Violent, gory and very tongue-in-cheek – Hatchet 3 is not for the faint hearted. The film follows the police clean-up after the massacre in Hatchet 2, but things don’t go according to plan as Victor Crowley returns from the dead to partake in yet more bloody carnage.
There’s nothing subtle about director BJ McDonnell’s slasher sequel. It’s utterly ridiculous and you’re either interested or you’re not. Movies like Hatchet 3 are almost review proof – if the concept doesn’t even sound like your bag then you’re going to side-step it, but if horror and gore is your thing, then you’ll dive in head first.
McDonnell’s film feature a line-up of horror icons, including Gremlins’ star Zach Galligan and scream queens Danielle Harris and Caroline William’s. They all know what they’re in for as they face-off against Kane Hodder and his mighty chopper. The performances are as broad as they are bloody and everyone involved is in on the joke. The horror scene likes to reuse the same actors and it has almost become like a club with exclusive membership. These people make a tidy living using their cache in movies like Hatchet and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Hatchet’s killer, Victor Crawley plays like the evil bastard child of Halloween’s Michael Myers, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface and Friday The 13th’s Jason Voorhees (I bet that was an interesting night of passion). However, he lacks the essential je ne sais quoi to become iconic in his own right. It’s a combination of time period we live in, where horror movies don’t have the cultural impact that they did during the video nasty period and the fact that Crowley lacks a unique selling point. Sure, he has an axe, dungarees and a messed-up face – but so does the man who cuts my lawn.
There’s no reality within the world of Hatchet 3, there’s only excess. McDonnell goes through dozens of ways to imaginatively kill people and nobody is safe from the bloody carnage. This is old fashioned horror with a post-Scream post-modernist tinge. Horror sequels have a tendency to get bloated as they move towards third or fourth (and fifth and sixth) sequels and Hatchet 3 is no different. This is exactly what you’d expect it to be – no more, no less. If you’re in the mood for a bit of hack and slash then this is what you get. Hatchet 3 will never change the world of horror cinema, but gore hounds will probably get the fix they want (and need) until something better comes along.