Image courtesy of impawards.com
Joel Moore Ben
Tamara Feldman Marybeth
Deon Richmond Marcus
Joel Murray Shapiro
Joleigh Fioreavanti Jenna
Mercedes McNab Misty
Parry Shen Shawn
Richard Riehle Mr. Permatteo
Patrika Darbo Mrs. Permatteo
Kane Hodder Victor Crowley/Mr. Crowley
Running Time: 82 Minutes
The horror genre has truly gone down the proverbial toilet in the past decade with only a few films even worth mentioning. All creativity and imaginativeness has just gone out of the minds of the writers and directors spawning remake after remake. As if that isn’t bad enough; the remakes make enough cash to mean another film is on the way and it’s simply a remake of the original sequel. Remakes usually suck. Sequels usually suck. Add that together and it is a lot of suck. Hell, there hasn’t even been a true horror icon since Ghostface from Scream. Throw him in the mix and the icon pool is still very low with the eighties spawning almost all of the masters. Until now.
A group of friends have headed down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and are looking to get in all the lewd activity they possibly can. That is except for Ben who just can’t get over the recent break-up with longtime girlfriend Christine. Every girl he sees reminds him of her and he can’t take it anymore so he decides to go off alone and find something else to do. His close friend Marcus can’t let his boy go off alone though and tags along.
Ben heard something about a “haunted swamp tour” from some friends and thinks it would be a good thing to get his mind on other things then his break-up. Things seem a tad sketchy with the whole situation, but Marcus and Ben end up on the tour anyway. They end up with a rather ragtag bunch too consisting of a porn “director,” two girls looking to make it big in his tapes, an older couple just looking for excitement, and a rather quiet girl who just keeps to herself. The tour guide isn’t too much of a winner either as his fake southern accent is almost too noticeable.
Upon arriving at the “haunted” swamp; the group doesn’t heed the warnings to stay out and simply surge on. Along the way their guide teaches them the story of Victor Crowley. Victor was born hideously deformed and was kept out of sight in the swamp where he lived with his father. One night some cruel kids ended up starting a fire at the Crowley cabin and trapping young Victor inside. Mr. Crowley grabbed a hatchet to make his way inside but a tragic accident caused him to hit Victor in the face killing him instantly.
Ten years went by and Mr. Crowley became a hermit in his home until he died of a broken heart. Victor is said to still haunt the swamp and watch over it as if it is his own. He still has the hatchet mark across his face and every now and then you can hear him calling for his daddy. It’s a tale that not many in the group believe in, but they soon realize has a lot more truth to it then what just the tour guide has told them. They also learn a lot about each other and come to the conclusion that trusting each other may help them survive the night.
Hatchet simply blew me away and took me back in time at least twenty-five years. Mind you I’m only twenty-eight years old, but I’ve been watching horror films since I was five years old and have seen some that go back as far as sixty years or more. It took the qualities that made eighties slashers so iconic and added a modern touch to them in order to produce a great horror-comedy flick. Tons of blood to make any gore-hound happy and some well-timed (and very funny) jokes thrown in to counterbalance everything make for a wonderful horror film.
In a short 82 minutes, Hatchet does everything that most horror films lasting as long as two hours in length never do, and it does them right. Along with what I’ve already listed; it gives some token nudity, makes us care about the characters, and produces a new villain that will certainly be around for a long time. It also incorporates some legends in the form of Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Tony Todd (Candyman), and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees) and puts them all together in one film for fanboys and girls to get all excited about.
Last but not least is our hero/villain Victor Crowley is an excellent new face of horror that is given a deep backstory letting us know exactly how he came to be. I say villain for obvious reasons, but I say hero because he seems to be a savior to horror fans such as myself. He’s scary. He’s mean. He’s Leatherface meets Michael Myers and let loose at Camp Crystal Lake.
FINAL RATING (ON A SCALE OF 1-5 BUCKETS):