Hatchet (2006) Review: Silly Slasher Fun
“Stay out of the swamp.”
Synopsis: When a group of tourists on a New Orleans haunted swamp tour find themselves stranded in the wilderness, their evening of fun and spooks turns into a horrific nightmare.
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Hatchet is a deliciously schlocky slasher. Unlike a lot of other modern slashers, it fully embraces the inherent silliness of the subgenre, and goes all out on the comedy front. Right away, we get dumb one-liners, gratuitous boobs, and stereotypical characters. But despite the campy attitude of the film, it’s still true to its horror origins – whether or not you find Victor Crowley scary, his reputation for leaving blood and gore in his wake is well-deserved.
Those who have been on Codex Mortis enough will recognize by now that a movie needs to hit at least one of three qualities for me to enjoy it: scary, artistic, or funny. (In fact, it’s safe to say that my general rule is “If you can’t be scary or artistic, you’d better be funny.”) And Hatchet’s deliberately campy tone mostly hits the funny requirement. No, the movie isn’t going to win any awards – but it’s honest about not trying to.
Another area in which Hatchet stands out is director/writer Adam Green‘s insistence on practical effects. Especially for supernatural horror movies, lack of CGI is few and far between in modern movies. But the emphasis on real makeup, real vomit (seriously), etc., pays off. Everything looks much more visually real than it otherwise would have. Crowley (Kane Hodder) does look deformed – but unfortunately, the overall effect is more funny than scary. Still, I appreciate the effort of it.
If you like your slashers with a touch of whimsy or you always wanted to see Mercedes McNab‘s boobs, give Hatchet a try. You’re unlikely to be scared, but fans of gore and nudity will have plenty to look forward to.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-
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