A growing zombie infection overtakes an isolated university campus. Hoping to stop the spread of the infection and end the zombie p lague, a secret government agency is sent in to find "Patient Zero," the orginal zombie fr... more »om which the infection started, and create an antidote. Once on campus, agency operatives Nightingale (SAW II's Emmaunelle Vaugier) and Ellis (Ed Quinn), find the entire uni versity has been completely overrun! Immersed in a giant zombie battle, Nightingale and Ellis discover some of heir fellow agents h ave their own plans for the zombie DNA.« less
Much better than the first film, but that's not saying much
A. Sandoc | San Pablo, California United States | 03/05/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the horror movies that deserves to have a sequel, Uwe Boll's House of the Dead would've been the last on the list to need one. But it seems that someone thought the first film made enough money that a sequel was greenlit to be produced and made. So, House of the Dead 2: Dead Aim got made and it pulled off that rarity amongst other sequels. It proved to be better than its predecessor.
This direct-to-cable sequel didn't have Uwe Boll at the director's chair and I believe that was one reason why this sequel was a much better (though this film stretches the limit of what constitute as a better film) than the first House of the Dead. Michael Hurst does the directing duties for this sequel and he seems to understand that what he's making could only be seen as low-budget fare. It helps that Hurst has experience directing movies based off godawful scripts. And the script for this sequel is just a tad bit better than the first film. Written by Mark A. Altman, House of the Dead 2 adheres much closer to the classic Romero zombie movies. In fact, it actually uses the secret zombie hunting group from the game franchise which helps it tie into the game much better than the first film without having to insert game footage like Boll did.
This time around the setting is a fictional Southern California university campus that's become zombie-central. The opening scenes detailing how this place of higher learning became feeding ground for the zombies is really told through flashy, music video editing-style scenes interspersed with the opening credits. From there we move on to a crack team of government special units led by a a pair of scientist-hunters to find the source of the outbreak and use it to find a cure to zombism. Emmanuelle Vaugier plays Alex, one of the leads, and to say that she cuts a different look for a scientist who moonlights as a zombie-killer would be an understatement. Ms. Vaugier looks stunning and she does so even while covered in blood and being manhandled by zombies wanting to eat her. I'd be on her too so I couldn't fault the zombies. The rest of the cast was pretty much made up of unknowns and/or veterans of the direct-to-video and cable movies. Victoria Pratt and Sid Haig being the two most noticeable in the group.
Really I couldn't complain much from the acting since there's barely a story to use to emote. Every quiet scene was pretty much set-up to get to another zombie attack and kill or to scenes that was suppose to be suspenseful and terrifying. It all boiled down to being funny and hilarious. Something I'm sure the filmmakers weren't aiming for but did well anyway. This was something this sequel had over the original. The cast seemed to be having fun with the crap they were cast in.
The special effects and gore for House of the Dead 2 was pretty good for a low-budget sequel. It actually had quite a few scenes of gore and zombie mayhem. Something that Day of the Dead 2: Contagium could've done better. There's some scenes where zombies were on a feeding frenzy that I was surprised even basic cable like Sci-Fi Channel actually allowed it. I'm sure the dvd would be a few seconds longer, or even minutes longer with gore and splatter scenes unedited. Even in these scenes this sequel surpasses what Boll did with the original. There's no kung-fu fighting from the zombies and there wasn't a bullet-time effect used anywhere. Also, I gave this film abit more points for keeping game footage in the game itself and not in the film. Uwe Boll truly was an idiot without the savant part when it came to coming up with cool ideas. Hell, Dead Aim even had a somewhat good ending with the mission not coming together as planned and news radio reports of things becoming abit crazy in the cities outside the campus.
In the end, House of the Dead 2: Dead Aim was a sequel that was only better than the original for the fact that the first film was just godawful bad. Dead Aim had nowhere else to go but up and they barely surpassed the bar set by Uwe Boll's first film. I have to admit that the creators and cast of this sequel seemed to have had a better tim from the look of the movie and for that I gave this movie two stars."
"A disappointing zombie thriller, House of the Dead 2 aims to deliver the sort of grim action, gore, and violence horror fans have come to expect from the videogame series that inspired the film. Maintaining a suspension of disbelief throughout this constant carnage proves difficult even for hardcore fans as House of the Dead 2 is a constantly self-contradicting film that diminishes or dispatches with the themes and threats that drive most successful representations of the genre. Whilst the plot follows a specialized squad of zombie hunters--it's implied that the United States military has become accustomed to such scenarios, and zombification is regarded as an almost regular threat--few if any members of the team seem trained, equipped, or qualified to handle their assignment. Indeed, few of these characters are believable and none of them are likable, even when the script endeavors to provide them with inventive motivations. Only Emanuelle Vaugier, the bold and beautiful heroine, stands out and shows talent. House of the Dead 2 cancels an expected sense of scope and suspense simply because the spreading contagion that reanimates corpses is depicted not as an apocalyptic threat to humanity's very survival but as a lesser disease destined to be contained and cured--although, again, these assertions are later contradicted. Of course, this doesn't keep character after character from falling victim to the sizable zombie horde, which looks great thanks to some better-than-average make-up effects. As the non-stop action is set on a contaminated college campus, the opportunity for the sort of social commentary traditional to zombie stories is here but sadly all-but ignored. Instead, the film's setting is used only to set-up opportunities for cheap titillation and crude punch lines. Ultimately, this is all that House of the Dead 2 truly concerns itself with: sick satiation and even sicker jokes.
--Brian A. Dixon Revelation Magazine"
RJD | Denver, CO | 07/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this movie. The first one was pretty good, but this one is great. Sure the plot line is simple, but you don't watch a movie like this for deep meaning. The zombies, gore effects, and action were all well done. This movie was a blast to watch."
Better Than the Original, But Still Below Average
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 12/14/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Many reviewers have already said that `House of the Dead 2' is better - or marginally better -- than the awful original. I agree, but at the same time I actually thought while watching this sequel that this could be MUCH better than Uwe Boll's first one. Well, that feeling soon disappeared, however, about 20 minutes after the film began. Yes, the second `HOTD' is not good, if not worse than the original.
But what's wrong with the new one (this time directed by Michael Hurst)? `House of the Dead 2' does not take itself seriously, and you know that when it starts with `American Pie'-like silly antics by college students. Or how about `The Professor' plated by Sig Haig!? And the film says he is responsible for the zombies prowling in the university campus!
The film shows several ideas, and one of them is `zombie virus.' Of course, that's what Danny Boyle was doing in '28 Days Later' and this film clearly knows it, but the filmmakers gave a twist to that. That is, special forces are sent to the place in order to get a sample of the blood of the first `patient,' by which the scientists may make a serum, or anti-zombie vaccine. The basic plot is promising, but the film forgets it as it unfolds.
One sad thing is that thre are some nice touches in this film, but they need more budget or imagination. Special make-ups and actors' performances (including those of zombies) are decent, but the film as a whole looks like a series of familiar set-pieces borrowed from other better films. After all we have seen these soldiers shooting zombies in the head before getting bitten one after another so many times before, and we need something more than one sadistic guy taking a photo with a female zombie. There are some good ideas such as `geek' zombie or `librarian' zombie, which are few and far between in this half-baked film.
Probably the most damaging thing is the weak direction that makes the film's each scene neither intense nor comic enough. There are gores, but not much enough. Even nudities didn't impress me because of the lukewarm efforts to make us care. Surely this is far better than the original, but that is not saying much. "
Roger Ebert | Saint Louis, MO USA | 05/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cinematic masterpiece. This movie embodies everything that is wonderful about Hollywood. Watching this movie opened my eyes to the world for the first time. If you haven't seen it, get ready to live."