The Ponty ‘n’ Portly Schlock-o-Rama rolls, on flipping back to Ponty’s countdown.
I can tell we’re really getting into the dregs already: Ponty’s review of 2006’s Hatchet makes it sound like the most predictable slasher film ever made, coupled with unsympathetic characters. The lead was apparently in Dodgeball (2004), but not Justin Long—the other nerdy guy. I read the review thinking it was Long, which was bad enough.
But enough of my yackin’. Let’s get on to Ponty’s review:
For anyone who hasn’t watched horror franchises, there’s one rule about them you should know. The sequels always give you more (not in substance) than the original. If 2 people die in the first film, 20 are killed in the second or third. If a woman saunters into a pool in her swimming costume, in the second she’s full on frontal, completely at ease with being nude in a public environment. If a character is killed off camera, their still quivering corpse seen for a split second before the scene moves on, the sequel will show the whole blood squirting, eye gouging horror of it. To put it bluntly, they remove the mystery and make everything explicit which is why horror sequels tend to be absolute dross. Hatchet (2006) is a first film but follows all the rules of a sequel. From the very first moment, the audience is treated to a load of people whipping off their tops, drinking, dancing and looking for their next fix, whether sexual or not, before the gorefest that follows.
The premise for this film is simple. Ben (played by the love shy nerd in Dodgeball, 2004) is bored by the endless parties in New Orleans and decides he wants to try something different so he ropes his friend, Marcus, into joining him on a swamp tour. Not long into this tour, the boat crashes into the bank and something starts to pick off the tourists one by one. Because it’s always one by one. Anyway, it is revealed that the killer is a disfigured lunatic who was accidentally killed with a hatchet by his own father and he’s on a get off my land mission because, well, you know, these complete strangers have wandered onto his property by accident. So they die, horribly, but trust me when I say, there’s not a single character in this who you’ll root for so you just don’t care. Heads are chopped off, innards are pulled out, arms, legs come off, there’s loads of blood and a few birds whip their tops off just because. There’s not much else you need to know. I feel guilty as hell putting up the trailer but you might as well see some of what it has to offer.
This isn’t going to be a long review because there’s not much to say really. The acting is terrible, the characters are either dull, stupid, abhorrent or all three. Considering how poor the writing and direction is, this could have been made by a horror sequel fanboy, the sort who is still sniggering at girls from his Kleenex ridden basement. It has no imagination, no mystery and no point apart from putting blood and tits in front of an audience still trying to figure out what that dangly bit between their legs is.
We watched this because we do like a good gorefest but there’s nothing remotely engaging, immersive or interesting about this film. If you like visceral horror, cheesy one liners and everything explained to you, then this film will be a Godsend, otherwise dig back to classics like Black Christmas (1974) or Texas Chainsaw Massacre (same year). Much better.
You may have noticed that I haven’t included many spoilers in this review. That’s because, like horror sequels, I’m a truly horrible person who wants you to suffer this braindead film for yourselves. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!