HATCHET III – The Hughes Verdict

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After finally killing the demented Victor Crowley and putting the ghost to rest, heroine Marybeth tells her story to the local police who refuse to believe  and arrest her for suspicion of murder.  Its only when the officers arrive at the scene of the swamp that they start to realise the horror they are in.  It seems that Victor is far from dead and for poor Marybeth, it means one last fight to the death…………




 The Hughes Verdict


And so we come to part III…….

Anyone who actually thought Victor Crowley actually did die at the end of the second film are probably those who have never seen a Friday 13th film.   Victor who is this generation’s Jason, looked like he finally found hell, but if that masked fiend from Camp Crystal Lake can rise from his watery grave many times over, then surely so can the man who lives in the woods.  But after the diabolical Hatchet II, do we really need another trip to the swamp?

Make no mistake, being the slasher guy here at HCF, I loved every second of the original Hatchet!  It was old school slash that had an horror icon in the lead role and brought back so much wonderful memories of when the horror genre was awash with the simple pleasure of a nutjob just killing horny teens!   With an old Jason, (take a bow Kane Hodder) in a new disguise, Adam Green delivered a film that looked old but somehow fresh and it arrived with huge critical acclaim from everyone who saw it!

All the ingredients were there for Hatchet II to be even better.  Green was back in the director’s chair, HCF’s favourite scream queen and the most beautiful Danielle Harris took over the lead role, the second film was supposed to be bigger and better but what we got was a bad cheap looking horror that many fans including me…..hated with vengeance.  While Hatchet brought a sense of why Slasher was so popular in the 80’s, Hatchet II quickly reminded us why the genre became laughed at and eventually died.

Even I must admit and say we really did not need a third film!  The first sequel left such a bitter aftertaste that even I could not get excited by seeing this movie, especially as Green himself now no longer wanting to direct, and putting first timer BJ McDonnell behind the camera.

Signs were not good but thankfully to the joys of my horror heart and for many who just want to know is Hatchet III an improvement then all I can say is……. oh yes!   Its really good……not just really good……..but really……really…..really good!

Just like the last film, part III picks up where we last were, Marybeth (Harris) having killed Crowley, marches into a police station covered in blood and is soon arrested by non other than Billy himself……yes I am talking about Zach Galligan…..last seen all those years ago in Gremlins 2.   Now he is not actually playing Billy, I mean, he hasn’t grown up and be a cop, but having only ever seen him in two films, it was hard for me personally not to imagine him playing any other character.  I was really hoping that half way through this film, Gizmo would turn up and kick the shit out of Crowley, but hopefully they are saving that for any planned fourth film!

Back to the story and not believing her story one bit, Billy and his gang of police friends go to the swamp to actually see what happened and on arrival they just find body after body after body after body after… ….( Edit…. BAT “ok Hughes we get the point!)……

For Marybeth who believed to have happily ended the whole sorry mess and saved many more from the hands of the demented freak, her joy is short lived when a local writer named Amanda (Caroline Williams) explains a little story that makes it impossible for good old Vic to be dead.  Sure enough Crowley is back on screen again, killing everyone who stands in his way and Marybeth goes back once again (for a third time I might add) to have one last confrontation with her nemesis and this time there can only be one winner…… but they have said that before.

Not scary at all, Hatchet III is a film you will only adore if you love a good slasher film.  Unlike the last film, there is a huge lot of fun to be had and it helps that McDonnell has delivered a film that is brisk and fast as once the end credits roll, you can not help but think “is that it!”, all in a good way of course.  While part II took an age to get going, here we are straight into the mix and with deaths piling up at an alarming rate, for the gorehounds out there, you be delighted at the carnage the axe brings to the screen.

A Solid cast helps things with Harris again showing why she is such a much loved Scream Queen and it was very nice to see Texas Chainsaw’s Williams back in the genre.  Also for the horror geek within you, we also have a showdown between two Jason’s, yes Hodder faces up to 2009’s counterpart Derek Mears where, like in the Friday  films…..there is only one winner!

The biggest relief on show though is that Hatchet III does redeem itself from the horror of the last chapter.  Its not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and I can imagine many reviews slating the film, but for this horror fan, it was one of the most enjoyable horror movies I have seen this year and being the slash geek I am!  I may have spotted how a fourth could be served up and after this, there is room for one more last trip to the deathly swamp of Victor Crowley…………….

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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About Ross Hughes 551 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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