Body count: 17
Review after the jump.
Hatchet II is definitely not a movie in which you need to watch the original first; just some mindless fun, and the first movie is recapped anyway. However, if you have seen part one you'll find yourself realizing this one is definitely a step down. This one essentially follows the story of a group of hunters going into the bayou to destroy a monster that kills anyone who enters it.
The first thing that I noticed was the picture quality. The first Hatchet had a nice film quality to it, with some great color correction. This sequel was shot digitally and it shows - choppy frame rate, slight image blur. Not only that, but the final result also has a washed-out flat look, like they didn't even bother with color correction. I'm usually not one to complain about the types of camera used to shoot a film, but for some reason it worked against this movie.
The next complaint I have, which is also out-of-character for me, is that the movie was shot entirely on a sound stage. Again, I usually don't mind this sort of thing, but this time around you can tell it's the same exact scenery the entire time, no matter how much "walking around" they do. In the first film it was definitely shot outside... well, if it wasn't, they did a great job at masking it.
Now, for the movie itself, it moves entirely too slowly. Some may say that about the first one, but I thought it did a good job with character development that not only moved the storyline along, but also had some humor. This time around we mull on Tony Todd giving us [unnecessary] background story for entirely too long. It felt like the first 45 minutes were him telling stories or giving directions to the group of hunters he has hired to kill the monster. Very dull directing/cinematography only helps make this portion of the movie that much more boring.
Not only did it move at a snails pace for the first half, but it also had lots of cringe-worthy attempts at humor. The first one genuinely had me laughing out loud at multiple different gags. Hatchet II just leaves me embarrassed after the punchlines. They also made a very weak attempt at casting a black cast member to recapture what Deon Richmond did for the first one.
Once the action and horror portion of the film [finally] kicks in, most of it takes place inside of a shed which you should be familiar with if you saw the first one. However, it looks much different than in the first one, for some unknown reason. Speaking of, I don't know if this was intentionally done, but the interior of the shed was about 10 times larger than previously and obviously much larger on the inside than when they showed outside shots of it (IE: it was about 8'x15' outside, but MUCH larger on the inside, with multiple rooms). This could have been done for comedic purposes but it wasn't pulled off very well and just felt corny.
As far as the cast goes, we have the lovely Danielle Harris (Halloween 4, Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead) - but what the FUCK is up with her eyebrow?!?! Then we have legendary Tony Todd (Candyman, Night Of The Living Dead 1990) and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees in Fri 13th 7, 8, 9, 10). In addition we have RA Mihailoff (Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) and newcomer AJ Bowen (The Signal, House Of The Devil).
The only reason I'd suggest watching this is if it's going back-to-back with the first Hatchet... but even then, you're probably going to be left disappointed. Don't get me wrong - there ARE some redeeming aspects of this movie such as some great gore and awesome death scenes, but the bad far outweighs the good. I loved the first one and was really looking forward to this one. Sadly, I was extremely let down.
4.5 out of 10 skulls.