This sequel to the hugely successful 'Ripper: Letter from Hell' has to be the most refreshing horror sequel I have seen in ages, despite being hugely influenced by other horror series.
Picking up where it left off, the sequel wisely uses flashbacks sparingly, and goes an entirely different route whilst still managing to retain the various aspects which made the first film so much fun.
This time around, Erin Karpluk plays Molly Keller and surprisingly looks a little bit like A.J. Cook from a distance. Molly signs up for a highly experimental operation to have her twisted thoughts and dark secrets removed from her fragile mind. The surgery goes wrong, and Molly and the other subjects find themselves hunted by a killer.
The film was very refreshing as I had no idea what was going on, and it threw some big surprises my way. It cleverly reuses some scenes from the first film as well as some of the music, but puts a twist on it in order to convey how messed up Molly's mind is.
The cast are all newcomers and they are likeable enough, although we never get to know them as well as we did the students in the first film, and therefore the kill scenes weren't as powerful. Another aspect which was a little bit of a bad choice was the quick edits during the chase scenes, as it made it a little bit silly in a 'Benny Hill' meets 'Saw' kind of way.
In terms of aesthetics, Prague proves a beautiful setting, but anyone who has seen 'The Pool' will already know that, and the effects were well handled even though the majority of them were not required, much like the amount of nudity in the film which was not essential to the story.
The film held my interest throughout and was certainly intriguing, but despite an unexpected twist at the end, the sequel is just as open to speculation and confusion as the original.
Ripper 2 is a confusing film, as it is refreshing despite using elements of the first film and in particular the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series. It is however presented in a very different way, and that makes it better than most straight to video horror films. Fans of the first film should hopefully find new aspects to enjoy about the series, as it is a little more complicated than the first.