Hatchet III review

Victor Crowley is back, bigger and uglier than ever, and still spreading body parts all over the swamp. Also back is Marybeth (Harris), still trying to take Crowley out once and for all. But you can't keep a good ghoul down.

Hatchet III picks up right where Part II left off. Marybeth is having her showdown with Vic (Hodder), and is convinced that she's finally beaten the monster for good when she sees him sliced in two after he falls onto a bloody big chainsaw. So has she finally got her revenge for the deaths of her brother and father at the hands of this deforemd axe-weidling maniac? Of course not, else this would be a very short film indeed! Marybeth heads in to town and turns herself over to the police, who seem convinced that this slight girl is responsible for the bloody mayhem that took place in the swamp. The sherrif (Galligan) and a posse of SWAT officers head in to investigate, while local tabloid journalist turned blogger Amanda (Williams) sneaks her way in to the station to convince Marybeth that the creature survives and there is only one way to be rid of Crowley forever.

As sequels go, Hatchet III is not quite up there with HII, but is still superior to the first film. Crowley is at his menacing best, pulling bodies apart with gay abandon and liberally coating the swamplands with blood. Green is on producing and writing duties only this time, and the film lacks his lightness of touch. Directing is first-timer McDonnell, best known as a cinematographer – he shot the first two Hatchets, and has also worked on Jack Reacher, The Lords of Salem, The Walking Dead, The Collection and more. He seems a skilled director to be sure, but the comedy seems a little heavy-handed at times.

While not as funny as the second, Hatchet III is still as gory as you'd expect, and want, it to be. From the opening sequence that has Crowley being chainsawed in two and showering Marybeth with blood, Hatchet III does not pull its punches when it comes to graphic dismemberment. Heads and arms are ripped from torsos, skulls are crushed beneath boots and men are separated from their testicles. It's a nasty, nasty film – the fake-blood budget must have been pretty big for this one.

With solid acting – particularly from Harris and Galligan – Hatchet III is a decent entry in the trilogy, and leaves the way open for the franchise to continue. The slasher market is not that crowded these days, and it's good to see an old-fashioned throwback to the likes of Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. It's messy and fun, in the best possible way.

Hatchet III at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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