Adam Green, “Hatchet” (2006).

Sep 19 2010 Published by Benito Vergara under notes


Pointless, except for the one at the tip of the hatchet. Adam Green’s Hatchet — lauded, apparently, by Harry Knowles and MTV and genre film fests worldwide — was billed as “Old School American Horror,” which sounds a bit like a Chevy truck recall: “It’s not a remake, it’s not a sequel, and it’s not based on a Japanese one.” Fine, but what do you have then? Certainly not originality. Its presumed antecedents are Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), two films that provided the template for the slasher film. Hatchet is neither gruesome enough for jaded gorehounds, or witty enough for audiences who expect a little directorial spin on the proceedings. All Hatchet is is form — the masked killer, an origin story, annoying victims with various levels of intelligence — and not much more. (Hatchet features a swamp, a deformed maniac and clueless tourists.) While Wes Craven’s Scream (1996) employed those same formal elements, it was also about them; Hatchet merely lumbers along, like the maniac Victor Crowley. Also stars Parry Shen from Better Luck Tomorrow, who, because he puts on three different accents, looks like he’s the only one having fun in the film.

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