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This review contains spoilers, but I will try to keep them light. On the other hand it is a "teens chased and killed by deranged/deformed psycho" movie so if any of the plot points come as a surprise, shame on you.

First off let me say that I had high hopes for this film. Perhaps my expectations were set too far in the clouds, or maybe the hype machine over at Ain't It Cool News got to me a little bit too much, but I was really excited to watch this movie.

Billed as "Old School American Horror" it sounded like everything would be right up my alley: a deformed monster, slutty chicks, nice guy hero and blood and guts. Going in to this movie I knew it was low budget, shot on a tight schedule, and the second feature directed by Adam Green.

I read an interview with Adam Green about how much he loved Halloween and how it inspired him to be a film maker. That raised my expectations even higher.

Imagine my surprise when all I got was a substandard "unkillable psycho goes on a rampage against a group of lost tourists" movie.

I really really wanted Hatchet to work, and be good and something I could show to my friends to make them cower in fear. But it falls flat on several levels.

The first thing I didn't like about the film was the medium it was shot on. I believe it was shot digitally, but don't quote me on that. The movie looks like MTV's The Real World. Everything is slick and polished and has a "home video" feel to it. It is kind of hard to describe, but the visual quality feels insubstantial.

The characters were typical one dimensional horror characters, although it was nice to see the cast full of people you recognize, but sometimes can't quite place. Watch the movie and you will know what I mean.

So what about the plot? Well Ben is sad because he got dumped, so his friends take him to Mardi Gras to cheer him up. Instead of looking at all the boobies and getting wasted, he decides to go on a "Haunted Swamp Tour" His best friend comes along for the ride.

They meet the rest of the tour, start off and eventually end up outside of Victor Crowley's house. Victor Crowley then comes out and starts killing them one by one.

And that is where my biggest gripe with the movie lies. There is almost no suspense. There is no build up to the carnage. Somebody doesn't walk off alone and disappear. There isn't a shadowy shape stalking the group, maybe grabbing a straggler without a sound.

They are all literally standing in a group and Victor busts out of his house and hacks off a guys head in front of the whole group. Is it shocking? Yes. Is it violent? Oh heck yah. Is it gory? You bet your ass.

So what's the problem? There is no build-up. There is no drawn out suspense. I guess Adam Green loves Halloween but didn't want to follow in it's footsteps by really building atmosphere and tension.

The other thing that pissed me off, is that Victor Crowley is a big wimp. He goes down real quick. One stab of a pitchfork or kick to the gut is enough to put him on the ground long enough for the heroes to run away again. Sure he gets back up and pops out of nowhere to tear someone's arms off, but you can bet that if you kicked Jason Voorhees in the gut he'd rip your leg off right there instead of letting you run away some more.

Plus they totally ripped off Victor's looks from a much earlier film. You wanna know what Victor Crowley looks like?
WARNING: "Spoiler Pic!" spoilers below

Yes, it's Sloth!

Once the killing starts it is a quick and violent ride to the ending. Which I liked, except that it lacked much of a "final showdown." There was nothing to equal pulling Freddy in to the real world or stabbing Michael with a hanger.

So what did work for this movie? Well the cast is pretty decent. I recognized pretty much everyone, even if I didn't know from where, and the cameos are nice and add a bit of humor to the movie. Speaking of humor, I did laugh several times at Ben and Marcus' interactions. Their relationship seemed real and built from years of hanging out.

The effects are good and gory and the deaths are generally inventive. And where they lack inventiveness, they make up for with enthusiasm.

Plus there are quite a few breasts seen throughout the film. So if that is your cup of tea, the film should make a tasty beverage. If you like you could ignore that last line and insert your own poor analogy or simile instead.

All in all Hatchet was a decent if somewhat forgettable low-budget slasher film. It had potential, and I could see a couple of sequels taking it up a notch, but for the most part it doesn't have the impact that I was hoping for. If all you want is a quick, boobie-filled death fest, than look no further than Hatchet.