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Mercedes McNab - "Hatchet" Movie - Newyorkmetro.com Review

Sunday 7 May 2006, by Webmaster


Adam Green / Midnight

Adam Green’s homage to seventies horror flicks wants to be the next Halloween, but it’s actually the next Wet Hot American Summer. A couple of guys partying during Mardi Gras take a lame haunted boat cruise on the bayou; they and their fellow oddball passengers wind up getting stuck when the boat sinks, and they’re pursued and hacked down by a deformed, axe-wielding maniac named Victor Crowley. Sounds pretty basic, but the devil is in the details. The castaways here aren’t the usual assortment of fun-loving teens, but a wannabe porn producer with his dim “stars,” an insufferably nice midwestern couple, and an incompetent Asian captain with a fake Cajun accent. Hatchet, it turns out, is a comedy-perched somewhere between the wink-wink self-awareness of Scream and the wide-open goofiness of Club Dread. The problem is that it doesn’t seem to know it-or, more accurately, chooses to ignore it, in favor of copious (copious!) amounts of gore and, in the final act, a lot of purposeless running around and shrieking. Green is a talented comic director with confident timing. However, despite his obvious enthusiasm for the horror genre (the film is choc-ka-block with cameos and references to other flicks) he’s a lot less sure-footed when it comes to suspense. As a result, the second half of the film loses much of its momentum-it’s more interested in rubbing our faces in the free-flowing blood and innards than keeping the comic energy going. There’s a very funny movie in here struggling to get out, but by the time it’s all over, that funny movie has been impaled, gutted, and had its head ripped off its torso in excruciating detail. It’s enough to make you scream.-B.E.