Saturday, October 11, 2014

MR Hatchet 1

Old school American Horror.

Meet Victor Crowley, the new best icon of horror!

Movie: Adam Green's Hatchet aka simply Hatchet
Directed by Adam Green
Release date 2006
Genre Slasher/horror film
Country USA

Written and directed by Adam Green. The debut film of this fun cult film director (who would go on to make the pretty fun underrated Frozen). It was produced and distributed by Anchor Bay, which has apparently decided to get every single slasher film under its banner, both old and new.

The basic pitch was imagined by Adam Green as a child. Basically it was a fun little story he came up with to scare his friends, being a big fan of 1980s slasher films like the Friday the 13th, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Evil Dead series.
And what is even more impressive is that he was even able to manage to get a great cast of fan-favorite faces no strangers to slasher films. Hatchet features the likes of Kane Hodder ("Jason Voorhees") as the eponymous Victor Crowley aka "Hatchet", Robert Englund ("Freddy Krueger") and also Tony Todd ("Candyman") as Reverend Zombie.

The film first premiered at the 2006 London FrightFest Film Festival and then Green went on touring Hatched at several horror festivals all over the world, where it managed to score a huge fan-following and was also nominated to several awards.

The film surprised with its fantastic cast and great special effects, mostly practical for the better part.

But also simply because it's a great fun film. Old school. A loving tribute from a long-time fan of the genre to other fans out there. Playing with the usual tropes of the genre while managing something pretty good and actually coming out quite original as well.

Our story begins in a swamp in New Orleans.

A man and his son get nearby to a place where a deadly monster is rumored to roam in the swamps... Turns out the legend was right.

It's the Mardi Gras celebration. We meet this group of friends there to have fun. There's this guy, Ben, who has just gotten out of this long-term relationship. Ben doesn't feel like celebrating much. His friend Marcus reluctantly decides to hang out with him. They split from the group to go on a haunted tour. But it turns out most tour places are closed. This strange guide, Rev. Zombie (Tony Todd) won't take them out there, but he suggests this new place down the street ran by this inexperienced guy. And it only gets from bad to worst from there...

They embark on an "adventure", along this sleazy obviously fake porn producer accompanied by these two young starlets about to end up doing porn no doubt ("for Bayou Beavers"), this elder couple of tourists, and finally this quiet girl named Marybeth ("It's like two first names, Mary and Beth...").

Long story short, the guide gets the boat stuck in the swamplands... And it just happens to be in front of the old abandoned house of Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder)...

The guide badly tries telling the tale of Victor Crowley. He gets the whole story all wrong, of course.

He admits being just a college kid trying to get some money during his holidays.

The find out Marybeth has a gun. She was looking for her missing father and brother. She's from there, so she knows the real story of Victor Crowley.

Victor was once just a little deformed boy his father loved very much despite his condition. It was the 1950s. The kids used to pick on him all the time. One time during Halloween, the kids decided to scare him, but they put his house on fire by accident... His father arrived to late on the scene. The man tried to free his scared little boy, but killed him by accident. As he was trying to destroy the door with a hatchet, he caught Victor right in the head. The father would die alone a few years later.

But the story goes from now on the spirit of Victor can still be found, haunting this swamp. Killing all the people coming near his home.

Of course our unkillable slasher starts murdering them one by one.

Marybeth wants her revenge, while Ben and Marcus only want to escape from this swamp. They're running around the swamp, but can't seem to get far enough from Crowley who knows the place and appears to be always one step in front of them. With no hope of ever getting out of there...

It sounds like nothing new, sure. A new supernatural unkillable unstoppable serial killer, killing people around in the Louisiana swamp this time.

The film plays with the familiarity of this overplayed genre, but that's why it's also super fun. It knowns the usual clichés and makes the best use of those to feel fresh and fun. In pure tradition of the 1980s slasher horror films of the past.

Hatchet plays a lot of those elements straight to subvert an have fun with the whole slasher premise. A monster born from a myth (for some reason). Roaming his territory and after everyone that comes near his place.

The film is not super long either. It quickly establishes the backstory of both our cast and our killer.

It also doesn't shy from the gore.

There's some pretty silly but fun dialogues. Lots of silly witty lines and well-placed one-liners.

A high body count.

In first couple minutes alone people start getting killed! It's brutal. Old school horror. Victor is also a pretty vicious and brutal slasher. The film is hectic. Bloody.

It ends on a fun but expected ending (inspired by non-other than the original Friday the 13th!), you could see it coming miles away!

Finally the music was composed by Andy Garfield. Pretty standard slasher stuff. The main theme comes from Marilyn Manson!

Overall, it's a fun over-the-top gory slasher film.

While there's some campy parts, well willingly, once past the final act it changes its tune completely to totally embrace the genre. It gets pretty fast-paced and entertaining. It's old school!

Hatchet is a fantastic loving tribute to the genre.

Highly Recommended to any self-respecting horror fan out there! A Must Watch!

Hatchet would be followed by a first sequel in 2008, with Adam Green back behind the camera. Now a more popular film and director, the sequel would be able to get even more popular faces of genre to get Hatchet II an all-star cast from horror films! It would also continue into a more questionable final episode, the last one so far, Hatchet III without Green on the helm.

I give it:
2.5 / 3 Necronomicons!

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