Blu-Ray Review: Adam Green’s ‘Hatchet’ Continues to Divide Audiences

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CHICAGO – Is Adam Green the next great horror director? There are many fans of the genre who love to make the case of the current-and-future importance of Green, pointing to films like “Frozen,” “Spiral,” and, most of all, “Hatchet” as their evidence. To some, including this horror junkie, the jury is still out. Watching Green’s breakthrough film, now available on Blu-ray, it’s easy to see what people adore about Green and what he still needs to work on.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Horror fans love filmmakers who express the passion they feel for the genre and there’s no denying Adam Green’s commitment to scream queens, slasher icons, and glorious gore. It comes through in every frame of the tale of Victor Crowley, a maniacal creation that wanders the swamps of New Orleans looking for hapless victims to eviscerate. Co-starring Joel David Moore (“Avatar”) and featuring cameos from horror icons Tony Todd, Robert Englund, and Kane Hodder, “Hatchet” has a singular focus — get victims into the bayou and think of interesting ways to kill them.

When “Hatchet” gets to the “good stuff,” there’s a gleeful force to Green’s filmmaking that makes it clear that he has spent countless hours bowing at the altar of the horror directors in whose footprints he now steps. I love that element of “Hatchet” — the old-fashioned and almost defiantly non-intellectual approach to guts and glory. “Hatchet” is not a movie to discuss afterwards as much as it is to go “whoa, did you believe it when THAT happened?”

Hatchet was released on Blu-ray on September 7th, 2010
Hatchet was released on Blu-ray on September 7th, 2010
Photo credit: Anchor Bay

Having said that, the hype machine around “Hatchet” and Green in general can be a little bit self-defeating. Brad Miska is quoted on the “Hatchet” Blu-ray as calling the film “amongst the greatest slasher flicks of all time” and Harry Knowles calls Crowley “the next icon of horror.” I think both clearly-smart gentlemen got a little carried away in the aforementioned gleeful gore of the piece because neither statement is true.

The story of Adam Green should be that of an up-and-coming talent not a man who is being so openly crowned as the king of the genre without really earning it. “Hatchet” is a good horror flick but it’s far from perfect and nowhere near one of the best slasher films of all time. Fun? Sure. Great? Not really. The performances aren’t great. The pacing isn’t great. Even the final act isn’t great. It’s a good horror movie that features a director with great potential.

The Blu-ray release of “Hatchet” IS kind of great, especially considering Anchor Bay didn’t go the standard straight-up import route and actually provide a new commentary for fans considering the upgrade. With the notably-improved video transfer and the new commentary track, those who have already crowned Adam Green shouldn’t hesitate to make the switch from standard DVD to Blu-ray and even those who are as hesitant to do so as I am should probably do the same.

Special Features:
o All-New Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Adam Green and Actor Kane Hodder
o Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Adam Green, Cinematographer Will Barratt and Actors Tamara Feldman, Joel David Moore, and Deon Richmond
o The Making Of “Hatchet”
o Meeting Victor Crowley
o Guts And Gore
o Anatomy Of A Kill
o A Twisted Tale
o Gag Reel
o Trailer

“Hatchet: Unrated Director’s Cut” stars Joel David Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Joleigh Fioreavanti, Joel Murray, Richard Riehle, Tony Todd, Robert Englund, and Kane Hodder. It was written and directed by Adam Green. It was released on Blu-ray on September 7th, 2010 and is not rated.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Rachael's picture

What?

This review is so poorly written. Why not just say you don’t WANT to like Adam Green? You say Hatchet is not that great, but then praise it in your review and say that it is actually. You say “he’s not the king of horror” that people make him out to be and that “he has a lot to learn” but base it all on his very first film which was made in 2006 for next to nothing and not on the astounding work he’s done since like Spiral and Frozen (the best movie of this year) or the fact that he produced the most original film of last year Grace which launched a new career and gave life to a struggling horror filmmaker named Paul Solet. The reason we love Gren so much is because he’s got balls, he’s fresh, he’s bucking the trends, and he’s bringing the community closer together because people just like him and his films and what he is about. He’s the blue collar everyman underdog who won and if you’ve ever seen him speak publicly he’s more inspiring than an inspirational leader simply because he’s so positive and caring and happy. Call yourself a horror fan? Well go to a convention some time and you’ll see that if Adam Green is there, he owns it. Longer autograph line than Robert Englund here at Fashback. Lastly, on Adam’s formspring he was asked to comment on Bizarre magazine calling him the “Jesus Christ of horror” and he denounced it and said he’s just a regular guy doing his thing. He couldn’t be more humble and that is why we love him. I’ve been a horror fan for close to 40 years and I’ve seen it all. This guy is real, he’s one of us. and he’s OURS. That’s what all the fuss is about. I was so excited to se Hatchet reviewed here but so let down to read more indifference and negative slants even though there is nothing to base them on. Don’t believe Adam Green is legit? See Frozen and when you’re done wiping the tears and seeing how remarkably different it is, maybe you’ll appreciate just how fun and cool Hatchet actually is. I’m disappointed.

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