DEAD IN 3 DAYS 2
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Year of release: 2008
Country of origin: Austria
Running time: 113 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Also known as: In 3 Tagen Bist Du Tot 2
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: Picking up the story of Nina some time after the events of the first film this sequel begins with the body of Erika Haas being recovered from the water in a state of decomposition. Nina who has moved away from her hometown and is now living in the city is troubled and upset anew after reading about the discovery of Erika's body in the paper. With the news bringing all the trauma back to her she begins thinking of her friend and fellow survivor Mona with whom she hasn't spoken to since moving away. That night she has a dream in which Mona seems to be in desperate danger and is imploring Nina to help her. Further troubled by this Nina tries to call Mona but receives no answer. She travels back home to visit Mona's house only to find no sign of her and new people living in the building. The new occupants are able to pass on the name of the town where they believe Mona's father has moved to which turns out to be a small village up in the mountains. Worried that Mona is in some kind of danger Nina decides to travel to this rural mountain community to try and track her down. The search soon leads her into the path of a strange hillbilly type family who are hiding a dark secret.
Good points: Being once again directed by Andreas Prochaska and bringing back the Nina character in the lead role once again played by Sabrina Reiter this has the feel of a proper sequel. With Erika's body being discovered it straight away harkens back to the first film to build on the framework already in place. As well as Nina the policeman Kogler also returns as well as a cameo from Nina's mother (though with her I'm not 100% sure if it is the same actress). In any case the returning characters and the mention of both Erika and the kids killed last time out makes this one strong on continuity. I know I bang on a lot about continuity when I review a sequel but only because I feel it's important. The new story here also revolves around Nina's hunt for Mona so again this focus on finding the Mona character is something that ties it in with the original.
When reading user reviews over on the imdb I couldn't believe that quite a few of them were saying this didn't feel like a sequel at all and would have been better off being called something else. Don't believe a word of it! Granted the Dead in 3 Days title isn't really applicable anymore seeing that there aren't any text messages with a 3 day deadline but other than that pretty much everything else does tie in. I felt that every effort had been made to create a proper follow on story.
The scenery as with the first film is really stunning once again. This time with much of the action taking place in a mountain village there is snow everywhere as well which I liked. It has a similar feel to is scenery wise to things like Curtains, Satan's Blade, Shredder etc so if you like slashers set in the snow this could be one to check out.
The film does take a while to get going with the bodycount and probably could have done with a death in the first half but once the action truly kicks in during the last third I'd say it is more gory that the first film. There is a lot of bloodshed in particular in a scene that involves one of the sons (Josef) of the hillbilly family. The gore effects are rather decent as well and certainly solid enough.
One of my criticisms of the original was that Nina and her friends weren't very likeable but there is an improvement here this time around as I found myself caring for Nina much more. Kogler aside she doesn't have any supporting characters alongside her here so she takes center stage and becomes the stories driving force. As such she gets more screen time and comes across as more sympathetic. The first half of the film plays out a bit more like a drama than a slasher as well and though this is maybe a bad thing in some ways it does provide us the chance to get a bit closer to Nina and more attached to her than we otherwise would.
This had a rather bleak gritty depressing vibe to it which I liked. It added to the atmosphere I thought. Again as with the scenery this was something that the original delivered as well and it continues here. It seems a bit more moody and oppressive than your average slasher film.
Bad Points: It is lacking a focal point when it comes to a villain as this time it is a family of killers and there isn't one in particular that we focus on either as in say Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There are no masks or costumes either which is a disappointment so it really comes up short in this area. A point is made of Josef being the more out there one who is sexually abnormal so maybe with him at least they could have given him more of a unique look or mask and built things around him a bit more than they did.
Like I already mentioned it does take a long time for the action to get started in this so it is a real slow burn type film. It has more of a drama or thriller type feel to it early on which isn't a big problem as it never become boring but I think an extra death in this section would have livened things up. There is actually a deleted scene with Nina dreaming she is being confronted by the reanimated corpse of Erika Haas which was rather effective. I think they should have left that in and included it somewhere in the first half which would have gone someway to tackling the problem I mention of the pacing being a bit slow initially.
One very small thing that wasn't explained is some gore that Nina discovers on the floor whilst hiding under a bed. This doesn't belong to either of the two victims we know about during the film so they probably should have mentioned another victim of the family to explain where this came from. The implication I suppose is that it hints the family have been killing other people we aren't told about but I would have preferred to be able to put a name or face to the gore if that makes sense.
Mild spoiler here: The dream sequences can seem a bit confusing as it seems that Nina has developed some sort of physic link with Mona which obviously didn't exist in the previous film. When watching for the first time you could be left scratching your head as to how this came about. This is explained extremely well in the ending though so stick with it. In fact this isn't really a bad point at all as it makes for a more powerful conclusion but I wanted to mention it somewhere and wasn't sure where else to put it.
Verdict: I would say that I enjoyed this sequel a bit more than the original which is surprising seeing that the first one is a more straight forward traditional slasher. I liked the continuity, snowbound setting and the Nina character more this time around. The lack of a proper masked villain and to a lesser extent the slow burn first half went against it. Though I liked it and found it hard to pick out many specific things that I didn't like I didn't enjoy it enough to give it any more than a seven but that is still a very respectable solid score. If you liked the first film then check this one out for sure.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1) Josef: Tip of penis bitten off and then stabbed in the neck.
2) Hans: Shot with cattle gun.
3) Gust: Injured with cleaver and then burnt with hot liquid to the face.
4) Gabi: Killed in car crash.
5) Hillbilly mother (Girti ?): Struck/slashed repeatedly with a small hatchet type weapon.