A group on a haunted swamp tour stumble into the lair of
a local legend and find out that some ghost stories are real.
Written and Directed by Adam Green
Starring Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore, Deon Richmond,
Tamara Feldman, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Joel Murray, Patrika Darbo, Richard Riehle
Michael, Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface are considered titans of the slasher subgenre and their exploits have become sacred to horror fans. After 2006, another name has been added to that list: Victor Crowley. This film is a love letter to the slasher genre that spawned a franchise with its fourth entry released in 2018. Hatchet came at a time when Hollywood was in full on remake mode and if it wasn’t a remake or from Japan, it wasn’t going to get made. Is Hatchet original? Not really, it does follow some of the tropes but does so with a love of the genre that will tug at the tendons of any horror fan. There are parts revenge flick, buddy comedy, and sex comedy thrown in to a blender and splattered recklessly against the bayou foliage.
The cast includes Joel David Moore (who worked with Adam Green to co-direct Spiral under Green’s ArieScope productions) as Ben and Deon Richmond as Marcus, two buddies on vacation to New Orleans for Mardi Gras who should’ve stayed on Bourbon Street. Tamara Feldman plays Marybeth, a local who has a history with Victor Crowley. What really makes this film a treat for fans is Kane Hodder as Victory Crowley, Tony Todd as Reverend Zombie, Robert Englund as a poacher, and the late John Carl Buechler (who created the special effects) cameos as local piss drinking alligator hunter, Jack Cracker.
For the most part, the cast is dismembered moments after their boat crashes near Victor’s home and in really brutal and creative ways. You may find yourself asking, “Why is he using that?” the simple answer is: “Why not?” Don’t expect this to follow closely to the logic of the world you and I inhabit, that world was left behind when that boat departed the dock. You are stepping into his swamp and he’s not going to welcome you with sweet, Southern hospitality. More like Southern brutality.
If you’re looking for a movie to watch with a group of friends that will have you rooting for the killer, I highly recommend Hatchet. This does not reinvent the wheel when it comes to the slasher formula but it is made from the heart of a fan of the genre. Someone who grew up with those forefathers of gore and decided to create his own boogeyman. This is also a good entry into the world of ArieScope and the films of Adam Green.