Adam Green makes an eagerly awaited return to the swamp for another fun, extremely funny splatterfest in the latest Hatchet installment, “Victor Crowley”.
One of the jobs as a reviewer is to leave your inner fanboy behind; it’s hard not to let it cloud your judgement. That shouldn’t be too hard for me, because even though I have enjoyed the Hatchet films in the past, I do not consider myself a big fan of the series.
True, they hit all the right notes, the laughs are genuine, and the gore (part 2 really sticks out in my mind on this) is usually going full blast. But it’s here in the fourth installment where I see Adam Green’s skills come together, especially when it comes to ridiculous comedy, and Victor Crowley may be his funniest entry yet.
Horrible deaths? Sure. Horror? Nah. The film is too damn funny to be scary. If you want to call Victor Crowley a horror movie, feel free, but I laughed more during this movie than any other in recent memory.
Right from the beginning, we realize we are in a comedy that’s disguised as horror.
A young couple are in a boat in the swamp. The man wants to propose. The woman senses this and begins to mumble and slur her words as she weeps with joy. Her tears start to flow, and her nose begins to run. She wipes her face. Her lipstick and snot smear her cheek. The boyfriend reluctantly goes in, and they share a snotty kiss. (How they made it through this scene without laughing, I will never know.) Within minutes, both will be dead, chopped to pieces, and it is all quite funny considering it’s a gruesome bloodbath.
Before we know it, we’ve been exposed to female breast, a man’s junk in close up (cut in the VOD version), and the entire cast being stranded in the swamps: home of Victor Crowley.
One group is a set of young filmmakers who want to shoot a mock trailer on Victor Crowley for a future film, and the other is a survivor of the first film, Andrew Yong, on his book tour about the Hatchet events he survived.
His agent (played by Felissa Rose in the funniest role in the film) is right out of the GoodFellas wives handbook. She carries loud sass, a blaze attitude about the little things that matter, heavy makeup, and a purse filled with enough pills to get a hundred people high (she has them for migraines, she claims).
On their way to a prime time interview, Andrew and his crew’s plane conveniently crashes in the swamp, and they are left stranded in the water with Victor Crowley on watch, attacking anyone who leaves the downed plane. Many of the movie’s scenes will take place inside this plane. It’s the usual fights, arguments, and cell phone issues. There is one scene on the plane (I will not give it away here) where the death is not only unfunny, but actually quite horrific. Tragic even.
No worries. The laughs pick back up, as they usually do during these Hatchet films, particularly during the ridiculous banter from the cast. Many are either caricatures or stereotypes, which usually works well if you want to poke fun at the culture of a place (it works just as well here as it did for Dale and Tucker vs Evil.).
The rest of the film is survival. All the way to the end, the kills continue, as well as the laughs.
One thing is clear, Adam Green is a funny guy, and his movies can not escape that fact, no matter how many heads he cuts off for amusement.
Does he pull off making a decent fourth installment? Yes. That alone is rare for a modern horror series, and I have to give credit where it is due. Some get better, some get watered down, and Adam Green hasn’t seem to have gotten lazy on his target audience—even if the plane they’re in looks completely fake and the pilots looked like cartoons. But then again, maybe they were supposed to. It is a comedy, after all.
Will this movie change my opinion of the Hatchet movies? Not really. They are what they are; silly fun. They are the equivalent to a modern spook-house where the effects are bloody and the body parts look fake. They are good times. We don’t mourn the victims when they go, we laugh at how they behave as they get dispatched.
If watching a slasher for the FX is your cup of tea, this will be right up your alley. Because if it’s one department Adam Green hasn’t skipped on, it’s the outlandish kills, not to mention the humor, and this might be the best entry for that yet.
Don’t believe me? Ever see a woman get an entire arm shoved up her privates and have it come out of her mouth? Well, you can check that off your list if you watch this movie.
And as far as an “after the credits roll” scene is concerned, this one has a doozy for the horror fans out there. A promise of more horror to come? I hope so. I need a good laugh. Comedies nowadays suck.