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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Hatchet (review)

I’m off to see Hatchet II tonight — which is making such a splash already with its snubbing of the MPAA; it’ll be released unrated — so I figured I should check out the first film before I do, especially since it picks up immediately from the point at which this one ends. It’s supposed to be sort of a “shocking” ending, I hear, but I found it much like the rest of the film, which drags itself from setpiece to setpiece, full of its own “cleverness” at how it’s aping 80s horror flicks. So: lots of naked mammaries bouncing around onscreen — the “nudity” warning of the original R-rated theatrical version refers, of course, only to female nudity; no men are naked here, unless you count the graphic gawps we get at their intestines and other innards. Oh, yes, many bodies are ripped apart here in “inventive” ways that will be appealing to those who spend a lot of time thinking about all the many methods by which a tender, delicate human body can be mangled and brutalized. (I wonder how many guys who’ve seen their buddies ripped apart by IEDs on Iraqi roadsides enjoy these kinds of movies.) Writer-director Adam Green has been hailed as the future of horror: The future of horror is the past of horror, apparently. Lacking the satirical bite of the first Scream — which so effectively sent up 80s slasher flicks that it’s hard to imagine anyone doing it better — this is mere pastiche that doesn’t even wink at what it is pointlessly xeroxing from the past. Even its boogeyman, the deformed and tormented homicidal Louisiana swamp hermit Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder: Jason X) is eminently unsurprising: you could swap in Freddy or Jason without even noticing a difference.

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watch at home

MPAA: unrated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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posted in:
classics | cult | horror

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