Horror is a genre that is constantly growing and changing. We have had paranormal films, mysteries, thrillers, and more. The ’80s were the time of the slashers. Icons like Freddy and Jason were born and Michael Myers had a lot more sequels in him. These days we have elevated horror. More artistic horror films that have an underlying message. There is nothing wrong with this at all but it does feel like the iconic slasher villain has been forgotten. The “Hatchet” movies in my opinion not only pay homage to 80’s slashers but also give us one of the best slashers of all time.
What It’s All About and Why It Works
A couple of friends take a swamp tour with a few tourists during Mardi Gras. Soon, they discover they are all in danger because a monster is lurking and he will destroy anything that he comes across.
The movie works so well because it truly is a love letter to 80’s slashers. There are fun characters to be picked off one by one, amazing gory kills with amazing practical effects, and an iconic killer that shows no mercy. It also has great cameos from Robert Englund and Tony Todd. You can tell that director Adam Green has a love for the genre because there is care in just about every shot. The script for this movie is well written and super hilarious as we get good dialogue and character development between just about everyone.
Victor Crowley is our main antagonist. He is an 8 feet tall deformed monster of a man that can literally rip you in half with his bare hands. He also has an intriguing backstory. Victor Crowley was born with tumors all over his body and his father decided to keep him hidden as a secret. Kids would hear about the deformed boy who grew up to be a deformed man and they would do whatever they could to try to get a glimpse of him. One day some curious kids threw firecrackers at the Crowley home to try to get a view of Victor.
This accidentally lit the home on fire. Victor’s dad arrived home and took a hatchet to the door trying to help his son escape. Unfortunately, Victor had his head against the door and when his father finally got through, the hatchet struck Victor and he died. Victor’s dad never received justice for his son and turned into a recluse until he eventually died from a broken heart, The legend is Victor returns every night to haunt the swamp that he lived in and if you listen close you can hear him crying for his daddy.
The great Kane Hodder portrays Victor Crowley and is just fantastic in the role. While I did say the script is hilarious, Victor is always played seriously. He is truly a scary force of nature. Kane is famously known for playing Jason Voorhees in 4 of the Friday the 13th films. Kane Hodder was replaced when Freddy Vs. Jason came out and it definitely seemed to impact him. With this Hatchet franchise, Kane Hodder has a new iconic character that he can truly make his very own.
Sequels and Cameos
Hatchet has 3 sequels and they are also really good. Victor Crowley throughout the franchise just keeps getting better and better. The kills are so beyond creative and overtop. Part 2 has one of my favorite kills of all time. The comedy remains strong throughout as well.
Scream Queen Danielle Harris becomes the leader of the franchise after part 1 and she is just a badass force to be reckoned with. Along with her are tons of more horror cameos such as Lloyd Kaufman, Felissa Rose, Derek Mears, Sid Haig, Zach Galligan, Tiffany Shepis, Tyler Mane, and many more. Even Q from Impractical Jokers is in one of these movies.
With each sequel we get, we also learn more about the history of Victor Crowley and what it would take to actually end his reign of terror.
The first film ends on an abrupt note but what is great is the sequel starts off exactly where the first left off. This makes it great for a marathon which I try to do every year.
The Hatchet franchise has become one of my favorites. The comedy is fresh. The kills are top notch and almost every actor in the movies is horror royalty. Victor Crowley is one of the most intimidating, interesting killers that there is. Director Adam Green has really created something special here for horror lovers that just needs to be seen. Hatchet is a lot of things, but it is mostly a labor of love from a fan who you can tell loves and respects the genre. There are apparently plans to make more sequels and I will definitely be waiting because I cannot wait to see what comes next.
You can check out some awesome Hatchet merch along with other cool things that Adam Green has done here at Ariescope Pictures.
You can check out all the Hatchet films now for free on Tubi.