10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A cast of unknowns, a swampy abandoned bayou, a ruined house, buckets of gore, and a deformed backwater psycho. Classic horror, in other words.
And you have to admit, "Hatchet" never pretends to be anything it's not -- a horror movie in the classic slasher vein, with lots of blood and dismemberment. Adam Green doesn't do anything we haven't seen before, but he does it with such gleeful enjoyment. And gloriously satirical dialogue ("Your nipples are dumb!").
A bunch of guys are at Mardi Gras, enjoying the beer, beads and breasts. Ben (Joel Moore) is depressed about a recent breakup, so he decides to drag his pal Marcus (Deon Richmond) on a haunted boat trip. Since the main guides no longer do night tours, Ben and Marcus end up on a tiny boat with two dumb tourists, two softcore porn actresses, their "producer," and a mystery girl with a gun.
But then the newbie guide accidentally runs them into a rock, and they run afoul of gaters. And then Marybeth (Tamara Feldman) reveals the horrifying truth -- she's there to find her brother and father, who vanished in this same swamp. Supposedly it's haunted by the ghost of Victor Crowley, a horribly deformed boy who was accidentally killed by his father during a fire.
Of course, nobody buys this until a grotesque creature comes jumping out of the old Crowley house and hacks up the tourists with a hatchet. Terrified, the people go running through the woods, with Victor hot in pursuit -- and their only hope of escape is to get back to New Orleans. But how can they escape someone who cannot be killed?
Again, this has all been done before -- think "Halloween" meets "Friday the 13th," with dashes of other horror classics thrown in there. But you know, that's good -- Green is just trying to make a funny, gory, entertaining horror movie without pretensions. And no, the black guy and the slut are not the first ones to die (just for your info).
The first half of the movie is basically buildup and murky bayou atmosphere. Then Victor starts dismembering people, and from then on it's all about people running around shrieking, and getting killed off one by one. That would be a bit boring after awhile, but Green keeps it interesting by throwing in a few twists -- and the last scene will make you hide under your bed.
Along the way, we have ripped-off heads, chainsaw murders, buckets of gore, and lots of gruesome deaths shown in bloody detail. But to keep things from ever getting too serious, there's some bleak comedy (including Marcus' gradual fall from a tree). Most of it comes from the feuding porn girls ("Are you sure the number is 911?"), but there are some priceless lines from other characters ("He fell into the water... hit his head... and... SUED ME FOR NEGLIGENCE! That C***SUCKER!").
All the actors do nice solid jobs in their roles -- Moore is a likable nice guy who inexplicably keeps his head in a crisis, and Richmond is fun as the guy who REALLY didn't want to go on this. Feldman really rules the story as the feisty, grim love interest, but all the actors are good -- and Mercedes McNab and Joleigh Fioreavanti are a riot.
As for the bad guy? Well, Kane Hodder (aka Jason Vorhees) makes a wonderfully grotesque slasher villain, looking like an orc with a hunchback. Given his backstory, you'd feel sorry for the guy if he weren't trying to carve everyone into lunch meat. And note to horror geeks -- keep an eye out for Tony Todd/Candyman, playing a very POed "Reverend Zombie."
"Hatchet" is all unpretentious gore and dismemberment -- and hilarious love note to classic slasher horror. Funny, crazy, and not terribly complex.
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2008
it says it right on the cover "oldschool american horror." if you go into this expecting an Oscar winner, you are obviously gonna be disappointed. this is a no frills, no holds barred slasher flick. on the other hand, the villain's appearance among other things really keep me from taking it very seriously. part homage, part spoof, Hatchet deffinitely gets the job done.
the killer is one Victor Crowley. born with various deformities all over his body, he grew up secluded in his home with his father. that is, until the day some local kids accidentally start a fire in the house. Victor's father accidentally killed him with a hatchet while trying to get through the door to save him. now he wanders those same woods and swamps looking to dish out some pain in return for his own.
starts off with a relatively traditional horror intro (you know what im talking about)
cut to a couple days later. the main character("villain" from Grandma's Boy! also in Accepted) of this movie is highly unhappy at Mardi Gras and looks into a haunted swamp tour for some alternative entertainment. most of the characters are fairly cliched. you got the paris hiltonish girls (eh), the hero, the token back dude, the sensitive guy, the completely helpless old couple, and the sleaze. traditionally, it doesnt take too long for the chaos to begin.
a fairly over-used formula at this point, but just like "The Tripper", "Hatchet" manages to be supremely entertaining with an extremely interesting kill or two thrown in for good measure. plenty of blood and guts to satisfy any horror fan, but probably not grisly enough for the most jaded of gore hounds. kills with nothing but bare hands, kills with the ominous hatchet, and a power tool may even just get thrown in there. the action does not disappoint. while i didnt find it genuinely scarey at any moment (they hardly ever are), you feel a little tension at times, it has very satisfying death sequences(victor can be so creative!) and some surprisingly good humor, its an extremely entertaining horror movie. recommended to fans of the genre, especially slasher fans. most others wont get it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing horror titles online when I came across this gem. If only I had seen it when it first came out! I'm an old-school horror fan, tired of the endless remakes that Hollywood keeps churning out, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself watching one of the most entertaining movies I've seen in years. 'Hatchet' is funny, bloody, gory, suspenseful and delightfully over the top. The movie doesn't waste any time getting started and once it does the film never slows down or gets boring. I found myself talking to the screen, telling the characters not to go in that house and not to split up, but of course they did anyway. Make sure you get the unrated version so you can see it the way Adam Green intended.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2012
A horror film that is for entertainment only! Fun and witty, Hatchet is just a great movie to watch with some friends when you're all in the mood for horror.
Movies are for entertainment right? So I'm not sure who would be rating this movie low. It stars Kane Hodder and has the "UNRATED" logo sported right on the box! So if you're renting this expecting some mind-bending, intellectual horror film with a complex plot and great character development. Then rent "The Silence of the Lambs". Otherwise, if your looking for a fun horror that you and your friends can laugh and drink some beers to, go for it!
It has all the classic horror movie attributes; boobs, blood and the bad guy!
So honestly, not sure who would rent this expecting a Shakespearian epic, but for someone who feels like putting on a movie that can provide some laughs, a few jumps and possibly some good quotes. Look no further. But if you are just a pretentious a$$ that is looking for million dollar writing and/or another horror movie to bitc# at. Well then you might want to pass...... Unless you feel like bitc#ing of course.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2011
HATCHET is the best Slasher film to come out in the last thirty years -- at least according to creator Adam Green. There is no mistaking his love and enthusiasm for the genre, but HATCHET fails to live up to its own hype. Deep within the swamps of the Louisiana bayou, a tour boat filled with passengers crashes near the home of the legendary Victor Crowley, a deformed boy that was killed years ago but who continues to haunt the swamplands. Unfortunately for this group of teens, Victor Crowley lives, and he has an ax to grind with anyone who crosses into his domain!
Green clearly understands the classic conventions of the Slasher film, and better yet, he understands what most Slasher fans want: a ton of gore and even more gratuitous nudity. The problem is that HATCHET only delivers on these two superficial levels, and fails to bring a unique story, interesting characters, or even a steady pace. It starts strong enough with two incredibly violent deaths, but the plot plods on with only mild hints at humor and no kills. Finally, when the teens approach Crowley's house in the woods, things pick up dramatically (at least in the gore department). One character is hacked in half before his wife has her head ripped apart from her jaw in a gush of blood! From there, limbs fly, faces are sanded off, and heads are crushed before Crowley can finally be stopped... Or so it seems...
If the gruesome displays had only been spread out more evenly throughout the film, HATCHET may have at least been a more entertaining watch, but it takes far too long to get into the action with too little payoff. Minor things like the horribly artificial lighting also distract from the events on screen, although Joel Moore and Deon Richmond do their best to keep the audience involved. Kane Hodder also returns with another menacing villain as Victor Crowley, but what Green fails to realize is that there is just no marketability in a big misshapen monster. Without a hockey mask or a red and green sweater to sell come Halloween, Crowley just becomes another faceless killer trailing behind Cropsey and Madman Marz.
Considering this was only his first film, most Horror fans will be willing to forgive many of the film's weaknesses based on Green's inexperience, but HATCHET is a guilty pleasure at best.
I Like Horror Movies
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
Terrible Instant Video quality, I noticed that a lot with Amazon Instants. Called customer service to complain but all they give is an excuse and blame your computer or the wind when it's them and their service.
As for the movie it's a cheesy horror flick that meant to be a cheesy horror flick. It has the action of a gory R rater film but the comedy and script of a PG13 movie. Some of the drawbacks to the movie are that it spends maybe the first 40-50 minutes creating the story and developing the characters and then the last 20-25 minutes is the killing spree. This is NOT a movie to be taken seriously So don't expect it to be serious.
The story of this film takes place in the swamps of Louisiana. Where a crazy deformed killer lurks looking to enact revenge on anyone he crosses. As a kid he was accidentally killed by his father who tried to save him from a group of boys that wanted to scare him. Now he has come back from the dead as a full grown man with a taste for vengeance Friday the 13th style. While carrying about his daily life of looking for people to kill he comes across a Swampland tour boat that gets stuck and that's where the movie starts (at least his part). The movie from there takes on a weird sort of Comedy/brutal horror movie type of theme. It's hard to describe because he comedic scenes are so corny the kill scenes are so over the top. It's not like Troma, or like Scream it's like Nickelodeon meets HBO late night cinema. If that sounded weird to you than you can guess how this movie was to watch. It will appeal to a certain kind of movie watcher. Who that is I don't really know. It's an amusing slash horror flick. Kane Hodder plays the crazed killer so that in my book makes the film worth watching.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2008
"Hatchet" is definitely one of the most talked-about horror movies of the past year or so, but not necessarily talked-about in a good way; this movie has recently become notorious for getting many mixed reactions. I myself even feel mixed about this movie. So the big question with "Hatchet" is this: WHY does this movie get so many mixed reactions?
The biggest reason in my opinion is this: "Hatchet", as funny and gory as it is, suffers from being UNEVEN.
I personally liked the movies because the first half was basically a comedy, and rather entertaining at that. The movie also has excellent gore, though the first three kills are a little hard for my eyes to watch. Anyway, I also think the characters of this movie are very true to life. I can really see myself and a friend of mine acting like Ben and Marcus, at least a little bit.
So the humor, gore and characters are all strong points of "Hatchet", so why do people dislike it? I, like many other people, feel like this:
Well, let me ask you this: Why did all the Friday the 13th and Halloween movies keep you entertained? They were consistent with the action, murders and plot! There would be a slower scene of people talking, then somebody goes off and gets killed. The pace picks up a bit, and the tension rises.
With "Hatchet", everything occurs slowly, and basically saves most of the horror for the end. Don't get me wrong, that can definintely work in movies, just look at the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". They basically saved the scariest stuff for the last half-hour.
But with "Hatchet", it's easy to get bored, frustrated or agitated at the movie because it's very inconsistent, and the characters are often getting angry or acting dumb...all right, never mind that last part, lots of characters make bad choices in slasher films, heh-heh.
So what's the final verdict on "Hatchet"?:
If you want a funny slasher-horror with lots of gore, RENT IT.
If you want a short, easily digestable movie and have nothing better to do with your time, RENT IT.
If you want a genius OR serious OR consistent horror movie, SKIP IT.
If you want an original movie that breaks new ground, or it at least rather imaginative, SKIP IT.
So "Hatchet" was good for a one-time view and I might search it again online and rewatch it sometime in the future. I can tell that they had lots of great ideas for this movie but unfortunately, all the good stuff as in funny scenes, gore shots and character development, was mixed with boring stuff, frustrating stuff, or just generally uninteresting scenes. Watch it if you like, but don't expect Victor Crowley to take Jason Voorhees's spotlight in the Slasher Hall of Fame! Thanks for the time, and peace.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This film clearly had great potential, but failed to live up to the hype. I rented HATCHET solely due to its highly aggressive marketing campaign, in which numerous reviewers gushed about how HATCHET was the best film they'd seen in years. Okay, I guess that means it won't suck, right? After watching it, though, I felt betrayed, resentful, and wanted my $4 back.
After 24 hours had passed, I deigned to view the special features . . . which, surprisingly, were better than the film itself, and allowed me to feel sympathy and compassion for the cast and crew, who really came across as likeable, talented, and professional. There's no way I can bring myself to berate such nice people even after viewing this sub-par film; so, after some reflection, my review is as follows:
HATCHET started out strong -- first, the brutal murders of the idiot fishermen; followed by a number of outstanding shots in the recreation of "Mardi Gras" filmed on location on Bourbon Street. Unfortunately, the film rapidly goes downhill from there. The screenplay was quite possibly the worst that I'd ever been subjected to, with plot holes, continuity errors, technical errors, credibility errors, ineptitude, and general suckitude -- the story made no sense whatsoever, and compelled fellow audience members to shout abusive comments and fling various food products at the screen . . . making this a TOP CHOICE for selection by the likes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. This screenplay DESERVES heaps of abusive criticism -- so long as said criticism is done in a humorous manner and contributes to further "enjoyment" of the film. Awful, awful writing.
That being said, the casting was brilliant, and the acting was quite good. Huge kudos to Kane Hodder for utilizing PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE techniques against the unfortunate cast to terrorize them FOR REAL so that their on-screen "fear" was not an act. He is an innovator as well as a creative genius, and you really must see the special features on this disc to appreciate this fact.
The "monster" costume Hodder wore was well made, allowing us to actually see the monster numerous times throughout the film. The f/x were very good, with the exception of the actual blood itself. The blood being sprayed around seemed far too thin, light, and watery . . . they really should've experimented with a variety of formulas as well as dispersion methods. While a few scenes were dead-on, others looked incredibly cheesey and fake.
I do acknowledge that this was apparently a "homage" as well as a "spoof" of classic 80's slasher flicks . . . but I did not realize this upon renting it. "Old School American Horror" is not the phrase I would've chosen to market what is clearly a spoof film, and I rightfully feel misled by that prominent tagline.
I always watch the credits at the end, and wish that some credit would've been given to at least a dozen of the more prominent "Mardi Gras" revelers, who did more than the average "extra" and in a few cases were given their own exclusive shot. It is a shame that these fine folks (many of whom were crew members or even producers) were uncredited, while the 3 kids with no lines standing around for 5 seconds with Halloween masks got their names in the credits.
Is Victor Crowley a zombie? How did he transform from malnourished fearful retard with a head injury to lumbering psychopathic powerlifter? Was it really Victor Crowley, or some sort of mutant space alien? And how can he still sprint, swing an axe, throw people around, and hold his breath while swimming underwater after having been shot in the chest with a .45 ACP slug, stabbed, chopped, burned, and impaled? Did victor Crowley have a secret stash of Quik Clot and methamphetamine? This was an INCREDIBLY STUPID MOVIE . . . but it did have its good points.
My advice would be to watch the special features FIRST, then view the film with the commentary track running. If you just start watching the movie cold, expecting the "Old School Slasher Film" it was relentlessly hyped as being, you are guaranteed to be disappointed. This was a fairly good spoof of said slasher films, though.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Aside from a bit of comic relief, Hatchet is a great return to old school horror. In fact, if this had come advertised as the next sequel to Friday the 13th, I would have bought off on its authenticity. Simply put, take this for what it is: mindless, traditional horror.
The premise is simple and all the low-grade horror rules are followed (e.g. cheesy comedy, full frontal nudity, stupid victim decisions). A bunch of random characters go where they shouldn't - this time on a swamp cruise near New Orleans - slightly outside of cellphone coverage, and they just wander upon the local horror story of Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder - Jason, Friday the 13th), a disfigured mutant madman who was born into reclusion and has a nasty hatchet wound to the face. Victor seems to miss his daddy quite a bit, and everyone who wonders upon his decrepit cabin in the remote swamp lands of Louisiana scares him enough that he has to break out his hatchet, shovel, or pitchfork to kill the interloper.
Gore galore, enough blood to start a wave pool, and extra prosthetic limbs for when bimbo tourists get theirs ripped off. To warn at least one of the people on the cruise, "Heads up!" You won't find much new age CGI garbage here. If anything, the kill scenes are the truest homage to traditional horror. The production values and music are satisfactory, but
Don't go into this expecting Citizen Kane, and you won't be too upset. It's kind of like taking a drink of soda when you expect water. There are no additives here; it's simply water. Enjoy the water...with just a little red food coloring.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you have a hankering for a healthy portion of gore, guts and grotesqueness sprinkled with a smattering of gratuitous frontal nudity, your quest is over. Hatchet is certain to satiate the appetite. The only purpose of this movie is to display the slicing and dicing of a gaggle of characters with an array of devices and it admirably succeeds in meeting the objective, however my attention span is not that short.
I prefer psychological horror and my leisure time is both limited and precious so this subset of the horror genre falls on the periphery of my interests yet for those who gravitate in that direction, it is not difficult to see how it could service as 90 minutes of fun.
What you have is a specious reason for a bunch of people to travel to a locale where they might serve as sacrificial lambs to the movie's malevolent force, the hideously deformed but tragically sympathetic Victor Crowley. In consideration of the hackneyed dialogue and distractingly over the top performances, I wanted all of the characters bludgeoned and the sooner the better. While it was clear certain scenes and exchanges were intended as humorous interludes, in the main I found them lacking. If it was intended as a parody of the most noticeable offerings of the category like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween and Friday the Thirteenth, I think it may have been an over-ambitious effort.
For me, the character of Marcus encapsulated my feelings when he railed against paying for the swamp tour he was about to take in the effort to support his buddy: "No, I'm just not paying for this bull...."