Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hatchet (2006)

Hatchet (2006) Dir. by Adam Green

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.

I LOVE Hatchet, and I look forward to Adam Green doing many many great movies! It sucks that I haven't been able to get a hold of more of his stuff. I know that Hatchet and Spiral are two of my favorite movies in the last five years. While Spiral was a well though out psychological thriller, Hatchet is anything but that. Green shows his love for cheesy, over the top, bloody, gutsy, and breast filled slasher horror films of the 80's... by making one from 2006. I loved every minute of it. It had the jumps that got my heart pumping, and sustained it by showing enough action to rarely slow it down. He doesn't get drawn out and boring at any point in the film, and I was fine with giving up boring story points for a short action packed film. The blood was laughable, and the acting was mediocre, but at no point in the film did I feel like Green was trying to do anything more than that. He just wanted to make the fun horror slasher he wanted to make.

It is always great to see the under appreciated Joel David Moore, and best friend of the director, although I was a little annoyed by him in the beginning. He got much better as the movie went on. I love how Adam Green wanted as many people as possible to know that Kane Hodder was going to be playing Victor Crowley (the killer). It not only brought in many more people to see the film, but told people right from the start that it was going to be vicious. Hodder is the kind of guy that instills fear in people he walks by on the way to get groceries for the week. He has brought viewers so many great characters through his career. He is a veteran, and it only makes sense that he plays the new "big" horror legend, when he did his part to help us keep one of the best (Jason Vorhees) alive. The rest of the cast is filled up with lesser known people doing above par jobs for people of their experience. Tamara Feldman is definitely a pleasant surprise as the female lead, and I think she hits her character dead on. I was definitely upset to hear she refused to reprise her role in the sequel being released Aug 26th across seas. Deon Richmond (The Cosby Show) offers up some clever humor as the main source comedic relief, not to mention cameos from more horror legends Robert Englund and Tony Todd (who is frickin hilarious). Make sure you keep an eye out for the young Victor Crowley, who is played by Rileah Vanderbilt, and she would later marry Adam Green a few months ago. Congrats to both of them.

When it comes down to it, the special FX are what makes me fall in love with this film. In a time like today, CGI can always be a way to make stuff look OK, and make it for cheep, and much less of a mess. Hatchet doesn't fall prey to the easy way out. They keep it bloody and traditional by using buckets of blood, and old school special FX. I really hope more feels start to move back to this traditional, and respectable manner of making movies. It reminds me of times when I felt it required someone special to make it in the film business. It inspired me to work in film, and to want to aspire to be something more than just normal. I'm not trying to think into it that much, but nowadays anyone can make a crappy movie look a little bit better using CGI programs. I'm not trying to say that people who use alot of CGI aren't talented, I'm just saying they are less talented. :-)

I honestly look forward to seeing every single film Adam Green makes, and I expect only bigger things for him to come in the future. He has certainly made his mark among the horror community. I can tell you that.

Entertainment Value: 9/10 Double-sided Axes
Cinematic Value: 8/10 Double-sided Axes


J. Astro said...

I definitely agree that the kills were pretty satisfying in this, but the rest of the movie felt very artificial and clumsy and, for me, had none of the natural charm of the older genre greats it's emulating. That said, I was sorta disappointed with sites like AIN'T IT COOL for touting it as the next horror icon, etc. That is inaccurate, in my opinion, and also pretty much the kind of hype that a film, even a better one than HATCHET, wouldn't have been able to live up to in the first place. You can't call yourself an icon (or a "new cult classic", as so many films advertise themselves as)... that kind of status has to be bestowed by fans who make it so, not some boastful marketing tagline. If HATCHET had actually just come out on its own terms without all the bragging up front, I might have expected less and been more pleasantly surprised and ultimately harbored more good will towards it. But as it is, I was just like "...really? that's it??"

R.D. Penning said...

I did not have the same problem that you did. I didn't hear any hype before it came out, and maybe that's why I love it so much. I just know there are hundreds of slasher movies that come out every year, and none of them will even come close to the entertainment value of Hatchet, not to mention many slashers of the late 70's/80's.

Patrick Nottingham said...

Buckets of blood and old school fx? That's all I need. Adding it to my Netflix cue as we speak.

Anonymous said...

Great article!
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum

R.D. Penning said...

Thanks alot. I find that I write better when I thoroughly enjoy the movie.