Movie Review: Hatchet (2006)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2006 horror film starring Joel David Moore and Tamara Feldman.

Synopsis: After his college buddies drag him to Mardi Gras following a bad break up, Ben convinces his friend, Marcus, to go on a haunted swamp tour with him. What he doesn't know is the tour guide is running a scam and is inadvertently taking his passengers near the home of the horribly deformed Victor Crowley, something that means they are all facing certain death.


My wife and I watched this movie some time ago but, when trying to watch one of the sequels, realized we didn't remember much about it. As a result of that, when we had a chance to watch it again last night, we did. And, as it turns out, we enjoyed it as much as we remembered enjoying it the first time.

Normally, I'm typically not a huge fan of films that rely heavily on excessive nudity or blood and gore. However, even though this movie contains both, it is one of the few I still think is very entertaining to watch. There are a couple reasons for this.

The first is I love how the movie never takes itself too seriously. The best horror movies, at least in my opinion, are the films that at least try to have some lightheartedness in them. However, while there are quite a few that have attempted to do that, it's not something that always works.

In this particular case, it does, mostly because of the various characters ranging from the stereotypical dumb blonde (Mercedes McNab) to a tour director (Shen) from Detroit who is trying to pass himself off as a local. This made the scarier moments much more effective because the natural comedy from Victor Crowley's (Hodder) victims made it easy for us to let our guard down.

I also liked the way the filmmakers put so much thought into how Crowley killed his victims. For one, he didn't simply chase them (like so many other slashers in movies like this). Instead, he would disappear for lengths of time and somehow pop up out of nowhere. This made the movie much more intense because you didn't know if he was still behind them or hiding behind a bush somewhere. The fact he added a bit of variety to each killing also kept the movie from getting dull/predictable.

Another thing I liked about Crowley was the way he wasn't completely invincible. His victims could actually harm him (just not kill him) and this, at times, created a false sense of hope for them. There's nothing better (again, in my opinion) than a horror movie that lets the viewer think the victims are gaining the upper hand only to flip things around at the last second.

Final Opinion

As I mentioned, there's quite a bit of gore in this film, along with (intentional) gratuitous nudity. And, as a result of that, it might not be a movie everyone will enjoy. However, if you're OK with those things, are looking for a decent horror/slasher movie and haven't seen this one before, I do recommend taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 08/05/2016, StevenHelmer
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