Story: Hatchet II retells and reconfigures Victor Crowley’s origin story, which seems fitting given the recasting of MaryBeth (the first film’s Final Girl) and the way its chief inspiration, the Friday the 13th series, would reinvent Jason Voorhees with each sequel. The main plotline is a double-edged revenge story (for MaryBeth and Victor) which is elevated by a well-executed twist.
Horror References: Plenty. The Candyman himself, Tony Todd, fleshes out his cameo into a feature performance. Jason Voorhees, Leslie Vernon and the Blair Witch all crop up in conversation and that old chestnut of “Let’s split up; we’ll cover more ground,” gets dusted off and cleverly recontextualised.
Nudity: Sparse and underwhelming; Hatchet had the thin excuse of Mardi Gras to show some tits, but Hatchet II’s best attempt at gratuitous nudity is via a discarded camcorder. Worse, the film teases at getting the new MaryBeth, Danielle Harris, naked in a shower scene without following through.
Gore: After its in medias res opening minutes Hatchet II avoids blood and guts for a long time … but the last act is creatively gory, going sufficiently over-the-top to hit that sweet spot where it’s so ridiculous it becomes funny (see: the five-metre-long chainsaw).