In the 2007 indie horror hit Hatchet, a hulking, facially deformed ghoul named Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) slaughtered a boatful of Louisiana bayou tourists as revenge for his own murder, and that of his father, years before. The only survivor was Marybeth (Danielle Harris), a college girl who returns to the swamp in Hatchet II to kick Victor Crowley back to Hell. For backup, she brings along a dozen bayou brutes and a nefarious voodoo preacher (Tony Todd). In the first film, director Adam Green poked loving fun at the storytelling conventions of the genre, including those long first-act stretches that require each would-be victim to yammer on about his or her respective carnal desires and/or inner angst before being indiscriminately gutted like a fish. This time out, Green is not as self-aware, devoting a solid hour of his film’s 90-minute running time to pre-mayhem character development so witless and dull that Hatchet II might as well be Friday the 13th, Part 14. Perhaps that was the filmmaker’s intention—let’s give him the benefit of the doubt—but by the time Crowley begins literally ripping Marybeth’s posse apart, one is too numbed-out to cheer the gruesome ingenuity of the old-school special effects. Die, Victor, die. Please.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 29, 2010