Impressions: Hatchet

In my years as a horror fan, I had never taken the time to see Hatchet, a fact that greatly disappointed me. It is billed as being a horror movie for horror fans. The movie does everything in its power to be a call back to 80’s slasher films, and lean into it. The idea of it greatly appealed to me, after having watched it I am iffier on the execution.

As mentioned Hatchet bills itself as a modern 80’s slasher movie. It knows the tropes of the movies and knows what to play with and leave on the side. The movie follows a group that is left stranded in the swamp where legend Victor Crowley is said to reside. He is a deformed man who is “killed” by the kids in town and spends his time in the swamp seeking revenge. The story is not well thought out because it doesn’t really need to be. It, like many things in this movie, is just meant to be standard slasher flare.

What does matter is that the group is picked off one by one in over the top gory fashion? This movie is about the kills, and for the most part, does them well. If you want a slasher flick that is all about how people die (as many slasher fans do), then this movie will satisfy that bit of bloodlust. The problem is there is not much else I can say about it.

The movie is not bad, I don’t want to give that impression, it’s just completely lacking in any meat. The characters are solid enough, but only the girls that are constantly bitching at each other are developed. It has entertaining moments and a lot of tongue in cheek humor, but that is forced in at awkward points. The plot is nothing. The group comes up with weak excuses to just travel to the next location in which at least one person will be killed. There just, simply put, isn’t anything there.

Hatchet is so concerned with being a good throwback to 80’s slasher movies that it seems to have forgotten that it needs to be its own stand-alone movie. It’s great seeing stars from some of our favorite movies, it’s great seeing the kills ramped up, and it’s great having just a standard slasher film. All of this makes it entertaining, none of it makes it anything more though.

By the time I had finished the film I had already kind of forgotten most of it. Sure it was a fun ride, but one that won’t stick with me for very long. I think the movie would have been better served had they tried to play with the tropes from 80’s films or left some unique mark. Instead, it leans so far into being just another copy and paste film that that is what you get.

In the end, I liked it well enough. It does a serviceable job at what it set out to do, and it’s a dumb but fun flick. I would have liked to see the movie be a bit more thorough, and am curious to see what the sequels managed to do. I wish I could give further thoughts because this is turning into one of my shortest impressions ever, but there just simply isn’t more for me to say. Hatchet is what it is, and that’s not a bad thing, but it’s not a great one either.

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