Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Review Of “Kids Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader”

Kids-Get-Dead-2-02“Kids Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader” is the sequel to Michael Hall’s 2009 slasher “Kids Go To The Woods…Kids Get Dead” . The film brings back Leah Rudick as Casey, the sole survivor of the first film. Also starring in the film are Bec Fordyce, Bradley Creanzo, Sam Albertsen, Andrew Waffenschmidt, Kathy Biehl, Martin Poryles, Steve Buja, Megan Krache, Shane Dorman and Vonka Romanoff. The plot picks up shortly after the first film and has Casey searching out the author who wrote the book, that foretold the fateful events surrounding her, while bringing the slaughter out of the woods and into the suburbs.

“Kids Get Dead 2” keeps with horror sequel tradition in a familiar way that carries on the blood shed, the nightmare and the characters into new territory. The film also holds on to that fantasy element that helped anchor the story arch of the first film, fantasy as in supernatural element, not dragons and magic stuff. It is a theme that has lit some classic horror in the past, mostly in television anthology series like ‘Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales From The Crypt’ but most recently it was showcased in the ‘Supernatural’ series as well. It has characters in the story recognizing the almost paranormal aspect that what is happening has already been writ by someone unrelated to them and outside the main plot situation. In “Kids Get Dead” it shows in the form of a slasher fiction book. In this film it is a sequel book by the same mysterious author.

This sequel looses some of the magic that Michael Hall captured in the first film with the story feeling a bit contrived. It is still a pretty fun story that plays out nicely against the first film, but the effortless, on screen chemistry is not as strong here. The characters seem a little too caricature at times, and not as authentic as the group in the first film. The variety of personas still meets with the expected horror schematic and there is plenty of douchebag comradery , and the situations set up nicely. The down side is the lack of a feeling of genuine relationship between the cast. The acting is not as stellar as in the first film, and the dialog suffers somewhat. Still “Kids Get Dead 2” does manage to be entertaining and has a little punk-rock kick to it.

The special effects in this one is 50/50. There is plenty of the practical effects, complete with blood and gore, but there is also the dreaded use of CGI blood that cheapens the kill sequence on several scenes in “Kids Get Dead 2”. The killer’s image differs a bit from the ominous look he has in the first film. Here he seems a bit more human and less monstrous, I can’t figure out if that was an oversight or a calculated move on Hall’s part. It is an element that as happened in almost every classic slasher franchise so it could have been an intended move to pay homage to past horror films. Even with the down graded effects and loss of the magic that “Kids Go To The Woods…Kids Get Dead” managed, “Kids Get Dead 2” does manage a decent bought of gory entertainment.

The sound effects and soundtrack in “Kids Get Dead 2” actually rises above the sounds of the first film. I felt a more energetic, excitement in the sequel. The overall creepy atmosphere is still present here, with the cast and crew seeming to be having fun, yet taking their roles serious. “Kids Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader” works as a sequel, and even with the “lesser” aspects that weaken the film’s overall impact, the story is still strong enough to please slasher fans. Even though I didn’t enjoy this film as much as I did the first, all the elements are present to make “Kids Get Dead 2” worth the watch.

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