Hatchet 3 (2013)
Review by Jude Felton
Maybe it’s just me, but I have never been completely sold on the whole Hatchet hoopla and hype. I do own both the first and second film, with the first one being enjoyable enough and the second one being very forgettable (read as crap), yet I did hold out hope that the third installment in the franchise would get me excited about these modern day slashers. Well, wouldn’t you just know it; I thought part 3 was a blast!
Before we get carried away though, yes I did enjoy it but it’s not without its many faults. For the third film horror brat Adam Green has stepped down as director, with BJ McDonnell stepping up to the plate and Green remaining as writer, producer and a very annoying cameo appearance. That being said, there is no denying Green’s passion for horror, and for that I do commend him; the dude is obviously old school and that rocks with me.
Hatchet 3 begins right where part 2 ends (the entire trilogy takes place over the course of just a few nights) and finds Marybeth walking, covered in blood, into the local police station. The cops, of course, assume she is responsible for the wholesale bloodbath they are about to discover, and make her number one suspect.
Well, we all know where this is going, and before long the cops, SWAT and medical services are knee-deep in the swamps and gore of the Louisiana wilderness, as they investigate the very large crime scene.
That would all be very boring if that was all that the movie was about, but fear ye not as the killer of the franchise, Victor Crowley, soon turns up to add to his body count, and what a delightfully bloody time it is.
The first thing I thought about Hatchet 3 is that it was all such good fun. Sure, it’s bloody daft, has ridiculous dialogue and is cheesy as well, but the spirit in which it was made worked wonders for me. The kills were fun, the Deputy Sheriff was a rock star and there were some really cool stars on display. Zach Galligan, as Sheriff Fowler was very cool and you can’t go wrong with Caroline Williams, who plays an investigative journalist, or indeed Kane Hodder as Victor.
However, Sid Haig’s appearance as a hillbilly racist was completely pointless and annoying, and Danielle Harris, who isn’t in it as much as you might think, does not turn in her best performance ever. Derek Mears rocks as the testosterone fuelled SWAT leader though.
The plot, and execution, of Hatchet 3 seemed a little stretched at times; Victor is firmly entrenched in the supernatural side of mass killers in this film, and how the hell does Marybeth make it through town to the police station covered in blood, without at least one person calling the cops before she gets there? I mean, if I saw a blood-soaked girl walking through town I might think that it was slightly odd. Wouldn’t you?
Hatchet 3 really is a case of watching it in the right frame of mind. For me it was far superior to the first two films, especially the second, even with its many flaws. It’s popcorn and junk food horror and really does get that cool slasher flick vibe going on. Yeah, characters say and do dumb things, some of the effects are a little dodgy and you really will need to suspend your disbelief. But, and it’s a big but (I cannot lie), it’s bloody good ride.
I really never thought I would enjoy Hatchet 3 as much as I did, but after seeing it I really hope there’s a fourth film; McDonnell, you are more than welcome to return to the director’s chair. Green, please don’t reappear in another cameo and focus on bringing us another new horror flick please.
This film will still definitely divide audiences; the Hatchet hardcore will love it and those that aren’t fans might not be swayed in its favor. But hey, it won me over, so who knows? Big dumb gory fun that hit the right spots for me. It just goes to show that a film can be far from perfect but still entertain.
Hatchet 3 is currently available on Premium VOD and limited theatrical.