Hatchet (2006) d. Green, Adam (USA)
Anyone who has encountered ever Green on the convention circuit or in his myriad interviews in various genre magazines, podcasts, etc. knows that he is a whirlwind of infectious enthusiasm and passion. Promising to bring back “old school American horror” with his tale set in the swamps of Louisiana, the young writer/director throws in the basic ingredients (couple genre star cameos, ample amount of bare breasts, double-digit body count, gore aplenty and a hideous homicidal maniac), stirs vigorously and hopes for the best.
As an unabashed tribute to the slasher heyday of the '80s, Hatchet succeeds rather well, its game cast (led by Joel David Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Mercedes McNab and Kane Hodder) well guided through the misty bayou setting by Green’s assured hand, and well gutted by some impressive splatter f/x.
But while the script’s stabs at humor fall flat more often than not, more troubling is the fact that rather than tweaking expectations, Green seems content to embrace the well-worn clichés as his own, right down to the unstoppable killer who inexplicably comes back time and time again.
The result is a movie that fails to distinguish itself beyond being a solid, lovingly created homage – one that pleases but never truly satisfies. Despite giving fans exactly what they think they want, it still feels a bit like a missed opportunity.