Tommy Wirkola returns to the world of the undead with his insane follow-up to his cult indie hit Dead Snow, which saw a bunch of kids get torn to pieces at the hands of a horde of Nazi zombies. While the 2009 film was praised for its practical effects and blood-soaked narrative, its sequel is much of the same, only bigger, better, and most of all, bloodier. Dead Snow 2 picks up directly where we left off as Martin wakes up in a hospital bed with a new arm, only it isn’t actually his arm. The arm once belonged to one of the Nazi zombies, and with it comes a uncontrollable power to kill shit. With the help of the Zombie Squad—led by Martin Starr—he’s out to get revenge on Colonel Herzog and his army of the dead.
It’s a wonderful thing to see Wirkola follow up the huge success of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters with a sequel to the film that really put his name on the map in Dead Snow. He no doubt had plenty of projects to choose from after making Hansel & Gretel, so to see him return to the story that helped pave the way for his career is pretty special. With the flesh-eating Nazi zombies still on the run and turning anyone who gets in their way into man sushi, Dead Snow 2 is the rare kind of sequel that surpasses its predecessor in every possible way.
While the first film was made on a shoestring budget and had a level of cheese that only a true B-movie can muster, Dead Snow 2 is pretty much the exact opposite as Wirkola has taken his sequel into a much bigger realm of special effects and set pieces that only elevate his Nazi zombie epic. Sometimes a bigger budget can actually work against a film like this because a lot of the reason why people fell in love with Dead Snow in the first place was its indie appeal. Wirkola, however, somehow made a B-movie with an A-movie budget. That’s something. And with a bigger budget comes a bigger story that Wirkola absolutely ran away with. The result is 100 minutes of hilarity soaked in blood. So much blood.
With a finger firmly planted on the pulse of the genre, Wirkola knows a thing or two about blending horror and comedy in ways that not a lot of filmmakers can pull off. The tone of the film is always light, yet relentlessly brutal as it constantly pushes the pace with excessive amounts of gore coupled with witty remarks from its characters. You’re going to laugh and you’re going to laugh a lot, it’s just that simple.
Going from the small setting of a snow-covered cabin in the mountains to the story of a sole survivor getting a super-powered zombie arm attached to his torso is bugshit crazy and glorious as hell. You can’t not enjoy this movie with a setup like that, especially once the heads start to explode. Wirkola has crafted a brilliantly entertaining slice of zombie genre gold with his unlikely sequel that far exceeds expectations. With one of the most horrifically diverting and hilarious finales the genre has ever seen, Dead Snow 2 is—to put it simply—a f*cking blast.