Dorsey’s review published on Letterboxd:
Making a satisfying sequel over a decade after the last one is no easy task. For every Toy Story 3 or Mad Max: Fury Road there are ten Independence Day: Resurgences.
So how does Tobe Hooper, twelve years later, craft a follow-up to his masterpiece that would evoke the same feelings?
He doesn't. He doesn't even try. The first film came out at just the right time to capture the cultural zeitgeist of 1970s disillusionment. It was perfect in isolation, but it took it a step further by being in the right place at the right time. Truly lightning in a bottle. It couldn't be replicated, so the sequel had no choice but to veer off into an entirely different direction.
Turn down the gritty, grimy realism, and turn up the camp. Make the Sawyer family into businessmen, who literally chew people up and spit them out to achieve their ends. Out with the scream queen who survives purely by luck of the draw, and in with a final girl who fights back, with chainsaws, sexuality, and anything else at her disposal.
Instead of giving the fans what they wanted to see, Hooper made the film he wanted to make. By purposefully subverting expectations, Hooper ended up capturing the spirit of the 80s in exactly the way the first film did for the 70s. It's not a perfect film, but it wasn't ever going to be. That's kind of the point, isn't it?