Hatchet (film)

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This article is about the 2006 horror film. For the 1990 film based on the Gary Paulsen novel, see A Cry in the Wild.
Promotional poster
Directed by Adam Green
Produced by
  • Scott Altomare
  • Sarah Elbert
  • Cory Neal
Written by Adam Green
Music by Andy Garfield
Cinematography Will Barratt
Edited by Christopher Roth
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release dates
  • April 27, 2006 (2006-04-27) (Tribeca Film Festival)
  • September 7, 2007 (2007-09-07) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $208,550[1][2]

Hatchet is a 2006 American slasher film written and directed by Adam Green. The film has an ensemble horror film cast, including Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd.


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 Fioravanti), 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 named Jack Cracker 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. The boat eventually hits a rock and begins to sink, leaving all aboard stranded in the middle of the swamp, and the crew struggles, as now Jim, his leg previously bit by an alligator, remains helpless.

As the crew move across the woods, they encounter the shabby Crowley house, and Marybeth shares the legend of Victor Crowley. Victor was a deformed child with a rare disease, who was often bullied by other kids and was kept hidden by his father, Thomas Crowley. One night, a group of mean teenagers stumble across the house, and throw fireworks at his house to scare Victor. The house begins to burn, and Thomas returns, causing the teens to flee. Victor is then killed, when Thomas accidentally hits Victor in the face with a hatchet when he was trying to break down the door. Marybeth explains that the legend has it, that Victor remains to roam the swamp at night, looking for his father. Marybeth then explains that they are not safe in the woods, and the crew don't believe her.

As Jim and Shannon approach the house, Victor comes out of it and attacks and kills both Jim and Shannon, causing the group to flee. Marybeth manages to shoot Victor a few times with a handgun, presumably killing him. Shapiro splits from the group and is killed by Victor. The remaining survivors, then decided to return to the house where they can arm with weapons.

While at the house, Marybeth and Ben discovers her brother and father's remains. Meanwhile, Marcus, Shawn, Misty and Jenna hear a noise in a bush. Marcus goes to investigate and discovers that it was only a racoon. Victor then surprises the group and manages to get a hold of Jenna, then shreds her mouth off with a belt sander. Marybeth and Ben return and attack Victor. While the other survivors flee, Shawn tries to fight Victor, but instead is killed, while first his leg is cut off with a shovel then is beheaded. Victor then lifts up a helpless Jenna, and impales her onto the shovel.

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 severed 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. 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.



Hatchet was selected for the 2006 London FrightFest Film Festival[3] at The Odeon West End on August 25, 2006. It was introduced on stage by Adam Green who hosted a Q&A session afterwards.

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 won 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.[4]

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.[citation needed]

Hatchet was selected for three more festivals in 2007 before its release, including Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal and Weekend De La Peur in France.[citation needed]


Hatchet received mixed reviews from critics. Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian awarded the film 2 out of 5 stars calling the film, "A reasonably serviceable horror [film]".[5] Marc Savlov from Austin Chronicle gave the film 3 1/2 out of 5 stars, praising the film's "quippy dialogue", orchestral score, and gore effects.[6] Bloody Disgusting gave the film a positive review, praising the film's 80's slasher film style, calling it "A bloody great ride".[7]

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."[8] 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.[9]

Home media[edit]

Hatchet was released on DVD on December 18, 2007.[10] There are two versions available, the original theatrical cut and the unrated director's cut, the latter having an extra minute of gore. The film reportedly made $6 million in U.S. rentals during its first three weeks of release. The film has sold over 597,022 units in North America, translating into $8,262,721.[2] The film was released on Blu-ray on September 7, 2010.[11]


Main articles: Hatchet II and Hatchet III

In November 2008, Anchor Bay Entertainment released a teaser poster for a sequel,[12] Hatchet II[13] and Green returned to direct the film.[14] Hodder returned as Victor Crowley/Mr. Crowley, with Todd returning as Reverend Zombie, and Buechler as Jack Cracker. New in the cast were R.A. Mihailoff and Danielle Harris, who took over the role of Marybeth.[15]

Hatchet II follows Marybeth as she escapes from Crowley's clutches, learns the truth about his curse,[16] and heads back into the haunted New Orleans swamp to seek revenge for her family and to kill Crowley once and for all.[17] 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.


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