In life there are certain expectations, profound I know, but if don't work, you're broke, you commit a felony, you're going to jail and if you make a sequel to a trashy, piece of shit exploitation movie that's banking on the name of another property floating in the biggest of legal grey areas......well it's probably a gigantic piece of trash itself. While you would be right in that regard 9/10 times, in film just like in life the unexpected can and will happen. Evil Dead Trap 2 is a sequel in name only to a film that is a ripoff in name only, a combination that normally works about as well as oil and water, so you could imagine my surprise when not only was this good but arguably better than the first. Which if you haven't seen is a certified trash classic. Not only is Evil Dead Trap 2 a surprisingly good feature but it may honestly be one of the very few times one of the most controversial topics in the great waste that is political discourse, abortion is covered in an interesting manner, a subject that while seldom covered is usually done so in an agenda driven manner that I find more or less trite. While I won't go as far as to claim that a film that features the birth of the disembodied head of a salary man is reinventing the wheel, but it is to say that the movie offers up a different perspective than that of say The Handmaid's Tale which most in all honesty would surmise as "conservative men are evil". If for no other reason than it was made without a western audience in mind. The Japanese stance on abortion is one that I honestly am very ignorant of and what little knowledge I have is reduced to the phenomena of the coin locker baby cases (an issue that seemingly arises even today several decades after vast measures were taken to prevent them from happening) which of course inspired the Ryu Murikami novel of the same name. At one point or another Japan, in legislature were the most progressive when it came to the reproductive rights of women, societal view however is always more complex. I think that's why I write about what I do more than anything, I don't need to have a message with my media but when it does have something to say and it's entertaining I'll be here to write about it. Unless it's something like Undeclared War and then I'm gonna write about how awesome Ringo Lam's use of squibs were and what a babe Olivia Hussey is. God that would have been so much easier for yours truly.
There is of course no easy way to summarize this film, beyond its difficult subject matter it is extremely hard for me to pin down what flavor of film this is beyond the obvious of horror. I often find the summaries of "well it contains elements of xyz......." to be extremely reductive even if I'm more than guilty of throwing them out here from time to time. Evil Dead Trap 2 strays from its original counter part in that it's a character study in the expectations of Japanese women,here I go sounding like an ignorant American again, but almost every female in this film is afflicted by some sort of stigmatization, our lead is considered to be undesirable, is suffering from the psychological effects of an abortion, the closest thing she has to a friend is an ex-idol/model turned tv reporter who is dealing with the issue of being trapped by her former reputation and stuck in an affair with a married man whose wife is suffering from intense delusions brought on by a miscarriage. This film will make you question what is real and what is a delusion brought on by the characters' shared psychosis, whereas the first is just an exercise in depravity from start to end with a story somewhere in between. That isn't to say it's above dipping into taboo, it's just to say its handling of such is in a manner that could be deemed as more adult, this isn't a one sided conversation, it's not trying to give you any answers, but what it does do is take those elements and paints quite the graphic picture with them..... literally. Thoughtful isn't exactly what you think of when you think of splatter features but this is certainly the rare exception for better or worse. Where you fall on that argument depends on your level of patients, if you're the type who hates on Ti West for being too slow but complains about the"media literacy"of everyone else in order to seem like you aren't a fellow college flunk out, well you probably will hate this film. If however you're willing to give this movie a try, I won't say you'll love it but the film will surprise you on multiple levels. Which of course is the whole purpose of this review. If you were to go off the first film you'd expect an in your face bombast of offense, Evil Dead Trap 2 expects at least a little bit of thought. I don't want to say this is an arthouse masterpiece but it is art and that alone can be too much for most to wrap their heads around. I don't claim to be an academic level of critic, quite frankly there are too many of them as is, but if I try to do anything on this site it's get you to watch more films. So many in the past have written me off as a horror guy and while it is true that's the majority of what I watch to be very honest I don't see the films I cover as horror films. Honestly. In fact, it might be pretentious of me to say but I thoroughly hate genre, not the convention of genre but the attitude it creates, the attitude that festers and leads to that dirty word we call expectation. If you were to box this film in you could easily call it a bad slasher film or a character study that devolves into such but I think that truly is a disservice to what this is. An Unknown. Not quite arthouse, not quite exploitation, it is that third thing that can only be describe as "IT". What is it? Well as the great American poet Mike Patton of Faith No More and about 30 other bands describes it, "It's it".
Exceptions create a world of disappointment, sometimes the best way to meet them is subvert them entirely. Evil Dead Trap 2 is not necessarily smart for doing so but it is a lesson in why the unexpected can be great. It's unexpected and while for some that can lead to disappointment in this case, I haven't stopped thinking about this film. I probably won't for sometime, films like this are worthy of writing about because they are the unexpected. Which is the beauty of V-Cinema in general it's a world where anything truly can and will happen and as a result occasionally provide films like this, films that while they wear their influences in plain sight are simply different. Evil Dead Trap 2: Hideki is available on a number of streaming platforms, I highly recommend you watch both it and its predecessor. It's It!