Essays · Movies

31 Days of Horror: Hatchet

By  · Published on October 23rd, 2009

Hatchet (2006)

Synopsis: A group of New Orleans tourists tire of the breasts and urine-filled streets of the city and head out of town for a haunted swamp tour. The disparate group soon finds themselves trapped and on the run from a disfigured maniac interested in seeing their insides up close and personal. Will any of them survive the night and the legend of Victor Crowley?

Killer Scene: One of the film’s best kills involves an older couple who get chased and caught by the vagina-faced killer. The man drops to his knees and the killer brings a hatchet down into his shoulder over and over again… until he literally hacks his torso in two. The woman runs but Crowley catches her, grabs hold of her forehead and jaw, and then after one camera spin around the duo he rips her head in half. It’s an extremely cool shot and effect, especially as her tongue begins to wiggle in the open air, and the DVD’s special features include a revealing behind-the-scenes as to how they accomplished it all.



Violence: A cranky old man is killed and disemboweled off-screen, and his equally redneck son has an arm ripped off, his spine torn out, and the bottom half of his body separated from it’s top. An alligator chomps into a guys leg before he’s hacked in half by Crowley. A woman has her head ripped in half (as described above). Another guy’s head is twisted around until the flesh rips and blood splashes. Another woman gets a sander to her face before being impaled on a shovel handle. A guy gets his foot and head chopped off. A guy gets his arms both ripped off simultaneously. A certain maniacal madman is shot, stabbed, pummeled, burned, kicked, etc. Good stuff all around.

Sex: Lots of boobs. The movie is set partially in New Orleans after all… The opening shots are filled with women lifting their shirts for cheap, sweaty necklaces, and a couple of “actresses” go on the swamp tour as well.

Scares: Like any worthwhile slasher flick there are plenty of POV shots of the killer sneaking up on unsuspecting victims and popping up when/where he’s not expected. They’re not always scary, but they’re there. And that’s fine because the movie more than makes up for it with the effects and reactions of the victims-to-be…

Final Thoughts: The tagline for Hatchet is “Old School American Horror” and that’s actually under-selling it a bit. This is fun entertainment both as horror and comedy, and it manages to straddle the line between genres extremely well. The gore is plentiful and fantastically done, and the laughs are genuinely funny. Unlike most slasher pics, the acting in Hatchet is actually quite good across the board as well. Writer/director Adam Green has crafted one of the best ‘killer in the woods’ movies in quite some time, and if you haven’t seen it yet you’re in for a bloody ass treat. (And yes, I realize “ass treat” may sound unappealing to some of you… but give it a chance, you just might like it.)

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.