Back in 2006 we saw a brutal killer born out of the Honey Island Swamp by the name of Victor Crowley. When we were first introduced to this new breed of killer it brought audiences back to a time when slashers ruled the horror genre. Three films later, would Crowley leave a legacy behind he would be proud of? Adam Green passes the torch to BJ McDonnell who makes Hatchet III his directorial debut as it follows a search and recovery team that heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and Marybeth learns the secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.
If you’ve made it this far into the series then you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. You’re going to get Victor Crowley running around as the unstoppable beast that he is, who literally tears everyone to pieces with his bare hands. And that’s exactly what he does the entire film. Which is great. The problem though, is that it all wears thin pretty quickly when you don’t care a whole lot about the characters. That was the big disappointment with Hatchet II and as you can tell, the latest installment hasn’t learned from its previous mistakes. Instead of giving us a someone to root for, they gave us a cast of people who look good dying and that’s about it. Hell, even our gorgeous hero, Danielle Harris, is hardly used in the film. It seems as though all Hatchet III really cared about was the body count.
Even so. I can forgive a few pointless characters because again, we all showed up to watch Victor Crowley rip people apart right? And on that level I’d say the film did just fine. While it still never reaches the same level of fun as the original flick and a few of the death scenes felt a bit uninspired, I did have some fun watching Crowley man handle an entire group of people while having bullets rain down on him. It was a decent end to the series but I can’t help but feel like there could have been so much more for Victor Crowley. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll find some things in Hatchet III to enjoy — like when he rips a man’s spine out through his chest. Outside of a bunch of blood splattering on the ground and some people screaming for dear life, there isn’t a whole lot to grab on to, which is a shame because it could be a very long time before we see another beast like Victor Crowley.
BJ McDonnell does a great job with his first feature length film as he lets Crowley run wild throughout the entire flick, it’s just unfortunate the couldn’t reel him in when he needed him the most. Hatchet III is a disappointing finish to a once promising series, but if you’re a fan of Victor Crowley you might as well check it out because he certainly delivers some memorable kills. And if you haven’t seen a Hatchet film, I’d suggest watching the first flick, it’s a hell of a good time!