Friday, March 13, 2009

Movie Review: Hatchet (2006)

HATCHET - 2006 Slasher Film from Adam Green

Written & Directed by Adam Green

Joel Moore...Ben
Deon Richmond...Marcus
Tamara Feldman...Marybeth
Mercedes McNab...Misty
Parry Shen...Shawn
Joleigh Fioreavanti...Jenna

"It's not a remake. It's not a sequel. And it's not based on a Japanese one."

Thank Christ for that.

Two college students, an older couple, two amateur porn actresses, their director, and a local girl strike out into the New Orleans night for a Haunted Swamp Tour, lead by an Asian-American with a fake N'awlins accent. Turns out the local girl's family went missing in this part of the swamp a few days back, and she thinks they have fallen prey to Victor Crowley. Paying 30 bucks for a ticket to the tour was just a whole lot cheaper than buying herself a boat.

The legend goes that Victor Crowley was born horribly deformed, and was mocked and taunted by all of the locals. One fateful Halloween night, while his father was away, a number of kids tried to lure him out of the house, but the prank went bad. The house caught on fire just as Victor's father returned home, and as he attempted to break the door down with an axe to save his son, he accidentally killed him. The father lived on as a recluse for another ten years, before finally dying from a broken heart. And now, all this time later, Victor has returned. And he is pissed.

When the tour boat sinks, everyone on board is forced to shore, where they make easy targets. As their personalities clash, their numbers quickly diminish. As for the survivors...if the 'gators don't get them, Victor Crowley will.

Hatchet is a horror-comedy, which have become all the rage since the popularity of Shaun of the Dead, although very few, if any, have successfully replicated that film's formula. Unfortunately for this movie, most of the comedy aspects here fall flat, with a few exceptions--most notably a low-key, but pretty damned funny joke that uses Paula Cole's irritating song "I Don't Want To Wait" as a punchline. Luckily for us, though, the horror elements here are pretty strong, and most of the death scenes are badass.

Three horror icons appear in this film: Robert Englund, Tony Todd, and Kane Hodder--also known as Freddy Krueger, Candyman, and Jason Voorhees, respectively. However, Robert Englund's role is done for before the opening credits even begin to roll; he literally doesn't stick around long enough to see his own name onscreen. Tony Todd doesn't fare much better, in a very minor role as the comic relief huckster Reverend Zombie. Kane Hodder, though, does what he does best, silently stalking and slashing behind a disguise as the full-grown Victor Crowley.

Overall, a strong and solid entry to the backwoods-mutant-killer genre that could have benefited from taking itself only a little more seriously. Well worth a watch. See it soon, as Hatchet 2 is expected to drop sometime this year, and although I went in thinking this was just another slasher flick, I have to admit...I'm actually quite looking forward to it.

84 Minutes
United States

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch and review the latest installment of Bayou Beavers.

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