Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead Review

Posted 9 years ago by myetvmedia

Living in the shadow of a modern classic is never easy, even for the undead. The 2009 flick Dead Snow was a perfect zombie film, giving the world the double whammy of Nazis and Zombies together. But like the rotting soldiers of the Reich, movie producers couldn’t let Dead Snow stay dead. So here, five years later, we’re given the sequel Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead. And how does Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead fare? For the most part, pretty damn good.

The story picks up exactly where the last one left off (so this is a spoiler, if you’ve been in a coma and haven’t seen the original). One-armed Martin (Vegar Hoel) finds a gold coin in his pocket, just as the greedy Nazis attack. Martin escapes, taking the über-bad guy Nazi leader’s arm with him. In the hospital, Martin not only makes a full recovery, but wakes to find the zombie arm has been surgically attached to his stump. And with this not-so-dead flesh comes a whole host of zombie powers. Convenient, since the zombies have remembered their old orders and are marching on Norway’s sleepy fishing town. Martin takes (zombie-powered) arms against them, teaming with an American Zombie Squad and a few new undead friends to save the village and the world.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is a lot of fun. It’s gory, it’s funny, and it’s entertaining, even when things get goofy. The cast, with Vegar Hoel returning as Martin and Martin Starr as zombie expert Daniel, do well at finding humour, even in the face of their horrors. But when compared to its predecessor, things get a little ugly.

Part of Dead Snow’s brilliance was its simplicity: a group of friends against a horde of Nazi Zombies. Yes, there were deeper themes (including pastiches of classic Zombie movie archetypes, like the former military man, the beautiful-yet-helpless damsels, the comic reliefs, etc.), but the story was linear and the action followed a clear path. In an effort to one-up itself, Part 2 breaks unnecessary ground, bringing in more locations, more zombie armies, more of everything. This increased scope only pulls us further away from the characters and the story. We’re not compelled to root for anyone because we’re not given reasons to care about them. Sequels are always a challenge and this one has proved that. Its still worth a night out at the movies.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead made its Toronto debut at Toronto After Dark on Saturday, October 18th.

Nimy Leshinski

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