If you have not yet watched the 2013 cult favorite, The Hospital, then there is no better time, as The Hospital 2 is coming soon, scalpel in hand, and does not use anesthesia.
The original film is one hell of a fun thrill ride, the twisty plot involved pretty young girls being lured to an abandoned hospital under the pretense of investigating the paranormal for a ghost hunting TV show, as the site was home to a series of grisly events years before. Armed with K2 EMF detectors and digital voice recorders, the girls roam the darkened corridors in hopes of making contact with the dead, only to become victims of torture and brutality which defy imagination. Definitely not for the faint-of-heart, the first movie reminded me greatly of one of my most favorite splatter movies of all-time, Bloodsucking Freaks.
Taking place mere hours after the events in the first film, The Hospital 2 starts off with final girl Skye (now played by My Bloody Valentine‘s Betsy Rue) as she walks away from the carnage and horror in the deteriorating medical facility. Starting a new life and becoming roommates with fellow survivor Beth (Constance Medrano), and mutual friend, Mandy. Five years later, the girls think that the nightmare is over, and that the horror is long-gone, but the girls are wrong – dead wrong. Psychopaths Alan and Stanley (once again played with devilishly gleeful aplomb by co-writers/directors Jim O’Rear and Daniel Emery Taylor) continue their killing spree by taking it on the road to a halfway house rife with a bevy of fresh victims to rape, torture, and murder in a manner of sadistic new ways. It’s only a matter of time before the girls are again in danger, once more fighting for their lives.
Just as the first movie reminded me of Bloodsucking Freaks, The Hospital 2 felt more to me like The Devil’s Rejects, if it were written by Jack Ketchum. The characters from the first movie made the transition from being walking cartoons to having real human qualities in this one, like feelings, emotions, and even weaknesses. There were moments where I found myself even sympathizing with the villains for a few minutes before they effortlessly snap into balls-to-the-wall crazy mode, making me hate them all over again.
The acting was a major improvement in this film. One of the biggest stand-outs was Megan Emerick, who plays the role of Samantha in equal parts sexy and bat-nutty crazy. She came off to me as the living embodiment of Harley Quinn of DC Comics, and she was a treat to watch in all of her scenes. Even when the focus was not on her, she was acting. I already can’t wait to see her in more films, and would not be surprised to see her have a lucrative acting career in her future. Jim O’Rear is even more twisted this time around, and does an excellent portrayal of a new and improved Alan, delivering some tongue-in-cheek one-liners while doing some awful things to people. Daniel Emery Taylor has mastered playing the unstoppable juggernaut Stanley Creech, and we finally get a glimpse of what is going on in his head, rather than being portrayed as a simple giant. It’s as if he channeled Joel D. Wynkoop as Angus Lynch in Tim Ritter’s 1995 gorefest Creep. Skye’s mother Carla is played by B-movie goddess, Debbie (Tromeo & Julet) Rochon, who once again proves that she still has what it takes, and delivers on every level. Scott (Ghost Hunters International) Tepperman is here again, reprising his role as an exaggerated parody of himself (at least I hope so), whose scenes had me laughing, despite what was happening on screen. Nicholas Huntsman, who played the likable hero in Camp Massacre, does a wonderful job in this one as a very unlikable boyfriend to Mandy, playing “the hipsterest hipster who has ever hipstered.”
The special effects makeup in this one are done by Marcus (American Guinea Pig) Koch, who is starting to become a household name in the horror industry, so you know that he does not skimp on the red stuff. In fact, there is a scene involving a toe that actually made me cringe(!).Any self-respecting horror fan would be smart to watch anything with Marcus’ name attached, without question.
Sure,you can jump right into this one without seeing the first film, but trust me when I say that you’ll have a much better experience watching them both together as a double feature, as some of the quirky in-jokes would be missed, like the one poor guy who can never enjoy a cold glass of milk. There is also a very smart nod to fans of the first movie involving the song played over the end credits if you listen close enough. Of course, Alan’s iconic pentagram mask is back, and is creepy as ever, but another mask he has is of a chef, and its image is still burned into my brain for future nightmares to come.
Clocking in at an hour and fifty nine minutes, I felt that only one scene felt a bit long and needed to be trimmed, which involved a preacher talking about the Bible. The rest of the film seems to fly right by with dizzying madness. The only other complaint I can think of involves a poor CGI effect, but the scene itself is so disturbing, that it can be easily overlooked. I will go on record to state that this is how you make a horror sequel, using enough material from the first one to build upon, but not falling into the Evil Dead 2 trap, using so much of the first one that it becomes a remake. Like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, this movie matures characters you’re already familiar with, changes the scenery, puts them in similar situations while staying fresh, and then coming full-circle for a gratifying ending. The Hospital 2 is an endless supply of gore, nudity, and sodomy, which will make genre fans happy, but Tipper Gore furious.
The Hospital 2 premieres Saturday, September 26th at The Capitol Theater, in Lebanon, TN. Tickets are only $5, and members of the cast and crew will be in attendance!
Tickets and info can be found here:
I give this one four out of five stars.