Dave White
Hatchet Review

Dave's Rating:

4.0

… vintage '80s cliché.

Who's in It: Kane Hodder, Joel Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Joleigh Fioreavanti, Patrika Darbo, Richard Riehle, Robert Englund

The Basics: It's about this hatchet, see, and it's kind of a love story, the sort of love story where the hatchet loves to dive into everyone's face, torso and limbs. It's set at a sad little Mardi Gras, and a recently-dumped-by-his-girlfriend college guy ditches his drunk pals to go on a "haunted swamp tour," one where the entire group runs into an undead maniac. If Eli Roth had directed it, he'd say it was a commentary on post-Katrina despair. And who knows, director Adam Green might say that's what it is himself.

What's the Deal? No new ground is broken here. The plot, the characters, the killer — all of it is vintage '80s cliché. But what's really great is that the movie knows that about itself and doesn't sweat it too much, preferring instead to focus on REALLY GORY MURDERS that don't skimp on the splatter or full-on shots of people having their bodies torn in half. And that's why you'll want to see it.

Stunt Casting: After Englund, of course (Freddy from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies), who "leaves" the film fairly early, the big star here is Kane Hodder, a name you may not know that you know, but he was Jason from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood through Jason X. Here, he's mutant hatchet-wielder Victor Crowley, a name that sounds like some old Peter Cushing character in a Hammer movie and not a monster man who looks like an even more steroidal Sloth from The Goonies, but so be it.

Best Line of Dialogue After "You're All Gonna Die!" and "We're All Gonna Die!" When McNab (you know, from Buffy and Angel) says, "Your nipples are dumb." It's a context thing, but really, you know you can't wait until you get a chance to lay that one on somebody in real life now.

Two Complaints:
1. After the pre-credits killings, it drags for a good 30 minutes before the serious mayhem begins.
2. Just once, could a horror movie let the shallow slut be the heroine?

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