Hatchet Review

9 out of 10 Skulls
Written by: Goon   

I have probably been following this movie a little too closely since its announcement at the SDCC a couple years back. With a cast that includes Tony Todd, Robert Englund and Kane Hodder you really can't go wrong.. or can you? Well over last weekend at a special screening at the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear I got to find out if all the hype was worth it. I have to say that viewing this movie in a theater jam packed with a crowd full of like minded horror fans is almost a must. This movie is another film like Snakes on a Plane where you need that crowd to cheer, laugh and just generally have a blast with.

The film begins in Louisianna during Mardi Gras with tons of gratutious nudity. Always a plus in my book. The opening also includes a cameo from Robert Englund and Tony Todd whom I wish would have had a much larger role in the film. Director Adam Green even has a small role in the film as well. But I think he probably should have stayed in the directors chair. He wasn't incredibily awful but he certainly didn't impress in front of the camera. Anyway, a couple of guys going down for spring break decide to take a haunted swamp ride. This is where we meet the core group of people we will be following for the rest of the film.

As they travel out onto the swamp it quickly becomes apparent that there guide played by Parry Shen has no idea what he is doing. There boat ends up sinking in the middle of the swamp and this is when they learn that they are in Victor Crowley's territory. With no help coming anytime soon it looks like the only way out is to take the path behind the old Crowley home where he is rumored to be still living after his father accidentally hit him in the face with a hatchet. This is when the action gets going and the kills begin to get really good.

Of all of the characters in the film Deon Richmond really sells this movie. He is hilliarious in this role and steals every scene he is in. Mercedes McNab and Joleigh Fioreavanti both play the stuck up, dumb, feuding cheerleader types perfectly. Not to mention they show a fair bit of skin throughout the film. I was also very surprised to see Richard Riehle play his typical over weight and ridiculous character. It was like seeing his character from Office Space get run down by a blood thirsty serial killer. Fantastic.

Now something I almost feel obligated to warn people is that this is not your old school slasher film. If you have been looking for that in this film you won't get it. All of that marketing is really not true. The comedy in this film is really coming at you at all angles which is something you would never intentionally see in a Friday the 13th or Halloween. However the film is very good so it will not disappoint. I was just very surprised at what I saw because going in I expected this very straight forward slasher film and suddenly I'm hearing jokes left and right. The good news is however is that the comedy is on point.

The FX by John Carl Beuchler are simply amazing. Its definetly the old school looking stuff that you haven't seen in quite some time. No cheap CGI its all in camera and the red is really flowing in this film. I can also tell you that everything I saw is in the theatrical cut so rest assured you will see all of the gruesome goodness and sexy skin that I did. I can't even think of a recent film that really pulled off the great FX that they did here in the same slasher fashion.

Even though the film isn't a true "Old School" slasher film it is the beginning of a hopefully a new flood of slashers that will take a hint from Hatchet on how to make an effective one. With talks of a sequel already in the works this is going to be a great franchise for horror fans to cling onto. If this film is playing anywhere near you I highly suggest you check out this bad boy. You will not regret it. 

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