ChromeSkull (Nick Principe), who barely escaped death, is hell-bent on continuing where he left off... and forging a new path of terror and destruction.
Robert Hall wrote and directed this picture, just like the first part. And Hall proves he knows what he is doing in the big chair -- while primarily known as a makeup artist, he skillfully controls this story and makes it a very powerful franchise for the 21st century. And he has not left the makeup behind, either -- CG is used very sparingly, with more than enough practical effects and gore to satisfy any horror fan.
The cast is also a bit stronger this time, with horror icon Danielle Harris making a sizable cameo and the well-known Brian Austin Green in a starring role. His character calls to mind certain aspects of "Saw", which I think is unfortunate, but also overcomes those comparisons. ChromeSkull is not Jigsaw -- he cares not for redemption or to test humanity.
There is an expanded mythology in this film centering around "the organization", which I found to be a bit complicated and hard to follow. Maybe I need to view the first film again, view this film again or listen to the commentary. I feel there is a lot of potential here for exploring the organization, and also potential for sequels (though hopefully they do not proceed without having a solid story to tell).
This sequel is more mature than the original, but relies on the same strengths -- fast-paced action, terror and gore. If that is the type of horror film you like, this is a must-see for you. I do not wish to say it is anti-cerebral, but this is not a thinking film... it is blood first, story second... and not in a bad way.