Hatchet III (2013) Review
Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder return in this third entry in the Hatchet series for what may be the most chaotic film of the trilogy. Hatchet III begins exactly where Hatchet II left off, with Marybeth in the woods and Victor Crowley dead. She wanders into town and into the local police station covered in blood, weapon in one hand and Crowley’s scalp in the other. Needless to say, the local sheriff’s department doesn’t take this too well and locks her up before heading to the swamp to investigate. Now since Crowley is a maniacal superhuman killing machine on par with Jason Voorhees, death doesn’t stop him, and the body count follows closely behind.
The acting is pretty good for a movie more obviously focused on the gore and body count, as with the other entries. But it’s actually Danielle Harris’s performance in this one that’s a bit disappointing. It’s not a bad performance, but there’s a lot of high expectation around this modern scream queen favorite, and this role seems a bit on the forced side. To be fair, this may be mainly due to the goofy dialogue assigned to her character. Marybeth is just not written to par with what she has been in the past two entries.
There has been an obvious attempt at comedy throughout the series, and Hatchet III is no exception, but there are some exchanges of dialogue that are just a little too strange and don’t fit the tone (serious or otherwise). That being said, the majority of the film alternates between buckets of gore, and some rather funny exchanges between characters. Sid Haig even makes an appearance as the senile and racist Abbot McMullen, and is responsible for one of the funniest scenes of the film. But that won’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Haig.
If there’s one main thing Hatchet III does well, it’s the gore. Any gorehound will be satisfied with the classic practical effects and tens of gallons of blood, even if they tend on the cheesy side. Throw in the SWAT team and local police force, and you have plenty of action as well. So as far as pure entertainment goes, it delivers. The plot is a bit mundane, and certainly falls into the overdone-and-predictable category. But as slashers tend to go, it’s not the plot that matters.
Hatchet III is certainly a step up from the second, with more gore and about as high a body count as can be crammed into an hour and a half. Those that were disappointed with the second film should find that this third film redeems it. However, it’s still not entirely up to par with the original Hatchet. But that is almost always the case with sequels. Definitely take some time to see this one, and then we’ll just have to wait and see if they intend on making a fourth.