The work of horror auteur Adam Green has been something of a mixed bag for me since he debuted to horror fans so many years ago. I was not gaga over his slasher throwback “Hatchet,” but I was entertained immensely by his murder mystery “Spiral,” and somewhere between those movies he found the middle ground to make a movie that’s something of a horror film based around natural inconvenience. Such as “Open Water,” Adam Green sets down upon an incident that doesn’t seem like much of a big deal to the natural observer… until it happens to them.
Many people think that I’m much too hard on “Hatchet,” and unnecessarily punish it for being the victim of gross over hyping by a hyperactive press who stroked themselves to Green’s premiere debut. In actuality, I liked “Hatchet,” because it’s tough to disappoint me with a slasher film, and Green has a charisma about him that guarantees to win me over sooner or later. “Spiral” is a step in the direction where Green will definitely win me over as a fan if he continues at this rate.
Upon a second glance, “Hatchet” really doesn’t play too well. It’s a bit shrill, it’s pretty average slasher fare, and like it or not, the incredibly ridiculous hype really did hurt what was a pretty fun slasher film in spite of it all. David Green has a knack for direction and makes “Hatchet” an utterly hilarious slasher flick that’s helped by the above par production qualities and great performances. Deon Richmond almost steals the show with Parry Shen, and Mercedes McNab continues her dumb blond shtick with surprising competence. The gore effects are simply astounding and I really enjoyed the gruesome splatter and overall creative methods of dispensing of the poor saps that come across the deformed hacker that is Victor Crowley.
How many slashers movies have there been in the last few years that were worth a damn? Beyond “Leslie Vernon,” I can’t think of a single great slasher film that has made this slasher freak drool with sheer glee. “Hatchet” comes close to inspiring some foaming at the mouth, and I’m glad. As a horror nut that basically scours horror sites far and wide, I’ve heard about “Hatchet” almost non-stop. And thankfully, it’s lived up to its hype somewhat. “Hatchet” is a slasher comedy that really does admirably aspire to become a classic, and it succeeds in garner the horror comedy status from minute one. Not only is it a damn good and gory little slasher flick with a mean bastard of an axe killer, but it’s also pretty sharp and funny.