MOVIE REVIEW: Hatchet III

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Movie: Hatchet III
Director: BJ McDonnell
Writer: Adam Green
Studio: Dark Sky Films, ArieScope Pictures

Victor Crowley is back, and this time the action is more brutal and bloody than ever.

The American slasher flick is a very unique genre of film. No one expects them to have any sort of plot, just good action and buckets of blood. It seems like every few years these movies come out in waves, and while there has not been a good one in theaters in recent memory that does not mean great slashers are not getting made. As the old saying goes, You just need to know where to look.

With the underground success of the first two Hatchet films it is no surprise that Hatchet III is arriving in theaters (and on VOD) this weekend. Sure, we all thought Victor Crowley was dead, but there was a time in the original when you thought that was the case as well. Without giving away Green’s creativity, this time around they explain Crowley’s constant survival and (of course) it is your standard horror explanation: A lot of nonsense that only works because you do not care. Once this is established Danielle Harris’ character is able to sit in jail (having gone to the police following the events of the second film) while a slew of ultimately unnecessary characters are slaughtered to establish that Crowley has in fact returned. A SWAT team is sent into the swamp to investigate the massacre, the leader of whom is portrayed by Derek Mears, another giant actor who previously played Jason Voorhees. Things quickly get out of hand because, well, Victor Crowley.

I mentioned Derek Mears, but he is not the only horror veteran to make an appearance here. We have Kane Hodder (the other former Vorhees) reprising his role as Crowley for the third time, as well as Sid Haig making a cameo as a relative of Crowley. Scream queen Caroline Williams plays a major role as a reporter investigating Crowley, and those paying close attention may even spot a familiar faces from the previous films. They all play their roles, some convincingly (some less so), but no one distracts from the film. Plus, it is a slasher, and you’re not exactly here for the acting.

To call this movie gory would be a bit of an undersell. There’s also no need to worry that the Hatchet team have run out of original ideas for amazing and hilarious kills because Hatchet III absolutely delivers. If you are even a little squeamish you are not going to be able to make it through the first ten minutes of this film, let alone watch the whole thing. Fans of gore will be cheering and laughing in delight at the creative and ruthless ways these people are torn to shreds (sometimes literally) on screen.

Not everything is perfect in Hatchet III. The plot and dialogue are pretty weak, and some of the characters get fairly annoying. Really, though, this makes it that much sweeter when they get killed off anyways. One positive thing I will add, however, is that the camera work and direction are very well done. There are shots that you would expect from a much more mainstream film. Those worried that rookie director BJ McDonnell would not be able to fill Adam Green’s shoes will be pleasantly surprised by how well he did.

Those looking for a great slasher flick in a sea of dumb ghost movies need not search any further than Hatchet III. This movie takes a classic genre and ups the violence to 11, creating an entertaining and fun experience that is unmatched in horror. Make sure you check this one out as soon as you can.

Score: B

Review written by: Justin Proper

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