OK fellow Bidites I ask you to bear with me as I offer my first ever attempt at a movie review. A few months ago I made a promise to myself that I would broaden my horror repertoire, moving beyond my love of and never ending fascination with the Halloween franchise. I am more willing to sit down and watch a movie that has spawned a sequel or two as obviously there’s more to offer in terms of storyline, the viewer is not constrained to the story of just one movie and can quench their need for more by simply popping on the sequel (or 9) that follow. Hatchet III is currently making horror headlines, the 3rd film obviously in a series that until only a few days ago I wasn’t even aware existed. So last night I went back to the beginning, not that far to go considering there are only two films and watched Adam Green’s 2006 horror/comedy Hatchet.
From the opening scene which starred none other than Mr Robert Englund I thought “sweet, Robert’s on board, this is going to be good!” and the opening scene was, it had me hooked! However, post opening credits all I was left with was a cliché, imitation, over the-top special effects horror that employed a Disney-like soundtrack and had trouble deciding if it were either comedy or horror and may as well have been the 13th entry to the Friday the 13th series.
For those of you who are yet to see the movie; we’re firstly introduced to a group of mates enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Struggling to come to terms with his recent breakup one guy pleads to another one of his friends to forget the partying for a few hours and join him on a haunted swamp tour which takes place at night. This is where our downward spiral into Friday the 13 territory begins.
On board the tour is your typical cliché characters that you know are in the movie for no other reason other than to be simply killed off; the ditsy blonde and her brunette counterpart, the nerdy, “hopeless with women” lead and the token black guy who without fail throws in the what seems to be almost mandatory “leave it to the brother” line.
Without trying to give too much away the tour goes horribly wrong when the boat strikes rocks and the soon to be heroin provides the group with the motivation needed to get out of the woods as soon as possible, the backstory of Victor Crowley, the disfigured antagonist played by none other than Kane Hodder (of Jason fame in numerous Friday the 13th films).
From here on in Bidites Hatchet becomes a game of cat and mouse between the above mentioned disfigured Victor Crowley and a bunch of teenagers scrambling to find their way out of the woods. Sound familiar? The final scene will almost have you reaching for the DVD cover to make sure that it isn’t the original Friday.
1980’s Prom Night was slammed for trying to emulate the success of Halloween (1978) by pretty much copying the story line, hell they even hired Jamie Lee Curtis to play the lead role. Whilst watching Hatchet I couldn’t help but draw distinct parallels between it and Friday the 13th with the obvious one being the casting of Kane Hodder to play the disfigured, homicidal maniac who doesn’t like teenagers in his woods.
With all this said though the film was bearable and I’ll definitely be watching the second instalment, my main motivation though with that is Danielle Harris. I love Danielle and would like to believe that she’s participated in not only the second, but third movies in this trilogy because there’s some merit to the script but only time will tell Bidites and I’ll be sure to share with you all my review once I watch it!