The 299th review!
Sometimes I wonder about parallel universes. Assume they exist and you got a chance to meet every version of yourself. Would you be happy or depressed to find out that your current states is doing the best out of all of them? I just hope Notre Dame has a better coach in the other universes. Anyways, in this universe I decided to check out...
Victor Crowley (2017). Amazon Prime
I’m ashamed to admit that I got into the Hatchet series about 13 years too late. I’ve been going through the franchise and have done every movie on this page. After finishing the trilogy, I was surprised they made a fourth one a few years ago. After loving the first, being disappointed with the second and then enjoying the third, I didn’t know what to expect with this one.
What’s really cool about the fourth installment was how big a surprise it was. When it had its premiere, people thought they were going to see a screening of the original for its 10-year anniversary. Little did they know they were actually there to see the grand opening for the latest in the series. I have to hand it to Adam Green, that’s really cool.
As you already know because you are big fans of my reviews and remember everything I’ve written, the Hatchet trilogy takes place in the span of less than a week. One movie ends and the next picks up the second the credits started rolling. This one however starts 10 years after the brutal massacres that we all watched. After his characters’ deaths in the first two movies, Parry Shen’s third different character, Andrew Yong actually survived the third one. Shen played a different one each movie before this and the first two were murdered. Since the events of number three, Yong has had some highs and lows; he became famous, he got married, the marriage fell apart, everyone believes he murdered dozens of people not Victor Crowley, he’s developed serious PTSD and he decided to write a book. Life hasn’t been easy for him.
After seeing what Yong has been up to, we meet a group of young people wanting to make a movie about the murders in the swamp and they really want Yong to be in it. I smiled when I realized the male in the group was Chase Williamson who played David Wong in John Dies at the End. But when they go to see Yong at his book signing to plead their case, Yong’s publicist rushes him out before they can ask him to be in the movie.
Yong’s publicist gets an offer that’s too good to pass up, so she tricks him into doing an interview at the swamp in exchange for 1-million money. While on the flight to the swamp we meet the film crew set to interview Yong and holy shit it’s Brian Quinn, AKA “Q” from “Impractical Jokers.” Apparently he’s a big fan of the franchise and when Green heard about it they wrote a character specifically for him. We also find out the one interviewing Yong is his ex-wife, which is odd because she already interviewed him like a day earlier and pretty much accused him of being a mass murderer on national television...
Unfortunately for Yong, his plane crashes in Crowley’s swamp. Making matters worse, the film crew headed out to the same swamp and unwittingly brought Crowley back to life.
That’s about the gist of it. Right off the bat, I’m so glad Parry Shen is the lead in this movie. I find him a lot more entertaining and interesting than Danielle Harris’ Marybeth Dunston. It was nice to get a break from her and follow around someone else for a change and Shen’s Andrew Yong is a lot more compelling and fun character. In the last one, he only survived due to luck despite claiming in his book he bravely killed in the monster. While in actuality, Crowley was attacking when he heard something and took off leaving Yong cowering in his boat until help got there.
I have to hand it to this franchise, it knows how to make fun and interesting side characters. Hatchet movies are all about the body count and the disgusting and unpleasant murders these people will go through. Including “Q” in the movie was a nice touch because the dude just has a natural charisma that’s fun to watch, it’s weird how a movie of this caliber can make you care about people that are only on screen to get butchered and up the body count.
But the highlight of this movie is the character Dillon. He’s played by Dave Sheridan, who you may recognize as Deputy Doofy from Scary Movie. Dillion agreed to give them a ride in his boat for free in exchange for a part in the movie the young kids are making. And he’s every cliche of every film student/aspiring actor you’ve ever met and it’s annoying at first, but gets funnier as the movie wears on. There’s a moment where he’s giving his bonafides and he makes a comment about how he has 43 Youtube subscribers. It’s a funny moment, and it’s played for laughs but then I remembered I only have 14 subscribers and I immediately stopped laughing.
What I appreciated about the character, despite all his bluster and idiocy, he was still very competent. When shit hits the fan, despite his bumbling from earlier, he takes charge, does things for the greater good (the greater good) and proves a hero, albeit a stupid and unnecessary one, at the very end.
While it’s not as funny as the first one, I did get some laughs out of it. Dillion gets the most laughs especially when he’s trying to call for help on the radio and keeps giving himself different titles with each call. One of thing I really enjoyed and made it stand out from the other films is for the most part the survivors are hiding out in the downed plane. In the other movies, they’re walking around the swamp waiting for Crowley to pick them off. With them inside the plane, it added a different wrinkle and made the situation a lot more tense. They know if they go outside, they’ll die, so the plane is the safest option. But they also know, if he gets onboard, they’re all screwed. It’s a nice change of pace and I liked that aspect of it.
Still it had some problems. For one, it does the annoying thing where people are trying to unlock someone’s phone to call for help when 911 always works even on locked phones. Now, this may sound weird when doing a horror review, but some of the deaths didn’t exactly sit well with me. Two in particular, they’re back to back and they just come off as... cruel. I know what kind of movie I’m getting into, but these two... it’s just uncomfortable and it’s not the good kind. It felt like walking into the middle of a smut film and the cast stops what they’re doing to look at you. I’m all for violent and ridiculous deaths in horror movies, it’s part of the fun, but the murder of these two women was a little much for me. Speaking of that, that’s another thing I noticed. The ladies fare a whole lot worse than the gentlemen. If I’m remembering correctly, the men got brutal, but relatively quick deaths while the woman really suffer. It was odd.
Those were my complaints in an otherwise entertaining movie. One thing about the series that’s nice is the movies are short, less than 90 minutes, so there’s no opportunity for it to drag on. It’s entertaining even before Crowley shows up because the cast is fun and even the bland characters get a chance to stand out. His lying, pill popping publicist is so over-the-top ridiculous she manages to steal a few scenes just through her sleeping. I definitely recommend this series. It’s horror comedy that manages to do a bit of both really well, with exception of the second outing. While this isn’t the best one, it’s probably my second favorite. Although I’m a little disappointed it seems the direction they’re taking for future sequels is back to the Danielle Harris show. Tamara Feldman forever!
7.5 Dr. Chainsaws
PS, there’s still no way Victor Crowley could take Jason Voorhees.
Ten years after the horrific massacre, lone survivor Andrew Yong is forced to return to Honey Island Swamp, but in a twist of fate, Victor Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Yong must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past.
Directors Adam Green
Subtitles English [CC]
Audio languages English