Movie Review - Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
I recently jumped when asked to host the screening of Tommy Wirkola's Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead at Arena Cinema in Hollywood. Why? Because in the original Dead Snow, the director managed to achieve a nearly impossible task: making horror and comedy work well together. He seems to really understand how to strike the perfect balance between the two genres, and this is not an easy undertaking. In fact not since Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Shaun of the Dead has there been a horror comedy that I enjoyed so thoroughly. And for the first time in my life, I've stopped rolling my eyes when I hear the term 'Zom-Com'. But I wondered if he would be able to recreate the magic a second time in Dead Snow 2 - and I am happy to report that the sequel not only ramps up the absurdity, but it also cranks the laughs up to eleven. If you liked the last twenty or so minutes of the first film, you will absolutely adore Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead.
Picking up exactly where Dead Snow leaves off, we find Martin in a hospital bed. After a brief flashback as to how he escaped, the doctors enter the room and explain to Martin that they were able to reattach his severed arm. The only problem is, the arm that they've reattached actually belongs to one of the undead Nazi Battalion he's just evaded — and Martin isn't completely in control of it. So he enlists the help of the Zombie Squad and some undead friends of his own, in what is possibly the most over the top gore fest in horror comedy history. This film is a tip of the hat to films like "Dead Alive" and "Evil Dead I & II" and belongs to be mentioned beside them. It would definitely make the likes of Sam Raimi extremely proud.
Saying any more about the plot would be a complete disservice to anyone that wants to watch the film. I have to give credit where credit is due here, and aside from the utterly brilliant direction by a young talent, much of that goes to the writing team. Wirkola, along with writers and stars of the film Stig Frode Henriksen and Vegar Hoel, have crafted the perfect vehicle for their unique brand of insanity in Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead. I had the chance to speak with Wirkola and Henriksen at the premiere and they said that they wanted to channel the last twenty minutes of the first film into the sequel, and that is exactly what they did. If you thought the original was crazy, just wait until you see what they have in store for you. On top of a great script and fabulous direction, the acting was fantastic. It takes serious talent to play something so ridiculous, so seriously, and it goes a long way to making the movie as funny as it is.
This is everything I love about indie film, having the freedom to take risks like this results in a completely bombastic splatterfest that keeps you laughing from beginning to end. See it in the theaters if you get the opportunity, as the communal experience makes for an even better time. If the rumors are true, there is already plans for a Dead Snow 3, and frankly I can't wait. Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is a MUST SEE for everyone, unless of course, you hate fun. Or love undead Nazis. Either way, that's none of my business. Cheers.
- Leo Francis