The Hatchet franchise has been one that I have been a fan of from the very beginning, and this one holds true to it’s tradition of brutal violence, gore and campiness , throwing back nods and winks to the great slasher films of the glory days.
Hatchet III’s opening scene had me smiling from ear to ear – it was just so much fun to watch. Scream Queen, Danielle Harris, plays Marybeth, who is doing her best to survive (the ghost?) of Victor Crowley. Those opening moments are as bloody and gory as anything you are likely to have ever seen in any slasher film – no matter what era, and the metal music that plays leading up to the film’s main title screen, is hilariously enjoyable.
The plot is fairly straightforward and somewhat contrived, but perfectly acceptable for this type of movie. Marybeth, after her most recent bloody encounter with Crowley, enters a Police station to let everyone know she killed Victor Crowley. Of course no one believes her and she is detained and dismissed as a crazy person, and becomes a main suspect of the massacre that took place at Honey Island Swamp. Luckily for Marybeth (or unlucky?), a reporter who is obsessed with proving that Victor Crowley is more than just a local town legend, wants Marybeth to help her prove that the legend is real.
One of the highlights is a cameo appearance by Sid Haig, who may as well have been wearing the clown make-up of his Captain Spaulding character from Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects. His character’s screen time, while limited, was entertaining as hell.
The other neat role was played by Derek Mears, the hulking actor who played Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th (2009) remake. He and Crowley, played by none other than former Jason actor, Kane Hodder, square off in this, and it’s a nice “haha” moment for horror fans who followed the controversy of Hodder having not been cast in the Friday remake. I was disappointed that it wasn’t a better battle, but the end result was brutal and satisfyingly vicious nonetheless.
Many horror geeks – this guy writing this post included – are big fans of Danielle Harris, ever since her role as Jamie in Halloween 4 and 5. It’s great to see her still being so relevant in this genre, and in Hatchet III she does not disappoint. I’m glad Danielle seems to have fully embraced being typecast and wearing the current “Scream Queen” crown.
Hatchet III has the perfect balance, of gross-out gore, violence, and some comedic relief, although never to the point of being overdone. The conclusion was also not tied up in a neat little bow, and was as uncompromising as the rest of the film, which I find really refreshing and enjoyable to see. Will this be the end? I hope not.
I highly recommend Hatchet III – it’s an absolute blast.