Cult slasher film series Hatchet first burst onto our screens in 2006 and immediately caught horror fans attention with it’s 80’s throwback feel.
Fun, scary, gory and hot girls flashing their boobs combined with a brand new villain to cheer on as he ripped people apart and killed them in inventive ways in Victor Crowley, the ghost of a disfigured boy who was killed after a bunch of local kids set him and his father’s house on fire years before and now haunts the swamp in the area he once lived. When a dodgy tourist boat trip arrives in the supposedly off-limits area it’s not long before chaos ensues and people get killed in the most brutal ways imaginable and Slasher fans had a new hero.
So, after the success of the first Hatchet, inevitable sequels followed and fortunately for all concerned they actually were as good, if not better than the first movie. Building on gore, tension, excitement and the fun/comedy factor whilst keeping that brutal feel you’d want from this type of horror, writer and director Adam Green seemed to have created a modern horror trilogy classic.
For a while it seemed that would be it and we’d seen the last of Victor Crowley but Green surprised everyone at a horror convention a couple of years back who thought they were there for an anniversary screening of the first Hatchet film and got a screening of a new Hatchet movie instead! And fortunately, like the other sequels, Hatchet 4: Victor Crowley (or just Victor Crowley) is as fun, gory, brutal and entertaining as the other entries in the series.
Considering how we saw his demise in the third movie (despite Crowley being a ghost, his killing at the hands of Danielle Harris’ Marybeth at the end seemed pretty, erm, conclusive) it did seem somewhat unlikely that he could return but hey, this is a movie and more importantly a horror movie so there are no rules, it’d just be interesting to see what Adam Green had come up with. And fortunately in the horror universe, the method used in Victor Crowley is a tried and tested, yet an always effective way of summoning/raising the seemingly deceased.
An undeniable highlight of the Hatchet series is the amount of famous horror faces that Adam Green manages to bring in for lead roles, as well as minor ones, for the films. Throughout the series we’ve had the pleasure of watching Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th parts 7-10) as Victor Crowley, as well as Victor Crowley’s dad. Tony Todd (Candyman) as Rev. Zombie, Danielle Harris (Halloween 4-5 and Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 & 2) as Marybeth, Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) as Marybeth’s dad, Sampson in the first movie. As well as roles for Tom Holland (Child’s Play, Fright Night), Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and well, a bunch of other recognisable faces, new and old, that will make horror fans grin with delight.
And true to form, Hatchet 4 is no different with the aforementioned Felissa Rose and Tiffany Shepis in decent roles here. This really shows that Adam Green is more than a talented horror director. He is also a fan and that’s part of what makes the Hatchet films so enjoyable; they are made with a genuine love of the genre.
Overall, although Hatchet 4 isn’t quite as good as the first 3, it still manages to be as brutal, gory and funny throughout. The combination of horror and comedy mostly hitting the spot and all the kills and gore definitely hitting the spot while still keeping the tension and excitement for the most part. Adam Green has done it again, Hatchet 4: Victor Crowley is pure entertainment.
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