I’ve never been a fan of the “Hatchet” series, this I must admit. I think Adam Green is a much better horror fan than horror director, and I think his friend Joe Lynch has mastered the art of genre filmmaking, while Adam Green still tends to direct like a film student still learning the ropes. That said I enjoyed “Victor Crowley” so much more than the previous three films in the series. I would not watch it again unless I was painfully bored, but as a sequel/reboot, I laughed, I groaned, and for once I enjoyed Green bringing his friends aboard to indulge in some good blood shed.
Taking a page from “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “The Blair Witch 2,” we visit original character Andrew Yong, who is now a published author. Selling a controversial book based on the accounts on of confrontation with Victor Crowley in 2007, he’s constantly accused of murdering the forty nine people that died. Tempted with a big pay to appear on a popular talk show, he flies to Louisiana, and the plane he’s on crashes, crew and all. Now stuck on the crashed plane with the survivors, they have to fend off Victor Crowley, who’s reawakened and is as vicious as ever.
It’s not too surprising that horror critics wet themselves over the original “Hatchet” movies while I was generally ambivalent, and then “Victor Crowley” was met with a shrug, while I very much enjoyed it. That’s just been the story of my life. But Adam Green runs in to this movie head first with a great sense of humor, and a narrative that doesn’t take itself at all seriously. “Victor Crowley” dodges a lot of the crummy mythology and attempts to turn Crowley in to a neo-slasher icon, in exchange for action and movement of the narrative. When we see Victor Crowley again, he’s not some exposition heavy monster, he’s just a slashing force of nature who faces off against an old foe. And a private jet filled with a ton of cannon fodder.
Green does a great job directing the cast which includes Felissa Rose, Brian Quinn, Jonah Ray (Funniest prologue ever), and Tiffany Shepis. He also has a good time creating new nemeses for Crowley, which includes repeated collaborator Laura Ortiz as the film’s impromptu heroine. Green is also never afraid to kill off characters, and he pretty much kills off anyone whenever the film slows to a lull. I have to say “Victor Crowley” takes turns I never expected, and Green delivers on screen deaths that I seriously did not see coming. He even makes a note of including a foot note about one of the characters which you assume would keep them from becoming Crowley bait, but no, Green goes for the throat. Save for the abrupt climax and brutally silly mid-credits bumper, “Victor Crowley” is a fun pseudo-reboot, and I dug it a lot more than its predecessors.