Dir. Adam Green (2017)
The final (for now) installment in the Hatchet franchise finds survivor Andrew (Parry Shen) finds himself face to face with the mistakenly resurrected Victor Crowley.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Filmed as a surprise for the fanbase and released during what was supposed to be an anniversary screening of the original Hatchet, Victor Crowley is the fourth in the iconic new series that has brought the fun back to horror. As with the other films, horror royalty and Ariescope (Adam Green’s production company) regulars fill the roles in the film, with Tyler Mane (Rob Zombie’s Halloween), Tiffany Shepis (Death Factory), and Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) joining the rest. After the original trilogy wrapped up the story, Victor Crowley follows one of the survivors of the third film, Andrew, as he tries to cope with his ordeal ten years after the massacre. He’s written a book called I, Survivor, and he’s now the subject of a true crime television show when the production crew’s plane crashes into Honey Island Swamp. Also in the swamp are a film crew who was making a movie about Crowley, and when one of them accidentally summons Crowley’s spirit, all hell breaks loose once again.
It can often feel a bit repetitive to review movies in the same series one right after the other, but VC is a bit different from the two previous films and a lot more like the original Hatchet. It focuses a lot more on the comedy, and while there’s still more than enough blood and guts to make any horror fan happy, there’s a lot more laughs in this one than in 2 and 3. The premise is ridiculous, with most of the movie taking place inside of the cabin of the plane that crashed and both groups converging to be attacked repeatedly by Crowley, but it’s also exactly the type of premise that works perfectly in a slasher movie. The acting is phenomenal, and while Shen is definitely the “star” of the film, Laura Ortiz, who Ariescope fans will know from Holliston, steals his thunder by being just absolutely adorable and badass at the same time.
Crowley has a bit more of a sadistic streak in VC, at times taunting his victims and laying traps that would have seemed beyond the more beastly, unthinking monster from the first three films. It helps to add a bit more to the lore and to make Crowley an even more formidable villain, and Hodder plays into his new and improved role perfectly. Getting resurrected by what sounds like a Latin chant a la Evil Dead is not the only trope used in the film, of course, but it does help set up the action and create even more potential for a sequel setup. There’s a delightful mid-credit scene starring Danielle Harris that teases a possible followup as well, so here’s hoping Green returns to the well at least one more time, because I could watch a hundred of these movies.
Mardi Gras is a holiday that I truly don’t understand, each day falling into some category of Catholicism that never really made much sense to me. Hell, I’m posting these reviews in February, and if you had asked me before I looked it up, I’d have assumed Mardi Gras could only happen in late March or early April. For those who like to base their holiday viewing schedules around holidays, Mardi Gras is a tough one to be able to celebrate, but thankfully Adam Green’s Hatchet series is there to fill the void. And what a filler it is. Green vowed to make horror fun again, delivering the horror faithful from the dregs of torture porn, found footage, and “Japanese ones.” If fun is what you’re looking for, you could do a lot worse than any one of these movies, but if you want to really get the full Victor Crowley experience, you absolutely have to watch all four. Seeing as Mardi Gras lasts two weeks or something like that, it’s the perfect time to binge these movies if you haven’t seen them and to watch them again if you have. As someone who would watch any slasher movie on the planet, they were bound to be a hit: I just never expected them to quickly become some of my favorites of the genre.
Who this movie is for: Slasher lovers, Horror comedy fans,
Bottom line: Possibly the funniest entry in the Hatchet series, Victor Crowley is once again loaded with guest stars, copious gore, and some of the more creative kills in slasherdom. You don’t have to convince me to watch a movie helmed by Adam Green, and with the Hatchet series he has created films that perfectly hearken back to the type of comfort films that I grew up with. While Hatchet 3 was a little bit of a step back from the quality of the first two (in my not so humble opinion,) Victor Crowley is a return to form that is quite possibly the second best movie in the entire series. All four films need to be watched by anyone who considers themselves a slasher fan, and I am certainly hoping that this isn’t the last film in the franchise. Binge these today.