Taking place in the immediate aftermath of the original, "Hayride 2" continues after a brief recap as survivors from the Alabama-set slasher recover from shell shock in a dilapidated hospital while the imposing and apparently indestructible serial killer pulls a Hannibal Lecter and wakes up in the back of an ambulance. Pitchfork (Bennett Wayne Dean Sr.) soon arrives at the hospital and terrorizes everyone all over again.
Fans of the original won't likely be disappointed as the sequel offers more of the same. The cat-and-mouse in the hospital is very much an extended rehash of the haunted-house chase in the first film. Outdated and under repair, the hospital makes one creepy setting.
There are tangible improvements in the techniques of writer-director Terron R. Parsons. But some of the nagging plot holes remain unresolved: Is there a reason Pitchfork insists on imprisoning Amanda (Sherri Eakin) instead of offing her right on the spot as with others?
Even though "Hayride 2" hasn't demystified its deranged killer, say, the way "Wolf Creek 2" did, the suspense is lacking this time because the prey are no longer oblivious. What made the original effective was that most characters had dismissed Pitchfork as folklore and assumed their eventual murderer to be someone dressed up for Halloween.
MPAA rating: R for bloody horror violence throughout and language.
Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.
Playing: At Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood. Also on VOD.