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Hatchet II: Unrated Director’s Cut Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English PCM 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Region: A (B? C?)
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Dark Sky Films
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • List Price: $34.98

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Hatchet II -

Purchase Hatchet II on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Any slasher film worth its weight in is supposed to do two things well, provide lots of unique gore with bucket loads of blood and a half-way decent plot that stays out of the way of the action. Hatchet II, in the grand tradition of the genre, is mostly successful on both of those counts. The franchise has created a new slasher villain with Victor Crowley in the tradition of Freddie Kreuger and Jason Voorhies. He’s a scary, malformed serial killer apparently unable to be killed, he uses a hatchet as his primary weapon of choice, and when he gets to hacking, the blood sprays like it’s raining blood.

In Hatchet II, the heroine Marybeth (Danielle Harris) returns to the swamps of Louisiana and barely escapes the clutches of Crowley, but her family and the rest of their tour boat has been slain by the deformed killer. Convincing the conman/voodoo priest Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd) to help her find her family and kill the swamp ghost, the two together lead a group of locals through the swamps to hunt down the killer who has now become legend. Zombie believes he knows the key to breaking the curse and ridding the swamps of Victor Crowley for good, but that just may mean someone’s life may have to be sacrificed.

The mayhem begins as the group treks through the swamps, the blood splatters, and there are quite a few unexpected killing techniques employed throughout the film. In essence, slasher fans should find bucket loads to like about this film.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The production values of Hatchet II do not lend it the strongest image for HD playback. Overall, the look is quite soft and a bit drenched in noise. Black levels aren’t very deep, but the AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding does provide greatly extended shadow delineation, which is a good thing for a film that takes place mostly in the dark.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack offers a good balance of direct sounds in front and ambience in the surrounds with a mixture of atmospherics and discrete sounds. During at least one point in the film, there is sound pinged around the room in a full circle, which is always a fun effect when not overused. Dialogue is clear, dynamic range is relatively wide and high frequencies are smooth.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

There is a good mixture of behind-the-scenes featurettes and audio commentaries – two different ones – for those looking to delve deeper in to the film’s production.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Actor/Director Commentary
  • Technical Commentary
  • Hatchet II: Behind the Screams (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:33.39) – This making-of featurette is quite informative and features members of the cast and crew.
  • Hatchet II EPK (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:08.15) – This is a promotional “electronic press kit” for the film.
  • The Killing Machine (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:06.14) – The special effects team is spotlighted in this brief featurette.
  • Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Teaser Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • TV Spot (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Radio Spot (0:00.32)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

It’s bloody, violent, scary, and has a story that’s tolerable. Hatchet II helps to setup Victor Crowley as one of the iconic slasher film killers and there’s no better way to see it than in this unrated director’s cut on Blu-ray.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004EI2NOK[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Hatchet II -

Purchase Hatchet II on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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