HATCHET II 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 their 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. (Chuck Wilson) (Citywide)
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