Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (Død snø 2) (2014) | Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Colour | 100 Minutes
Written by Tommy Wirkola, Geir Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen | Starring Vegar Hoel, Ørjan Gamst, Martin Starr
Follows Dead Snow (2009)
It’s rare I watch a film more than a few times now that there’s so much to stream online. But recently I decided to re-watch Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, the first festival film I ever saw way back at Grimmfest 2014. I remember laughing at multiple black comedy moments during the festival screening, like when Martin (Geir Vegar Hoel) attempts to save Bobby (Carl-Magnus Adner) with CPR and crushes his chest in the process (thanks to his zombie arm!), or the hilarious dialogue from the idiotic police. Dead Snow 2 was one of my favourite festival films for years.
Unfortunately, because I remember a lot of Dead Snow 2’s comedic moments clearly, the comedy element has lost its shine. There are more action scenes than I remember though, and some cool deaths courtesy of Martin’s zombie arm! However, this focus on action comes at the expense of characterisation, including the main characters: Martin and Herzog (Ørjan Gamst). Because this was the first festival film I saw, originally I didn’t look at Dead Snow 2 too critically, but now it seems like the film has a really basic plot, with no character arcs and massive plot holes. Why do the Nazis not carry guns, and why is there hardly any snow despite the title? One thing that still amuses me is the tagline:
“The sequel you did Nazi coming…”
Like the tagline, you shouldn’t take this film seriously. For instance, the fight scenes towards the end are unrealistic but brilliant! Whether the fighting occurs on top of a tank, inside the tank, or even in the kitchen, this film is unique. And it’s this uniqueness that I still love about Dead Snow 2. Sure, there are references to other horror movies, particularly Evil Dead 2 (review), but the end scene with Martin and his loyal tourist zombie (a great character in design and development) is bonkers!
Overall, if you’re a horror fan who has never seen this sequel before, I would recommend it. There’s plenty of humour where you don’t expect it, great fight scenes, and it’s bonkers in a way only an independent film can be. However, re-watching Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead just wasn’t as enjoyable as it once was for me, as nowadays I look at genre films more critically.