Hatchet III picks up immediately after the events of Hatchet III. Marybeth walks into the downtown New Orleans sheriff’s station with Victor Crowley’s scalp and a gun in hand. She is subsequently arrested and held for the murders that have transpired over the past few days in the nearby bayou. Shortly after her incarceration, the sheriff’s ex-wife, who is a big believer in the Victor Crowley legend, springs Marybeth loose. Marybeth then proceeds to confront Victor Crowley one last time.
Adam Green hands over the directorial reins to camera operator B.J. McDonnell for this 2013 sequel. Green still maintains a great deal of creative control, though. He stays on as a producer and also pens the script for Hatchet III. McDonnell carries out Green’s vision in this third installment. He keeps the same visual aesthetic that Adam Green established in the first two films and maintains the same level of ultra violence as the two previous installments as well.
One thing McDonnell approaches differently than Green is the use of nudity. The first two Hatchet films are loaded with the prominent display of bare boobs. But McDonnell’s Hatchet III steers clear of the type of exploitative nudity Green’s previous films were laden with.
Green’s script for Hatchet III is sharp and creates another excuse for Marybeth to venture back into the bayou and confront the seemingly invincible Victor Crowley one more time
As for where this film falls in the grand scheme of the Hatchet trilogy, I would place it in the middle. Part Two remains the most solid and cohesive entry in the franchise and Part One is still my least favorite. Hatchet III riffs on a lot of what worked in Hatchet II but the storyline where Marybeth goes into the swamp, sees Victor Crowley, fights Victor Crowley, defeats Victor Crowley and then leaves the swamp is getting a little tired. I will say that this film caps off the franchise and the ending leaves little likelihood for a sequel. If we do see another installment in the Hatchet series, I would expect it to be a prequel that focuses mainly on Victor Crowley’s origins.
Like the previous installments, the bloodshed in Hatchet III is ample and pretty epic. If you enjoyed the first two films, there is a very high probability you will like this 2013 sequel. The body count is as high and probably higher than the previous installments. The violence is as excessive as it gets. And the deaths are still quite imaginative. Like its predecessors, this film relies heavily on practical makeup effects. The FX are a bit cheesy at times but still much preferable to CG.
The performances in Hatchet III are all pretty good. No one steals the show but there are no bad showings. It’s very nice to see Zach Galligan (Gremlins) as the sheriff. When I spoke with him about his involvement with the film, he said he wanted to come off as a scenery chewing southern sheriff. And that is exactly how I perceived his performance. Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre II) is right at home as the sheriff’s ex-wife. She makes a great addition to the cast. And Kane Hodder turns in another terrific performance as the film’s primary antagonist. Hatchet III is full of familiar faces, which will prove enjoyable for horror fans as we get to see some of our favorite people pop up in cameo appearances.
If you are a fan of the Hatchet films and have not seen Hatchet III, you should give it a shot. The films build upon one another. So if you haven’t seen the first two, it would behoove you to start at the beginning. Hatchet III is now on DVD and Blu-ray as an unrated director’s cut from Dark Sky Films. The home video release features two audio commentary tracks, a series of featurettes, and a variety of other extras.
Director(s): B.J. McDonnell
Writer(s): Adam Green
Stars: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan, Caroline Williams
Studio/ Production Co: Dark Sky Films
Length: 82 Minutes