“Hatchet III” Kills On All the Right Levels

Victor Crowley returns to the swamps of Louisiana and back into our slasher-lives to bring on more mayhem and more body parts in this deliciously fun sequel. Adam Green takes a break from the director’s chair this time around and gives the reins to BJ McDonnell.

The film takes place right after Hatchet 2 ends. Marybeth (Danielle Harris) has finally just put an end to Victor Crowley’s (Kane Hodder) murderous rampage….or so she thinks. In the fashion of many undefeatable horror villains, Victor Crowley rises from behind our leading lady and disappears. We watch as a blood covered Marybeth strolls into town with Crowley’s scalp in hand and into the local sheriff’s station. Everyone immediately thinks she’s insane and locks her up as she speaks of the events have happened to her. No one believes her except a very persistent former journalist who strives to gain back her title (Caroline Williams). Fortunately for Marybeth, Amanda has been researching Victor Crowley’s story for quite sometime and claims to know how to finally end his curse once and for all. While the sheriff (Zach Galligan) and a search team go off to search for the bodies Marybeth claims to be to be in the swamp, Amanda tries to convince Marybeth that she is the only one who can really stop Victor. Can Marybeth save the search crew from a very bloody fate? And will Victor Crowley finally be put to rest?

Hatchet 3 is definitely a huge step up from its very weak predecessor. This time we have a meaner and deadlier Victor Crowley with more gruesome kills. One of the best aspects of the film is the always amazing Danielle Harris. In this film we see Danielle bring more to the character of Marybeth. We see her bring out Marybeth’s witty and sharp-tongued side, her vulnerable side as she contemplates her fate, and eventually the side of her that we love to see in a final girl, the side willing face down her monster. Harris shows these sides with amazing depth, which provides with what has to be her most best performance in a long time, if not ever in her career. We also get two new supporting characters that we root for in Amanda and Sheriff Fowler. Caroline Williams, famous from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, gives us the prowling journalist, and Zach Galligan as the unbelieving sheriff. Both actors get really into their roles and play off the other actors solidly. While Hatchet 3 definitely has its gruesome body count that we know and love, a lot of these bodies consist of major throw away characters. But because of our three leads and the focus on them, the viewer should easily get passed that. McDonnell definitely did his homework watching Green do his work with his first two films. This sequel definitely feels as much of a Hatchet film as the others do. While this film isn’t as fun and humorous as the first two, it provides just enough wit to get by with its overall dark and slightly more serious story. I personally consider this my favorite of the films, and very much hope we get another one. Also, be on the look out for some very familiar faces. One cameo in particular provides the funniest scene in the film.

–Cody Landman

3.5