Danielle Harris as Marybeth
Tony Todd as Rev. Zombie
Kane Hodder as Victor Crowley
Tom Holland as Bob
R.A. Mihailoff as Trent
Parry Shen as Justin
AJ Bowen as Layton
Alexis Peters as Avery
Directed by Adam Green
Hatchet II is the sequel to the 2006 slasher by director, and Frightfest favourite, Adam Green.
The original film tells the tale of Victor Crowley, a hideously disfigured character who was accidentally killed after a Halloween prank gone wrong, who comes back to life to terrorize a group of ghost seeking tourists exploring the swamp he once lived in. A spoiler alert for those who havenâ€™t seen itâ€¦ The film ends with the main protagonist, Marybeth, being pulled into the swamp by Victor, with seemingly no hope of escape.
The sequel begins seamlessly from where the first left off, with Marybeth (Danielle Harris) managing to escape the clutches of Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder).
Immediately saved from the swamp, Marybeth quickly out-stays her welcome with her rescuer once he learns whose daughter she is, starting her on a path to find out exactly what her and her family's connection to Crowley is.
Once made aware of her families involvement in the circumstances of the swamp, Marybeth returns to finish off Crowley once and for all and retrieve the bodies of her family.
For those who haven't seen the original Hatchet, the first 15 minutes may be a bit difficult to get into, the acting and script is over the top to the point of being ridiculous and the kill scenes are equally outrageous. Once settled into the rhythm of the film though Hatchet II quickly becomes supremely enjoyable precisely for those reasons.
Green has obviously learned a lot since his debut; directing Frozen and Spiral, and producing Grace, have clearly honed his skills, a fact he attests to himself during the Q&A stating how hard it is for him to watch his first film without cringing. Hatchet II is testament to how far he's come, filled with tight Spielberg-esque shots throughout, focusing the action on the kills or scares as required.
The kill scenes are bigger and more gruesome than before; disembowelment, decapitation (primarily by way of the jaw), power tools and sheer brute force are brought horrifically and humorously to life; which, despite the bigger budget, were all crafted from the FX guy's 90-year-old aunt's garage!
Fans of Tony Todd (Candyman) will be pleased to know his short lived cameo as Reverend Zombie has a much bigger and more fleshed out role in Hatchet II, putting him front and center for a significant amount of screen time. And with Hatchet, giving Hodder his first on screen tears, Hatchet II finally gives him a sex scene.
Ultimately fans of the original are not going to be disappointed, those looking for a film with more laughs than scares will love it and classic horror fans are sure to squeal with delight every time one of the huge number of cameos, homages and nods to other horror films pop up on screen.
While seemingly wrapped up tighter than a 5th century Chinese girl's feet, this may not be the end for Victor Crowley, with Green stating that he'd like to do Hatchet III and having expressed an interest in 3D (Why Adam? Why???), expect more axe mayhem in the future.
A cracking start to the 2010 London Frightfest with still two more films for the night!