Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
A search and recovery team 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.
For more about Hatchet III and the Hatchet III Blu-ray release, see Hatchet III Blu-ray Review published by Casey Broadwater on August 16, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Danielle Harris, Zach Galligan, Kane Hodder, Caroline Williams, Derek Mears, Rileah Vanderbilt
Director: BJ McDonnell
» See full cast & crew
Hatchet III Blu-ray Review
Third verse, same as the first. And second.
Reviewed by Casey Broadwater, August 16, 2013
The world needs another Hatchet movie like quasi-iconic baddie Victor Crowley needs another bullet in the chest, but you know how horror franchises work—they're even harder to kill off than their shambling bogeymen. For this latest installment, creator Adam Green—who once again wrote the script—has vacated the director's chair and passed off the filmmaking duties and general oversight to first-timer BJ McDonnell, who served as camera operator on the first two films. But don't expect any major changes to the Hatchet formula, which, at its simplest, involves sending a bunch of dim-witted locals into the Louisiana bayou to be creatively flayed, decapitated, dismembered, or otherwise mutilated by the hulking ghost/mutant/thing that is Victor Crowley. If the first movie was a semi-ironic homage to the slasher films of yore, its sequels pay honor to the longstanding horror tradition of diminishing returns, with each new entry—despite increased body counts—inherently less exciting than the last. To be fair, Hatchet III is probably a better movie than Hatchet II, but at the same time, the novelty has long since worn off, leaving only diehard fans to revel in the blood and guts.
Get ready for a heaping helping of more of the same. Much more. Hatchet III practically doubles the kills and exaggerates the gore, but the film does little to expand upon the legend of Victor Crowley, played again by the massive Kane Hodder, of Friday the 13th series fame. The one bit of newish knowledge we do get is that Crowley is essentially un-killable. He's corporeal, sure, but his vengeful spirit somehow miraculously repairs whatever damage his body takes, which spells trouble for the "last girl" of the last film, Marybeth (Danielle Harris), who—when this movie opens— thinks she's just put an end to Crowley by blasting him in the face with a shotgun, finally avenging the deaths of her dad and brother. While she's recovering from the shock, the swamp mutant rises, and the two get in another scuffle that ends with Crowley falling on a chainsaw and halving himself. Marybeth takes the beast's scalp and heads back to civilization, but she's tossed in the slammer when the yokel Sheriff Fowler (Zach Galligan) doesn't believe her story. His tune changes, however, when he sends a unit out to survey the scene of Hatchet II, and finds it littered with bodies. Or, body parts, anyway. Meanwhile, Fowler's ex-wife, Amanda (Caroline Williams)—a disgraced journalist and Crowley "expert"—has sniffed out the story and conspires to get Marybeth out of jail for one final confrontation with the monster. Her theory is that if Marybeth herself hand- delivers the ashes of Crowley's father—which they need to procure from Victor's racist cousin, Abbot McMullen (Sid Haig)—the spirit will be appeased and the curse lifted.
If only it were that easy. Crowley comes back, of course—he reassembles inside a body bag—and with a team of cops and paramedics scouring the swamp, he's got plenty of new kill fodder. Then we have the state S.W.A.T. team, which rolls in to assist, led by the burly Hawes, played by Derek Mears. If that name sounds familiar, it's because Mears played Jason Vorhees in the 2009 Friday the 13th reboot. The aim here, I guess, was to pit the two former Jasons against one another, but McDonnell squanders the opportunity with a mano-a-mano fight that—compared to some of the other insanity in the film—is disappointingly tame. The director makes up for it, though, with one over-the-top death after another, whittling down the huge ensemble to a skeleton cast in short order. There are twenty-two kills by my count, so a Hatchet III drinking game would definitely leave you vomiting from a combination of excessive alcohol and gross-out visuals. A skull is fried with a pair of defibrillator paddles. Intestines are ripped out. A brain is cleaved in two. One woman gets impaled through the mouth on a tree branch. Arms get ripped off and faces stomped. It's grisly, chunky stuff, covered in arterial sprays of blood, and I have to give McDonnell credit for sticking almost entirely with practical effects. If there's CGI here—and I'm sure there's some—it's largely unnoticeable. If nothing else, the Hatchet series has cleaved closely to the to violent ethos of the original 1980s slasher films.
The problem with Hatchet III—and Hatchet II, and to a lesser extent, Hatchet—is that the kills take precedence over the plot, the character development, and the franchise's own "mythology." The Crowley "legend" is a hodge-podge of mutant-killer cliches stolen from better origin stories. The cops and EMTs exist only to be slaughtered. There's no subtext and no subplots. Even the protagonist of the series, Marybeth, is too thinly sketched to hold our attention, let alone our empathy. We don't care, and consequently, the film is never scary or genuinely tense. At best, it delivers non-stop visceral thrills, but even these grow routine once we figure out that they're essentially all the film has to offer. A movie like Hatchet III, then, lives and dies on audience expectation. If all you want is to see heads ripped off and limbs torn asunder in progressively ridiculous ways, you'll probably be moderately entertained. If you require anything more from your horror films, though—interesting characters, real atmosphere and dread, a leaves-you-thinking story—you won't find it here.
Hatchet III Blu-ray, Video Quality
Camera operator-turned-director BJ McDonnell has given Hatchet III a slightly more cinematic look than the first two films, shooting in the anamorphic 2.40:1 ratio as opposed to the taller 1.85:1. It's also clear that he wanted the movie to look like it was shot on film, even though it was shot digitally with Red cameras. In post-production, a layer of 16mm-simulating film grain was applied over the image, giving it a gritty look that approximates the style of low-budget horror outings from the 1970s. This is an intentional stylistic choice—so don't go asking why the picture is so grainy—and it works well. (It's certainly an improvement over Hatchet II, which had a cheap-looking digital glossiness.) The film's 1080p/AVC- encoded Blu-ray presentation seems true to McDonnell's vision, which means that it definitely won't be the sharpest, crispest film you'll see this year, but that the image does have plenty of texture and character. There's no digital noise reduction here—that would be counterproductive—and no edge enhancement or other obvious issues. The decision to use a grain overlay does soften the picture somewhat, but there's still a strong degree of high definition detail, particularly in closeups, where skin and clothing textures remain visible. Color is adequately balanced and graded too; considering how much of the film takes place at night, it's something of a minor miracle that there's little crush in the shadows. No real problems here, providing you know up-front that this is going to be a heavily grainy movie.
Hatchet III Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Hatchet III features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track that's loud, bass-heavy, and filled with wildly exaggerated sound effects. The rip of a chainsaw. A face pulped by a boot heel. Surging electricity. Gloopy squishes of viscera. Gunshots in all directions and explosions that send debris ricocheting through the soundfield. In general, the mix makes good use of the surround speakers, which—when not occupied with crazy cross- channel movements—are busy pumping out ambience, like swamp sounds and local jail clamor. You can also expect lots of speed-riffing metal music. I wouldn't call this a reference-listening track, but it's forceful, clear, and suits this kind of movie. Dialogue, as dumb as it often is, is always clear and understandable, and the disc includes optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles for those who might need or want them.
Hatchet III Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Hatchet III Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I'm sure there are longtime Hatchet fans who will cheer the gory excesses of this third entry in the series, but more general horror audiences will probably be put off by how little this film has to offer otherwise. After a while—and this time comes in every horror lover's heart—bloody mayhem alone just isn't enough to sustain interest. Enjoying Hatchet III, then, is a matter of expectation. Company matters too. This isn't a fun movie to watch alone, but with a few friends and a few drinks it could end up being a bit more entertaining. MPI/Dark Sky Film's Blu-ray release adds value with two commentary tracks and a few other extras, but I'd still say this one is for fans only.
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Hatchet III. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Hatchet III in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Hatchet III Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Hatchet III Blu-ray - July 15, 2013
Dark Sky Films has announced the Blu-ray release of Hatchet III, the latest chapter in creator Adam Green's saga of swamp monster Victor Crowley. The third film in the series stars Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder, and streets on August 13th.
Hatchet III Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Hatchet III Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Hatchet III Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.