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Well surprise, surprise. It doesn't happen too often that a horror sequel is better than its original, especially not when it has a much lower budget but in this case, I feel and believe that this is a much better movie than its 2010 predecessor.

It's as if director Steven R. Monroe watched the first movie back, which he also had directed and noticed it wasn't as great and effective as it potentially all could have been and he wanted it to be. It's funny, all the things that bothered me about the first movie were 'fixed' in this one.

I'm probably going to be a minority on this again, since people just love to hate on horror sequels no matter what but I really have to be fair and I must admit that as a horror lover, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie, though I'm of course not completely crazy and of course can still see that this is a far from perfect one and one that is not without its weaknesses but both as a sequel and standalone movie, it definitely is a good watch.

You can either like the story or not but you have to admit that this movie definitely has more story than its predecessor. It's less simplistic and straightforward, which is all a good thing in this case, since it definitely makes the movie a more interesting and engaging one to watch.

Just like the first movie, it's relying mostly on the violence and torture aspect. It however in this case is working out far better and more effective, in my opinion. The characters all feel better developed and in a sense are more understandable. Besides, all of the torture moments are far less crazy and less elaborate, which makes them far more believable and therefore also more realistic and effective to watch. I'm not going to spoil anything but one moment in particular truly made me cringe.

It in a way still is a very straightforward and minimalistic movie but it manages to feel very raw, dirty and realistic and therefore also very effective, which perhaps also was thanks to its change of venue. Instead of set in the woods, this movie is set in an eastern European city, as well as partly in New York.

This definitely is a good movie for what it is. It also definitely is one of the best efforts I have seen in a long while, within the 'torture porn' sub-genre. Definitely worth checking out, even if you weren't too fond of- or impressed with the first movie.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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