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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.47%
Worth A Look38.24%
Average: 2.94%
Pretty Bad: 17.65%
Total Crap: 14.71%

2 reviews, 22 user ratings

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by Scott Weinberg

"Take a trip back in time -- through the magic of a well-made slasher flick."
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2006 FANTASTIC FEST: A few months ago I saw a monster movie called "Abominable," which is an affectionately tongue-in-cheek throwback flick that reminded me of stuff like "Grizzly" and "Prophecy." And then I stumbled across "Hatchet," which would make for a perfect double feature with "Abominable," because it feels like an old-school slasher flick that's been hidden on a dusty shelf for the past twenty years. And yes, I mean that as a compliment.

The directors of Abominable and Hatchet are just about my age, which tells me that my generation of horror geeks is poised to hit the indie circuit with a vengeance. Hatchet wears its genre love right there on its gore-soaked sleeve, and that's why I had such a good time with the flick. It's funny without being a parody, it's unapologetically gory, and it's packed with actors who are obviously having a real good time with the material.

The plot couldn't be simpler: A chintzy tour of a New Orleans swampland turns into sheer terror as a group of goofballs find themselves haunted and hunted by the legendary lunatic known as Victor Crowley. That's pretty much it, plot-wise.

But anyone who was raised on series like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street should find a good deal to enjoy in Hatchet: The kills are frequent, ferocious, and freakishly gory; the actors are surprisingly strong across the board; the tone is a masterful balance between creepy and kooky; and the flick hits all the right notes before ending precisely when it ought to. (Nothing's worse than a slasher flick that wears out its welcome.) Plus, old-school horror fans will have a ball picking through the various in-jokes and genre references.

Writer/director Adam Green is clearly a student of the slasher sub-genre, and his sophomore effort (after the little-seen Coffee and Donuts) indicates a young filmmaker who has both studied and admired the early-'80s hack-fests. The festival audience with which I enjoyed Hatchet were whooping it up with the creatively nasty kills, chuckling along at the geeky gags, and basically cheering for all the obnoxious characters to get theirs but good. It was a communal piece of movie-watching, and it reminded me of an opening night crowd for Halloween 4 or Friday the 13th Part 6.

Lead actor Joel Moore, probably best known as Owen in that hilarious Dodgeball flick, anchors the flick effortlessly. Eventual victims Deon Richmond (the best buddy), Tamara Feldman (the good girl with a secret), and Parry Shen (the inexperienced tour guide) keep the movie interesting between all the dispatches -- and the background of Hatchet is pretty much packed to the gills with horror geek heroes: Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, and John Carl Buechler. Hell, the director even gives himself an early cameo -- and is funny!

And yes, there is pointless female nudity.

If the original slasher flicks stayed as strong as "Hatchet" so definitely is, I suspect that sub-genre would have stayed afloat. And if the slasher flick manages to make a post-millennium comeback, Adam Green is one of the guys we can thank for it. I've been told a sequel is already in the planning stages....

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originally posted: 10/01/06 22:44:03
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2006 Fantastic Fest series, click here.
Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Fantasia Film Festiva For more in the 2007 Fantasia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell a fun gorefest 4 stars
5/03/14 Charles Tatum Whoopty-shit, another unrated gory horror comedy. How different and new... 1 stars
9/11/11 Captain00Kirk Movie is a little slow, but Crowley is great! 3 stars
9/30/10 mr.mike It was "no bad" for gore-os.I will see the sequel.. 4 stars
1/07/08 jack hoffman A true crapfest...not funny, not scary, not worth bargain bin pricing... 1 stars
1/04/08 David Pollastrini good gore! 5 stars
12/20/07 WILDCAT You people praising this film are all retards, seriously this movie was utter garbage. 1 stars
10/08/07 Littlepurch One of the funniest scariest and goriest slashers ever! if this is your thing, ul love it! 5 stars
9/27/07 Carmbler A waste of time and money. A retarded mess. 1 stars
9/23/07 Bill Gosse Everyone is smoking crack. This film stinks. NOT FUNNY, NOT SCARY 1 stars
9/18/07 Kevw well done and fun. 4 stars
9/17/07 jdub good movie. any movie with actors from "Grandma's Boy", in it is bound to be good. 4 stars
9/10/07 AJ Muller Fantastic old school horror. Gory and hilarious and just what you'd want it to be. 5 stars
9/09/07 F. MERA Did not expect to like it ,went along with friends .It is actually better than my expectat, 4 stars
9/09/07 John McC This movie is what it set out to be, entertaining! Reviewer Brian Orndorf is way off! 5 stars
10/02/06 T. Shane Thank you for making this movie! Best slasher ever!! 5 stars
10/02/06 RobD Really well done. "Hatchet" and "Simon Says" give up that the "slasher film" still has life 4 stars
5/06/06 Lizzie Movie was really fun. Good Slasher 5 stars
5/05/06 Scott D. What a great movie. The kills were as original and gruesome as they were funny! 5 stars
5/04/06 Katy Todd It is a fuuny well done horror film. Kane and Parry both did a good job 4 stars
5/01/06 celina kwok a surprisingly funny horro film 5 stars
4/29/06 frank mentzer one of the best horror films i have seen in a while. 5 stars
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  07-Sep-2007 (R)
  DVD: 18-Dec-2007

  N/A (18)


Directed by
  Adam Green

Written by
  Adam Green

  Joel David Moore
  Tamara Feldman
  Deon Richmond
  Kane Hodder
  Parry Shen
  Mercedes McNab

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