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"Are you sure the number is 911? "

Nov 4th, 2009

Who is Victor Crowley? I had seen the posters and T-Shirts and was somewhat curious as to what they meant. Online I found this was promotional material for a new horror film called Hatchet and kept up with as much news as I could. This is one of those times that I never had the chance to see the film on release and forgot about its existence. This Halloween I picked this up for a fiver at Asda's and was pleasantly surprised. The old school slasher had returned.

I have issues with films that tout their horror characters as icons before the first film has even had a release. Jeepers Creepers did this and while the creeper was a cool character the franchise seems to have died a death with only one sequel. Victor Crowley has been tipped to be the next Freddy or Jason (being played by Kane Hodder's a good start) but I reserve judgement before I get to witness this character for myself.

The movie's got a simple set up; a bunch of strangers go on a haunted tour of the Louisiana bayou. While in the swamp their boat sinks stranding them in Victor Crowley's backyard and he sure don't like no trespassers.

This is not meant to be taken seriously – its just balls to the wall fun. The characters spout the most ridiculous lines of dialogue ("your nipples are dumb") and everything has the same charm of 80's horror. The dialogue is actually funny without taking the piss out of the genre a la Scream. No characters reference the outlandish situation they find themselves in and no matter how stupid the characters may be they never become cartoony.

>The actors that round out the cast are familiar to genre fans but there no outright celebrities here (bar the icons, see later). Mercedes McNab is the standout here; her character is beyond the dumb blonde and teeters on retarded! Mercedes will be recognised from her appearances in Buffy and Angel as Harmony, so fans of those shows know the type of humour this film exhibits. Each of the characters here appear to have a secret but they are so appalling that you can't help but laugh (the writers clearly had fun with the nonsense here).

Violence is the key and we get plenty, rather than going for scary this is gross out. When the first death took place I was in shock (the opening scene is tame compared to this) I haven't seen such a disregard for the victims in a long while and the blood kept flowing. Up to this death I wasn't 100% sold on the praise this film was reaping, a smile covered my face for the remainder of the film, I was hooked. The kills are unique and vicious, one character takes a belt sander to the face, no cut aways, it's shown in full glory.

Victor is a unique villain and appears a combination of three horror greats. I won't ruin his back-story but his plight is sympathetic (Candyman), there appear to be supernatural elements (Freddy) and he's a lumbering mute (Jason). Funnily enough as with the earlier Wishmaster (not a bad flick, just not great) this has cameos from Robert Englund, Tony Todd and Kane Hodder (dual roles from him as Victor and his father) which really add to the enjoyment and credibility of Crowley as an icon.

The best thing about this film is that Crowley doesn't just pick them off one by one. The group stay together throughout the whole ordeal. Crowley is relentless attacking them together. This is a nice idea and every kill is witnessed by the troop, they even try to help each other, it's great.

Once Crowley appears everything moves at such a frantic pace that when it ended I was left wanting more. Be prepared, the ending is abrupt, it could act as a cliffhanger but the events that play out are a foregone conclusion.

This movie is fantastic I defy you not to have fun when watching it, perfect for Halloween – hunt this down, the holiday may be over but the spirit remains. Director and writer Adam Green has left years before filming a sequel so that ideas for a second are fresh, this time I'll be at the cinema as soon as it's released. Who is Victor Crowley? My hero.

Best Kill
Face rip

The vomit scenes were real, the director insisted (how cool is that?)
Hatchet was the last film made in Louisiana before Hurricane Katrina hit
Called Love Rodeo during production, why?

Director: Adam Green
Screenplay: Adam Green
Released: 2006
Rating: 18
Starring: Joel Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Joel Murray, Tony Todd, Robert Englund, Kane Hodder

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