Well who saw that coming, Victor Crowley is back from the dead again… Ok so you could be forgiven for not being overly excited about the third part of what is a knowingly unoriginal slasher series. However the first two Hatchet films were a whole lot of fun and certainly not without their fans. With the original director (Adam Green) on writing duties here it falls to B.J. Mcdonnell to take the reins for part III.
Whilst it’s generic to the nth degree , badass female heroine, generic disposable SWAT team and a frankly terrible Heavy Metal score Hatchet III does retain the ability to not take itself too seriously and the really works in the films favour. For the most part the McDonnell manages deliver genuine laughs at the expense of numerous horror clichés, whilst nothing new it certainly helps carry you through some of the films duller moments. Whilst story in this kind of horror isn’t overly important it still seems bizarre that the film takes so long to get back into the swamp. There is a sizeable gap from Crowley’s first appearance to the inevitable killing spree that does threaten to sap your interest. Thankfully when things do finally get going it’s as entertaining and OTT as one would expect.
Unfortunately the gore this time round is something of a disappointment. Whilst the kills are creative and humorous the quality of the practical effects isn’t up to the high standard of the first two films and this is painfully obvious throughout. Although even this is preferable to cheap CG effects work so we should at least be thankful of that small mercy.
As one has come to expect from the series there are some novel casting choices from horror of old on display here. Zach Galligan (Billy from Gremlins) being the most recognisable, we won’t spoil the others here but there are some great surprises for horror fans littered throughout the film. It’s a shame then that most of the cast don’t manage to turn in anything other than lacklustre performances, it doesn’t kill the film but a little more effort wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Whilst Hatchet III certainly won’t win the series any new fans and definitely doesn’t add anything new, it is better than it really had any right to be and is superior to any number of Friday 13th/Halloween/Saw sequels you care to throw in Crowley’s path. Probably still one just for Hatchet fans mind you!