Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hatchet III

Victor Crowley is back again, wreaking havoc in the swamps of Louisiana, and he's brought his belt sander with him. The Hatchet films are usually worth it if you're just looking to have a good time and watch gratuitous amounts of the red stuff fly across the screen. Adam Green's creation was heralded as the "return of American horror",  and Adam himself proclaimed that Victor was going to be the next horror icon. The end result fell a bit short of those lofty goals in my opinion, as I'm not crazy about the look of Victor, and while they're fun while they last, I feel like there are far better examples of American horror out there. For this third installment, Adam Green once again writes, but steps aside and lets BJ McDonnell take the helm in his directorial debut. The end result once again left me with mixed emotions.

Hatchet III picks up at the exact moment that Hatchet II ends (just as it did with Hatchet), which means all three basically play as one long movie. Still not as long, or nearly as boring, as The Hobbit though. Anyway, Victor does a Michael Myers (after just having his head blown completely off with a shotgun, he calmly sits straight up), and once again escapes into the swamp. Meanwhile, after narrowly escaping her encounter with Victor, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) walks back into town, shotgun in tow, and admits to having killed Victor Crowley. Of course the police immediately dismiss the existence of the local swamp legend, and a group descends in to the swamp in search of the truth. Cue wanton, bloody dismemberment.

The best way I can think of to describe Hatchet III is "Hatchet-lite". This is the Diet Coke of Hatchets. Meaning there is absolutely no depth here whatsoever, it simply is what it is. There was opportunity for one particular plot theme to be further explored I thought, but the movie simply doesn't bother with it. Don't want to spoil it, but there's a big missed opportunity in my opinion with the manner in which Victor was dispatched this time. That's not to say that the two previous entries in this series were deep by any means, mind you. This third film follows the formula to the letter, it's a cookie cutter sequel, and if not for the kills I probably would've dismissed it altogether. Speaking of which, even the kills aren't all that great this time. There's plenty of them, but they're not particularly spectacular or rememberable.

The best part of the film is the cast, hands down. Adam Green has that Rob Zombie filmmaking trait of getting actors we grew up watching in horror films to be in his new horror films. This time around we get not only Hatchet staples Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder, but Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Caroline Williams (Stretch from TCM2!!!), as well as a few other notable faces. Derek Mears (Friday the 13th remake's Jason) has a role, and I believe this ends up being the first time two actors to play Jason in Friday the 13th films are on screen together. They all perform well enough, Galligan is a bit over the top at times, but he was Billy in Gremlins, so I'll forgive him.

When all is said and done, sure, it's nice to have another Hatchet movie to watch, and things are wrapped up all nice on this trilogy if it ends up being the last one. I would be ok with that I guess, but I'd be lying if I told you I wouldn't be up for another trip into the Honey Island Swamp one of these days, hopefully with someone other than Adam Green involved. I feel like there's potential that just hasn't quite been met yet, and for fuck's sake, will somebody get Crowley a mask of some sort?

1 comment:

Eric King said...

I honestly might wait for this one to hit Netflix Instant. I am a fan of the first 2, and getting to see the second in theaters was awesome, it's just hard for me to be excited for this one. Dunno why.