|Directed by||Adam Green|
|Produced by||Scott Altomare
|Written by||Adam Green|
|Music by||Andy Garfield
|Editing by||Christopher Roth|
High Seas Entertainment
|Distributed by||Anchor Bay Entertainment|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Sampson (Robert Englund) and his son Ainsley (Joshua Leonard) are fishing in a swamp. While Ainsley is urinating, Sampson falls silent; Ainsley goes to see where he is and finds Sampson's corpse. He quickly grabs his harpoon, only to be murdered by an unknown monstrous being.
During a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, there is a group of friends including Ben (Joel Moore) and his best friend Marcus (Deon Richmond). Ben decides to go on a haunted swamp tour, and Marcus agrees to join him. The two find the tour closed because the guide, Rev. Zombie (Tony Todd), was sued for negligence. Rev. Zombie suggests that they try a place farther down the street, owned by the over-the-top, inexperienced tour guide Shawn (Parry Shen). Marcus decides to leave but changes his mind upon seeing two topless girls: Misty (Mercedes McNab), a ditzy porn star, and Jenna (Joleigh Fioreavanti), a bossy, boastful, up-and-coming actress. Their sleazy director, Doug Shapiro (Joel Murray), is also present. Ben pays for himself and Marcus and Shawn leads them to his tour bus, where the other tourists, Jim (Richard Riehle) and Shannon Permatteo (Patrika Darbo), a Minnesota couple, and the quiet, hot-tempered Marybeth (Tamara Feldman) are waiting.
Shawn does not know what he is doing, which the others realize as they arrive at the swamp. Shapiro has Misty and Jenna strip down and film a scene for Bayou Beavers as everyone boards the boat, while a homeless swamp-dweller warns them away from the swamp. Shawn leads them through swamplands and past abandoned houses, including one where Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder), a deformed creature, lived. Shawn mentions "one night Victor's dad (also Kane Hodder) goes crazy and whacks him in the face with a hatchet" while looking at "ghost lights"; however, Shannon sees someone in the trees, and Shawn accidentally crashes into a rock, sinking the boat. To reach land, they must walk across a broken tree. Jim is bitten on the leg by an alligator, making him, Marybeth, Misty and Shapiro fall into the water. They reach shore and run to safety, while Jim bleeds profusely. They realize that Shawn is not a tour guide; he is just a college student looking for money. Marybeth takes out a gun she brought and informs them that her father and brother, Sampson and Ainsley, disappeared while fishing nearby, presumably at Crowley's hands. She then tells them the real story of Victor Crowley.
Long ago, presumably the 1940s–60s, Crowley was a deformed boy who was kept hidden from the world by his father. One Halloween, a group of kids decided to scare Victor by throwing fireworks into his house, but it was engulfed in flames. Victor's father tried hacking down the door with a hatchet, but because Victor was pressed up against the other side of the door, he hit him in the face with the hatchet, killing him. Victor's father died of a broken heart ten years later. Marybeth believes Victor roams the swamp as a vengeful spirit.
Victor mostly kills people near his house, which they are standing in front of. Shannon becomes infuriated with how scared everyone is and decides to help her husband into the house herself, in which they are both killed by Victor. Victor uses his hatchet to chop Jim in half from the shoulder. Victor grabs Shannon's jaw and splits her head open by prying it open. Marybeth shoots Victor but this only makes him fall. While fleeing, Shapiro is separated from the group and killed. After finding Shapiro's corpse, Shawn, Jenna, Misty and Marcus stand guard as Ben and Marybeth get weapons only to come across Sampson's and Ainsley's bodies. The four are startled by noises in the bushes that turn out to be made by a small animal. Jenna is attacked and has her lower jaw removed by Victor with a Belt Sander just as Marybeth and Ben arrive with weapons. Ben hits Victor with a shovel, making him fall and then stabs him with a pitchfork. Shawn tries to get the shovel but Victor grabs it first and decapitates him with it. He then kills Jenna by impaling her with the same shovel that decapitated Shawn while the others run.
The survivors decide to lure Victor back to his house and set him on fire with the gasoline tanks in the shed. Ben goes into the shed to retrieve a gasoline tank while Misty stands guard and Marybeth and Marcus act as bait. Marybeth and Marcus discover that Misty is missing, and her corpse is thrown onto Ben by Victor, first her decapitated head and then her torso. Ben finds a tank and throws it on Victor while Marybeth and Marcus set him on fire, but he is extinguished thanks to rain. The three begin running through a cemetery and find the gate locked; Ben is tackled by Victor, who drools on his face before he is dragged to safety. They start running away, but Marcus is grabbed by Victor and killed. Victor grabs a gate pole and chases Ben and Marybeth, throwing it into Ben's foot. Marybeth bends the pole until it is pointed at Victor, who impales himself upon it. Ben and Marybeth board Sampson's boat and flee; Marybeth is snared by seaweed and pulled underwater. She sees Ben's arm sticking into the water for her to grab, but is pulled up by Victor, who is holding a dying Ben's severed forearm. The film ends with Victor holding her as she screams.
- Kane Hodder as Victor Crowley/Thomas Crowley
- Robert Englund as Sampson Dunston
- Tony Todd as Reverend Zombie
- Joel Moore as Ben
- Tamara Feldman as Marybeth Dunston
- Deon Richmond as Marcus
- Mercedes McNab as Misty
- Parry Shen as Shawn
- Joel Murray as Doug Shapiro
- Joleigh Fioreavanti as Jenna
- Richard Riehle as Jim Permatteo
- Patrika Darbo as Shannon Permatteo
- Joshua Leonard as Ainsley Dunston
- John Carl Buechler as Jack Cracker
- Rileah Vanderbilt as Young Victor Crowley
Hatchet was selected for Sitges International Film Festival in Spain in 2006.
Hatchet was selected for Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas in 2006. The film sold out both nights, resulting in extra folding chairs having to be set up in the theater and audience members sitting in the aisles. The film walked away with the audience award for "Best Picture" as well as jury prizes for "Best Actor" (Kane Hodder) and "Best Special Effects".
Hatchet was selected for Germany's Fantasy Film Festival in 2006. As part of the festival, the film toured Munich, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Bochum, Hamburg, and Berlin.
The film's last festival appearance in 2006 was at the October Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Hollywood. Adam Green introduced the screening and promised that the film had found a U.S. distributor, although at the time he did not reveal the name of the company. He also suggested that the release version of the film was likely to have its violence cut down in order to achieve an R rating.
Hatchet was selected for three more festivals in 2007 right before its release, including Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival and France's Weekend De La Peur.
Hatchet received mixed reviews from critics. Based on 43 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Hatchet has an overall 49% "rotten" approval rating from critics, with an average score of 5.4 out of 10. The consensus states "The over-the-top gore, campy acting, and dim cinematography may be part of Hatchet's self-described old-school ethos, but irony alone can't sustain a horror film." Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 57, based on 8 reviews.
Hatchet was released on DVD on December 18, 2007. There are two versions available, the original theatrical cut and the unrated director's cut (the difference between the two is that the unrated cut has an extra minute of gore). The film reportedly made $6 million in U.S. rentals alone during its first three weeks of release. The film has sold over 597,022 units in North America alone, translating into $8,262,721. The film was released on Blu-ray on September 7, 2010.
In November 2008, Anchor Bay Entertainment released a teaser poster for a sequel, Hatchet II and Adam Green returned to direct the film. Kane Hodder also returned as Victor Crowley/Mr. Crowley, with Tony Todd returning as Reverend Zombie, and John Carl Buechler as Jack Cracker. New in the cast was R.A. Mihailoff and Danielle Harris, who took over the role of Marybeth.
Hatchet II follows Marybeth as she escapes from Crowley's clutches, learns the truth about his curse, and heads back into the haunted New Orleans swamp to seek revenge for her family and kill Crowley once and for all. Green confirmed on March 29, 2010 the extension of the series to two more sequels, and has expressed interest.
Hatchet III has the police finding the bodies of the first two films' victims on the island and Marybeth is the chief suspect. Meanwhile, a reporter bent on the belief of Victor Crowley takes a deputy and Marybeth out to prove the legend.
- "Hatchet (2006) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database.
- "Hatchet". The-Numbers. Nash Information Services.
- Fright Fest Official Homepage
- "Fantasy Filmfest Filmarchiv". Retrieved April 25, 2011.
- "Hatchet (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- » HATCHET: Interview with writer-director Adam Green
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- Official website
- Hatchet at the Internet Movie Database
- Hatchet at Box Office Mojo
- Hatchet at Rotten Tomatoes
- Hatchet at Metacritic