Back in 2006, Adam Green began what would become one of the most consistently good horror series out there. The quality of each doesn’t diminish, and this is in no small part due to Green writing them all himself (directing most). He returned again for Victor Crowley, the 4th entry, available tomorrow to watch in your house. It was a lot of fun watching them again. Here are my thoughts
The first time I watched this, I picked it out at random back when I still got Netflix delivered. It turned out to be one of the funniest, goriest films that I had ever seen. Hatchet is infinitely watchable and somehow never gets stale.
The story is that a deformed kid was born long ago, died in a fire, now is back to kill everyone. In this one, a group of people take a haunted boat tour, sink, and find themselves in Crowley’s domain, but the story doesn’t really matter. By the end, most everyone will be dead. All but one.
The gore effects in this movie and the whole series are top-notch. Each is way over the top but totally gross. Crowley kills his victims in such fucked up ways. In fact, I don’t think any other horror villain can stand up to his crazy bloodlust. The movie often uses the gore and humor in tandem, making the film never feel like too much. The balance is perfect.
The acting is good enough when it needs to be, and terrible in all the places that it is supposed to be. I actually can’t really come up with any flaws in this one. It’s just pure fun and I recommend it to anyone that hasn’t yet hopped on the Hatchet train.
Hatchet II (2010)
It took 4 years for the next movie to come out, yet it picks up at the exact moment that the first one left off. Though, the main character, Marybeth, has changed actresses. Danielle Harris (the current screamiest scream queen) takes over and does a decent job. I am a fan of hers, but I think this may be the weakest performance I have seen from her. She gets better in part 3. She just seems kind of stiff and out of it. I know that was probably a choice for the character, I just don’t think it fits well. Her accent is a little fishy too.
Marybeth gets Tony Todd and a bunch of locals to go back out to Crowley’s place. It takes some convincing, but once they get there, they immediately start dying off. The movie ends with Marybeth once again the only person alive.
My one other complaint about this film is that there isn’t as much humor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s there, but the balance isn’t as perfect as the first movie. The gore effects are still amazing and kicked up a notch. Sometimes it’s funny to watch Crowley kill someone because unlike every other slasher, you can watch him think creatively about how he is going to murder.
In the end, this sequel wasn’t as satisfying to me, but only because it was stacked against the first one. Still a wonderful movie, and an excellent middle to the trilogy.
Hatchet III (2013)
Keeping with the simple naming scheme, Hatchet III found it’s funny again. Adam Green steps back from directing on this one, but he did write it. Some of my favorite moments in the series are in this one, including my absolute favorite – when Crowley throws the severed head at Marybeth. Classic.
Even though we have a different director, BJ McDonnell, the feeling stays pretty much the same. Jokes and gore and very little more. Perfection. The gore is kicked up another notch to the point of being rather sadistic. There is also more slapstick using the tendrils and blood sacks of Crowley’s victims. Every time he rips a body part off and I hear that snapping sound I loose the ability to copulate for a couple days.
The end is a bit confusing. The ashes end up actually killing Victor Crowley by melting him. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t know why they would have done that. However, Marybeth blowing the skeleton up with a grenade launcher was fabulous.
Wrapping this up, there is really no reason to not watch the Hatchet series unless you are squeamish about gore – and hey, that’s fine ya pansy. I think most any horror fan will love these movies, most of whom have probably already seen the series. Now, with Victor Crowley, the story continues, and I for one hope it isn’t the end as long as the quality keeps up. Click on the images below to go straight to Amazon for your own copies.
Overall Series score: This is not an average, it is my assessment of how enjoyable the series is as a whole.