Friday, February 25, 2011

Hatchet (2006)

HATCHET is the best Slasher film to come out in the last thirty years -- at least according to creator Adam Green. There is no mistaking his love and enthusiasm for the genre, but HATCHET fails to live up to its own hype. Deep within the swamps of the Louisiana bayou, a tour boat filled with passengers crashes near the home of the legendary Victor Crowley, a deformed boy that was killed years ago but who continues to haunt the swamplands. Unfortunately for this group of teens, Victor Crowley lives, and he has an ax to grind with anyone who crosses into his domain!

Green clearly understands the classic conventions of the Slasher film, and better yet, he understands what most Slasher fans want: a ton of gore and even more gratuitous nudity. The problem is that HATCHET only delivers on these two superficial levels, and fails to bring a unique story, interesting characters, or even a steady pace. It starts strong enough with two incredibly violent deaths, but the plot plods on with only mild hints at humor and no kills. Finally, when the teens approach Crowley's house in the woods, things pick up dramatically (at least in the gore department). One character is hacked in half before his wife has her head ripped apart from her jaw in a gush of blood! From there, limbs fly, faces are sanded off, and heads are crushed before Crowley can finally be stopped... Or so it seems...

If the gruesome displays had only been spread out more evenly throughout the film, HATCHET may have at least been a more entertaining watch, but it takes far too long to get into the action with too little payoff. Minor things like the horribly artificial lighting also distract from the events on screen, although Joel Moore and Deon Richmond do their best to keep the audience involved. Kane Hodder also returns with another menacing villain as Victor Crowley, but what Green fails to realize is that there is just no marketability in a big misshapen monster. Without a hockey mask or a red and green sweater to sell come Halloween, Crowley just becomes another faceless killer trailing behind Cropsey and Madman Marz.

Considering this was only his first film, most Horror fans will be willing to forgive many of the film's weaknesses based on Green's inexperience, but HATCHET is a guilty pleasure at best.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 8/10.

If you liked HATCHET, check out:
LAID TO REST, THE HAZING, THE CONVENT.

11 comments:

  1. Agreed. That and the Daniel in it needed to be murdered more horribly, or was he? It's been to long since I've seen this to remember.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's okay, not the amazing film some make it out to be. I would rewatch it, but I wouldn't go crazy over it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is witless garbage. An utterly moronic and juvenile waste of celluloid. In other words it should keep slasher fans very happy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I watch it when films like THE BAD SEED have forced me to think and I need time to turn my brain off lol.. We have found common ground on a Slasher film for once Shaun!

    ReplyDelete
  5. ...I have to add that the irony in the tagline 'Old school American Horror' must have made you laugh at least Shaun? =D

    ReplyDelete
  6. There's no doubting the filmmaker's enthusiasm, but I think 6/10 is generous. I was surprised how lackluster this film was and put off with the constant jokes; it's hard to make a movie scary, which is why gore is so popular, but when it all seems like a big joke, it just gets boring. If this is what slasher fans want, they should just get stoned and re-watch FRIDAY THE 13TH.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The 6 is a strong D rating, mainly for Joel's lead and Adam's strong effort to mimic the films he loves so much. In the end, HATCHET is just another 80's imitation unfortunately..

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was not impressed with the killer, but loved the characters in the movie. Unfortunatley nothing was at al scarry here, but nice effort
    5/10

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was more impressed with the shade of red in this than anything this movie brought to the table. The sets and gore were nice, I guess. I think Green, or Dark Sky paid people to proclaim this "oldschool horror". If not, whoever utilized that term for this movie seriously has no clue. Still, it's an "American Cinema Classic" compared to the even more puerile, infantile sequel.

    ReplyDelete
  10. But what about the key lighting? =D

    ReplyDelete
  11. Not sure I will rewatch this any time soon for the lighting. Even Christine disliked this one, and she likes just about any NEW horror garbage so long as it's NEW.

    ReplyDelete