The unexpected but totally welcome sequel to Hobgoblins turns out to be a masterpiece of finely toned cheeseball comedy. Rick Sloane outdoes himself, as do all the cast members, in lovingly recreating and perfecting upon all of the details that made the original Hobgoblins what it was, with a plethora of improvements that truly do justice to its predecessor as well as its audience.
Hobgoblins 2 proudly flaunts its facade of a cheap horror flick to turn out to be a top-notch comedy, particularly for lovers of obscure low-budget movies. However, this sequel seems to transcend the genre of its degeneratively exploitative former to take on a veiled yet outright humor context. This time, the cheap puppet monsters seem downplayed in favor of further character analysis and an even more suburban exploration of the characters' daily lives. In this sense, the movie expands upon reinventing the characters from the first movie while remaining true to their motivations and foibles with impeccably fumbled writing and a harshly unrealistic-realism that lampoons young adult romance.
The settings are down to earth, albeit limited to a rather suburban setting. Jumping between the characters' homes and the caricature hospital is a bit constrictive, but do not seem out of place to the story. It is the extras that help give the most character to the environs, with their bizarre, almost Twin Peaks-esquire peculiarities that make their cornball routine fresh and lovable. If there's one thing this movie lacks, it's incompetence. Of special note is the attention paid to the characters' relationships: Nick and Daphne's oversexed and rabid romance, perfectly countered by Kevin and Amy's frigid and unfulfilling polar opposite relationship, with both refracted by Kyle's lonesome and misled desire for something perhaps more transcendental. And while we may question how these characters ended up hanging out together, there is little doubt that the actors exude perfect chemistry with one another, be the relationship of the characters friendship or courtship.
Even this self-aware spoof does maintain some flaws, however. For one thing, I find myself wishing for just a bit more "suspense" and more puppet wrestling, as the aftertaste of the movie feels like the entire film's a bit heavy on snarky talky scenes. As a fan, I also recall Kyle being somewhat quieter in the first movie, and sometimes I wonder if he wasn't a bit too unsympathetic this time around, but this speculation is perhaps a moot point. However, a major flaw is the fact that for the most part Hobgoblins 1 may be required viewing before its sequel in order to better grasp the self-referential humor or even the point of view from which the film is coming from. While this last point remains a more significant negative of the film, on the whole Hobgoblins 2 is not devoid of its plus qualities.
As previously mentioned, Hobgoblins 2 is both funny and loyal to the first film, exceeding the previous film for sheer quality by at least a fair margin, although the first Hobgoblins doubtlessly remains a classic from being featured on the immortal Mystery Science Theater 3000. The second film by far requires no such riffing commentary, and such treatment would only be awkward if not redundant, as Hobgoblins 2 is keenly aware of itself without breaking the fourth wall too much. Hobgoblins 2 also features an outstanding balance, that perfect pitch it needs to succeed, as it is fully capable of being unflinching without crossing the self-destructive line of shamefulness.
As a whole, Hobgoblins 2 is a Quixotic embrace with conceptualizing old standards to be fresh and exciting again. To create this level of fan service requires such attentive duty and caring for the genre that the entire cast and crew ought to be commended for their work, even in an era where people seem to know where you're coming from too quickly. Forgetting any tired cynicism, this film certainly feels like it was an enjoyable experience to make, which is important in any cinema. The essential factor in quality is that the subject be true to itself, and true to its audience.
I feel no qualms about using the following phrase as I feel it accurately pertains to this movie: Thank you, Hobgoblins 2, for teaching us to laugh about love, again.
Review by Zargablarg from United States from the Internet Movie Database.