Hatchet (Screamfest ’06)

Release Date: TBA (tentative March 2007)

HatchetAhh Hatchet. You’re a tricky one. I’d heard much about it from it’s limited screenings thus far, so expectations were high. It had a promising tag line that really got to me. “It’s not a sequel, it’s not a remake, and it’s not based on a Japanese one. Old School American horror.” Plus, starring Kane Hodder (of Jason Vorhees fame), Joel Moore (Dodgeball) a bunch of hotties and favorites like Joel Murray (Dharma and Greg), Robert Englund, Tony Todd, and Richard Riele, we’re looking like a winner.

But did it deliver? Yeah. Not like OH HELL YEAH. But yeah. I liked it. It was a good throwback and I’m excited it’s getting rave reviews. I’ll buy the DVD. It’s not perfect, but it was good and it’s funny and well written, well directed and well acted. There are few parts that didn’t seem fully thought out, but overall it was sweet.

The story follows a group of people on a tour of a swamp in the Louisanna Bayou around Mardi Gras time. We see a lot of boobies. (Score!) Ben has just broken up with his long term girlfriend about a year ago. Yeah. He’s one of those guys. So his friend agrees to hang with him as they do the haunted swamp tour. He’s joined by some hotties filming a “Bayou Beavers” episode with the help of “director” Shapiro, a married couple, the boat driver, and a mysterious hottie looking for her dad and brother who are lost in the swamp.

Things quickly go downhill when the boat starts to sink in alligator infested waters and we learn the secret of the swamp. Victor Crowley – hatchet face. A young deformed boy accidentally killed by his own father during a fire. Some local boys were harassing Victor and throwing fireworks when the house went up. Daddy started hatching the door down but Victor was too close, his face was pressed against the door…

And now he’s out in the swamp killing teenagers, hoo-rah! Victor is the best part of this movie. He is our generations answer to Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, or Mike Myers. They are iconic. They are supernatural powerhouses. [Censor] Jigsaw from Saw or dead Japanese schoolkids and Ghostface from Scream. Victor Crowley is a supernatural powerhouse of a badhouse who means business and is here to crush skulls, cleave faces, and utterly demolish your chest cavity.

I loved every second of it and so did the audience. Cheers went up any time someone died and the deaths were ultra-sweet. One of what will be the more famous death scenes bothered me a little bit. I don’t want to ruin it or anything, but I just don’t get why a dirty, abandon run down shack must obviously have power outlets and a 120 foot extension cord. The aftermath is cool though.

In conclusion, if you’re a horror fan, especially a fan of 1980’s slashers, this is right up your alley. It’s a sweet deal with lots of blood and guts with some boobies tossed in on the side. Can’t go wrong with that, now can ya?

On the Up Side: A sweet throwback to 1980s slasher films that introduces us to Victor Crowley, bad ass.

On the Down Side: It’s pretty much perfect for what it is, although that isn’t saying its for everyone or Oscar consideration.

On the Side:
To be released in 2007 with a proposed sequel sometime in or after 2008. Also, in the cemetery scene, note the name “Green” on one of the prominent mausoleums – it’s for writer/director Adam Green.

Final Grade: A-