This was swapped with Creepshow for tonight's viewing, as I thought it would make an interesting next day bedfellow to The Final Girls.
Both are a more modern day homage to "old school American horror", but whereas last night's was heavy on the comedy and light on the gore... Hatchet is heavy on both. We see someone get disemboweled in the opening scene!
|Well look who it is!|
Even though it's a comedy, Hatchet is darker both literally and figuratively than The Final Girls. Taking place in a New Orleans swamp largely at night, it's nastier, dirtier, wetter and more gory. We get guts and tits within the first 5min.
This ultimately became the first of three films set over a period of a few days, and this one introduces us to the legend of Victor Crowley: the Jason Voorhees character of this franchise. And just who is Victor chasing around the swamp?
The group is full of tropes (bimbo, heartbroken college dude, middle aged couple from the Midwest) but the dialogue is quick and witty enough that they don't irritate or appear too on the nose. Besides, the kills come thick and fast too, so there's no time to get bored. If there's one thing that drives me crazy in slasher films, it's too much talking!
What recommends this film and makes it stick in the mind more than anything else I think, are the creative kills. Director Adam Green and special effects artist John Carl Buechler went far with these, and with no CGI! So every snapping bone and tendon, and every spurt of blood was right there in front of the camera. These kills are bonkers, and I was reminded tonight that I giggle like an idiot when I see this stuff. Is that weird?
Hatchet is one of those rare films that you can tell is horror made by a horror fan. And an attack by belt sander, plus cameos from horror movie royalty make me a very happy one whilst watching this.
Fun fact: IMDb trivia tells me that there's actually only one death by hatchet in this film.