Hatchet II is essentially an homage to the slasher flicks of yore. It doesn’t have a single original bone in it’s deformed and mutilated corpse, but the level at which it commits itself to reveling in it’s own blood and gore is commendable. You’ve gotta respect a movie that knows exactly what it is, goes for it, and doesn’t bother to lead the viewer on. It doesn’t just revel in the blood it’s spilt, it wriggles in it.
Wriggles, I say.
It doesn’t hurt that the movie’s also peppered with familiar horror-related names and faces. Just watching the movie’s opening credits left me in a state of slasher-geek bliss. For the first 30 or so minutes, just about every time the scene would change, you’d be looking at a familiar face. I found myself pointing at the screen saying, “..and I know you…and you….and you….” It was new and yet very nostalgic.
I’ll admit though, for a while I kept looking at the screen and thinking that that didn’t look like Danielle Harris. I mean, I knew it was her, but after watching freaking’ Halloween 4 and 5 on AMC ad nauseam during October it just wasn’t clicking. Then she made that face, you know the one
And all was right in my muddled mind.
One thing that didn’t click so well with me was the humor. I enjoyed a lot of the sight gags (hurry up and get on that boat, fat boy), but some of the dialogue…. . I don’t know if it was a result of focusing too much on the action (not that it wasn’t appreciated) or spitting the script out too fast, but most of the jokes didn’t just fall flat, they fell like a huge hunk of lead plummeting towards the earth. Perhaps it’s just too crude for my tastes.
But you don’t watch slashers for the dialogue, you watch them for the kills and this movie has some seriously freaky imagery. What may have been done before and looked mundane on paper was exquisite in execution. Never before have I seen a chainsaw that big.
I don’t think I could even lift that thing.
The final death of the film, in particular, was probably one of the most amazingly gruesome things I’ve ever seen and Danielle Harris…..damn. I imagine that ending had to be really cathartic for her.
Hatchet II is the kind of slasher that likes to jack everything up to 11. And it does. It’s not particularly scary, but considering most slasher sequels don’t really bother to be all that scary either, I guess that flows well with the rest of the films homage. Slasher and gore fans will probably get a kick out of it, but if you’re the squeamish type then this is going to be something you wan to avoid.
Hatchet II is available on a variety of streaming services.
It is also available on DVD and Bluray.