Simply from the statement ‘not a sequel, not a remake, not a Japanese original’ (which is boldly displayed on the box) I could tell that that the creator of this movie (Adam Green) shares my cynicism of the current horror release trend, however, its one thing to be cynical but another to actually make a good movie.
"Old school American Horror" is what the film is stated to be, and with a plot which can be summed up as:
- A group of people who go on a slightly dubious horror cruise through a swamp and then get killed off one by one by a deformed hunch back -
Old school horror, in the vein of Friday the 13th, is pretty much what we get, and I’ve got to say it was so nice watching a film which was under no pretence and just gave me what I wanted to see, gore and the occasional laugh. Adam Green has basically taken the magic from the 80 and almost replicated it now! I believe that if ‘Hatchet’ had been made in the 80s it would have been hailed as a classic; it has all the ingredients in the right proportions. It’s not often that a film gets praised to de-evolving back through the genre!
That said we are not in the 80s anymore and so how does a film whose content is blatantly just a merger of all-done-before stuff hold up?
Basically, plot goes out the window pretty much from the start. The only reason the characters are there is to die, however whilst some are annoying others are quite funny so we get quite a nice balance to the group. Its simple, but it works. The killer in the movie is a deformed hunchback by the name of Victor Crowley. As with Jason Voorhees, Crowley is supposed to be dead yet he has a very physical presence; in fact the hunchback is played by Kane Hodder the same guy who played Jason! Crowley is incredibly strong, and incredibly blood thirsty and boy can he move (run, not dance!)
So then generic plot, relatively cool murdering bad guy... so far so good.
The film also delivers in the gore department. Whilst it’s of a more splatter nature than anything torturous there is tonnes of it, most of it on screen too. We see limbs pulled off, impalements, burning, disembowelling and one pretty sick scene of vomiting. There’s a shit load of blood and fake guts and whilst it’s so over the top it has to be fake the effects are pretty cool. In fact the gore is probably my favourite part of the film. There is rarely any time between the deaths too which means the pace is kept throughout the movie.
Overall, as has been stated what Hatchet is, is exactly what it claims to be, 80s slasher but in the 00s. I don’t think its going to revitalise a genre which ultimately has run its course but I’m sure the inevitable sequel will give people something to look forward to. I can’t see anybody who is a fan of Friday the 13th etc not liking this movie. It’s got a solid, amusing script, decent location and shit loads of blood and gore.