(The gist: Dead Snow 2 falls woefully short of its predecessor. Instead of being horror edged with humor, it ends up being a straight zom com. When judged as a sequel, it is a disappointment. However, when viewed as a horror comedy, it is successful and worth the watch.)
Dead Snow is one of my favorite zombie movies, even one of my favorite horror movies overall. I love it so much that I decided to go for a Dead Snow marathon on Christmas and finally audition the sequel.
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead picks up exactly where Dead Snow leaves off, with Martin in the car. Martin manages to escape and survive but ends up in a car accident in the process. From the confusion of the wreckage, the doctors end up attaching Herzog’s (the lead Nazi zombie) arm to Martin by mistake. The premise continues to have both Martin and Herzog creating zombies by touch, American zombie apocalypse preppers joining the cause, and Martin waking an army of Russian zombies to battle the Nazi zombies that have come from the snow covered mountains into the town below.
I wanted to love Dead Snow 2 as much as I loved its predecessor. I would be happy to enjoy any horror movie as much as I liked Dead Snow. Unfortunately, Dead Snow 2 was just not done the same as the original.
Dead Snow manages to find the exquisite balance between horror and humor, where horror is the primary goal and presentation yet humor is expertly placed to break up the fear and drama. It is a delicate line that many films fail to walk. Dead Snow 2 seems to falter on this line.
The goal of Dead Snow 2 is unclear to me. Is it a horror movie like its predecessor? Is it instead a horror comedy (a zom com, as it were)? As I watched it, it seems like they attempt at both, so its purpose just became confusing. I went in wanting a horror movie edged in strategic humor, like the first. I got more a zombie comedy that was pushed over the line of ridiculous. And at times, that ridiculous was just stupid.
That being said, I did not hate the movie. It was not what I was expecting (or wanting to pair with Dead Snow), but as a zom com, it was decent. There was still plenty of graphic gore and the same intestinal fixation that appeared in the original movie.
The premise very much reminded me of Idle Hands, another horror comedy that I definitely enjoyed. Herzog’s hand on Martin was not dissimilar from a possessed hand on Devon Sawa. I also appreciated the humor and jabs at the genre and its fans. The American zombie apocalypse preppers were adequate charicatures of the very people who would enjoy Dead Snow 2.
Ultimately, I am torn about Dead Snow 2. I was heartily disappointed in it as a follow on to Dead Snow. It definitely lacks the horror quality I came to expect from its predecessor. However, on the other hand, if judged as a zom com instead, the ridiculous elements and lack of true fear can be forgiven because it is funny.
Go in expecting horror comedy, and it is worth the watch. Go in anticipating the brilliance of Dead Snow, and you will be soured against it. With proper expectations, it is a movie you can definitely still enjoy.