Hatchet is a good old-fashioned slasher film that features an unstoppable killer like Jason from the Friday the 13th franchise or Michael Myers from Halloween. The murderer in question is one Victor Crowley, a disfigured boy of a man who had a rough childhood due to his deformities, one that supposedly saw him dead at the hands of his father in a tragic accident. Years later, people who would enter his area of the swamp around New Orleans would tend not to return, thus the premise for this movie.
While Hatchet is a lot of fun featuring some exceedingly gory kills from a man that can safely place himself among other horror icons of the genre, the film does end up being a little formulaic, not really offering anything new other than its monster. That is not necessarily a bad thing as going into this, one knows exactly what they are going to get and yet on the other hand, if you have seen one slasher, you have essentially seen them all. The film is stacked with the usual stock characters like the beautiful young women that have no qualms about showing a little skin, the pervy guy who gets what is coming to him and the final girl as played by Tamara Feldman who somehow manages to survive the creature of a man that hunts them all down until that last minute where Green leaves is on a cliff-hanger. Crowley takes all sorts of punishment over the course of the film, whether it is impalement or fire or worse and yet like all good movie monsters, he just keeps coming back. Clichés or not, that does not stop writer-director Adam Green from delivering a film that takes all the best of those tropes and stitching them together into eighty-three minutes of pure horror, horror that was a little campy at times perhaps, but horror nonetheless.
The best thing about it all is that Hatchet pulls no punches. It knows what it is and it revels in it. There are moments when it is a little over-the-top, but even then, one cannot help but enjoy each and every minute of this bloody trip through the Louisiana swamp and factoring in cameos by Tony Todd, Robert Englund and more, it makes it even better. As far as films in this genre go, Hatchet is one of the best and Victor Crowley a definite legend.
4 out of 5