31 Days of Halloween 2016 #4 – It’s a Chopping Celebration
When you commit to the slasher, you either commit to it or you’re just another I Know What you Did Last Summer crappy teen movie, but Hatchet (2006) isn’t one of those. It has likeable characters and decent gore. Can’t ask for more than that in your slasher movie. When Friday the 13th did it, they at least committed to the genre, even though the dialogue was dumb and the plot was stupid. Hatchet has learned from its predecessors.
This is a backwoods slasher film in the vein of The Hills Have Eyes, but with better characters. This is what usually makes a slasher film work, and that does the job here. The kills work too, which helps the movie.
The kills work in the celebrated way the kills work in Freddy vs Jason. They’re there for the fans, and not really meant to emit grotesque reactions, because Kane Hodder and Robert Englund are there to kickass. The kills are also sometimes so over-the-top, they are uniquely gross. That’s more fan-service for you. And it’s not just one or two, some of them are strung together like when the killer chops up a fat couple one at a time and then twists a fat guy’s head off. That’s gore for you.
The movie revels in its outlandish gore. The killer rips the black guy’s arms off, which is probably impossible, but it works because all of them are outlandish and over-the-top. What a mess this movie is. It’s so gross that there’s cut shots of blood splashing against trees and rocks. Now that is funny. The killer chops at somebody and the scene cuts to a two-foot splash of blood like a fountain.
At first, the teens and the fat couple team up to help each other, but that’s doesn’t really do much good. The killer just runs out of his shack and runs out chopping. He chops and chops. He runs after people and chops some more. He impales some girl on a spike and tosses her around like a loaf of bread. I kinda liked that girl. Oh well.
Lastly, the movie tries to one-up the original Friday the 13th with its ending. The dynamic teen duo row a boat onto a lake for some dumb reason and the lady falls in the water, getting stuck on some seaweed. That conveniently sets up the dumb ending, where the killer tricks her into grabbing her boyfriend’s severed arm. That contrived ending nearly spoils the movie for me, but I guess the rest makes up for it.
Overall, this is a decent movie. It goes all-out for the blood and shocks, maybe reaching a little bit too far, especially with the ending. Still, you’ve got to respect the movie for delivering what the fans expect and doing it well. I guess the same can be said of Freddy vs Jason, but I think the characters hold that one down. In this one, Kane Hodder does good work, and Deon Richmond gives a good performance as an ordinary guy. There’s no stupid teen jokes in this one, just the thrills you might expect.
31 Days of Halloween 2016
31. Young Frankenstein (1974)
30. Jason X (2001)
29. Cloverfield (2008)
28. The Monster Squad (1987)
27. Bad Moon (1996)
26. The Haunting (1963)
25. Splinter (2008)
24. Frenzy (1972)
23. Aggression Scale (2012)
22. The Exorcist III
21. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963)
20. Silver Bullet (1985)
19. Joy Ride (2001)
18. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
The Funhouse (1981) by Tobe Hooper Shin Godzilla (2016)
16. Videodrome (1983)
15. Re-Animator (1985)
14. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
13. Cube (1997)
12. Evil Dead
11. Day of the Dead (1985)
Tales of Halloween (2015) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
9. They Live (1988)
The Innocents (1961) Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1966)
7. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
6. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
5. I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990)
4. Hatchet (2006)
The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
2. Halloween II
1. Silence of the Lambs