making up the leads and a couple of other familiar faces making up the background characters. The leads are all-in-one brilliant; the always fantastic Danielle Harris is superb taking over the lead final girl Marybeth (Tamara Feldman’s performance in Hatchet was fine but Harris brings genre gravitas), Hodder, as deformed boogeyman Victor Crowley, is on the typical high-octane rampage that you’ve come to expect, and Todd is as mysterious and gravelly as always as Reverend Zombie.

The film kicks off precisely where the last one left off, with Marybeth escaping the clutches of Victor Crowley and heading back to town to search for answers and a small army. Help (and back story) come from the good Reverend Zombie, imparting his knowledge of Victor Crowley and his troubled past, however his help comes with a string of alternative motives. Essentially this is an excuse to beef-up the Crowley back story and get Marybeth and her army of heavily armed yokals back to the bayou ready for the slaughter to begin. And this is where the fun really kicks in. More is more for Adam Green, that much is evident. The kills are ramped up ten-fold and come thick and fast, with Crowley stabbing, smashing, and dismembering bodies left-right-and-centre. The kills are delivered with equal measures of humour and gore, all achieved with stunningly wonderful practical effects. Yes that’s right PRACTICAL EFFECTS!

The kills and the humour are what makes ‘Hatchet 2‘ a real winner and an improvement on its predecessor. Horror fans will wallow in the gore and loudly laugh and cheer at Crowley’s rampage. One of the major characters, for example, meets their end in one of the most ingenious, and crowd pleasing, kills I’ve ever seen. With a stronger cast, ramped up practical effects, and a drive and enthusiasm straight from Adam Green, ‘Hatchet 2‘ is a superbly enjoyable horror, a film that every ‘Friday the 13th‘ sequel should have been.

Note from FrightFest 2010

Danielle Harris and Tony Todd at FrightFest

The ‘Hatchet 2‘ world premiere was one of the stand-out highlights of 2010’s FrightFest. Audience members were hopefully expectant that Adam green would introduce the film, what we hadn’t realised was that we would also be treated to a post film Q&A with Hodder, Harris, and Todd, not to mention an unscheduled autograph session with all four. Adam Green was bouncing off the walls before, and especially after the film, feeding off the audience’s exuberant reaction to the film. Harris, Todd, and Hodder were all great with the fans in attendance, with Hodder and Green sticking around for the rest of the weekend. When pressed on a ‘Hatchet 3‘, Green wasn’t dismissive of the idea, but you imagine he would step sideways into a producer role, which is the best decision for his career. Green and co were on great form, with a special mention going to Green himself who couldn’t have been more friendly or approachable.

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