Hatchet III (2013)

Kane Hodder and Derek Mears in Hatchet III (2013)

Hatchet III continues the escalation that Hatchet II began: where the first sequel replaced unarmed tourists with armed hillbillies, the second sequel upgrades to an entire SWAT platoon (and consequently, even fewer female characters). The same intensification is evident in the gore, which is more excessive but less imaginative than the earlier films. Where Hatchet II was elevated by a decent story and a memorable turn from Tony Todd, the third film has little to recommend it, its half-hearted screenplay an underwhelming excuse to send a bunch of unexceptional characters to their deaths at the hands of Victor Crowley.

By now, the inexplicably well-lit woods where the bulk of the action takes place have well-and-truly worn out their welcome; it might accommodate a low budget, but it’s a boring setting (jazzing it up with blue lights and dry ice – disco-style! – doesn’t help). The jokey horror references of the prequels remain, and provide the film’s brief moments of entertainment thanks to a host of horror alumni, with Sid Haig doing his best in a brief cameo, and new-Jason (Derek Mears) pitted against old-Jason (Kane Hodder). Sadly, all Hatchet III really has to recommend it is such “I know that guy” moments.

Rating: 83/200

3 thoughts on “Hatchet III (2013)

  1. There are a couple of funny moments in this film I didn’t have space to mention – an early payout of the series’ writing complete with a reaction shot of Adam Green is funny, if obvious, but there’s a hilarious callback to the first film that only works since the three films occur over three days.

    • The first two have their charms, but this was one was definitely skippable. I think they’re really for horror fans only, in terms of the way they’re made, full of references and built very much like ’80s horror etc.

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