Hatchet (2006, Adam Green)

“You can’t hook up with itchy chicks. Everyone knows that.”

Second movie I’ve watched in a row (after [Rec]) with no new gimmick of its own, seemingly quite derivative, but so well done it rises above most originals. The key isn’t the story or the creature effects – I think it’s all in characterization and acting. No incredible camerawork/filmmaking but I enjoyed watching because I liked everyone in the movie (so, the opposite of House by the Cemetery).

The final girl is Marybeth (Tamara Feldman) who returns in Hatchet II as a different actress, out to investigate the disappearance of her redneck family, brother Josh (Blair Witch Project) and father Robert Englund. The cameos keep rolling from there – Tony Todd (Candyman himself) as a theatrical shop owner, Kane Hodder (Jason in Fridays 7-10) as main monster Victor Crowley, and the movie’s own special effects guy John Carl Buechler (who also directed the classics Troll, Friday the 13th 7 and Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go To College).

Ben; Candyman; Marcus

But we’re not supposed to know that Marybeth is the hero yet – at the start, she’s just another passenger on a nighttime mardi gras swamp tour, along with a couple slutty girls and a “filmmaker” (Bill Murray’s brother Joel, who played a milkman in Shakes the Clown), a Wisconsin couple (he played the friendly guard booth nightwatchman in Halloween 2 and she had small parts in Gremlins 2 and The Burbs) a faker of a tour guide, and our two main dudes, killjoy Ben in his Newbury Comics t-shirt and friend Marcus who grudgingly agrees to accompany his bud instead of staring at boobies in the city. Then they all stumble too close to undead vengeance-cravin’ Victor Crowley’s house and get real killed.

Tour guide Parry Shen gets real killed:

Good movie, with just the right amount of humor to keep things fun without harming the horror atmosphere. Green has made three features and something like ten shorts since this came out in 2006. Filmmakers who have not made anything since then: Alfonso Cuaron, Paul Verhoeven, David Lynch, Sofia Coppola, Todd Field, Hal Hartley, Tarsem Singh, Aki Kaurismaki, Larry Fessenden, Robert Altman and Ronny Yu. What is the holdup?

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