I’ve never been a huge cheerleader of Adam Green’s Hatchet franchise. It’s another modern horror film that toted a novelty of being a slasher throwback and although it had its moments its tone varied too much for me. In other words, I didn’t get what all the fuss was about. I Enjoyed the second film while the third largely fell flat for me.
It’s strange then that Victor Crowely, the fourth film in the series, worked for me as much as it did. The entry follows past Crowley survivor Adam Young (Parry Shen), now promoting his book on the 10th anniversary of the bloodbath he narrowly escaped. Returning to the swamp he vowed never to set foot in again as part of a promotional stunt to support the sales of his book, he and several others become victims of a plane crash over the swamp, depositing them all into the lap of supernatural killer Crowley.
Green isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel and although this is pretty contrived standard horror faire here, he does prove one thing to us: he really knows how to make a Hatchet film. Beat for beat the film works with a nice blend of horror and comedy that feels less forced than the other installments. I think that’s where the film shines is, three films after the original, the balance that the franchise needed has finally been struck. Sure we get some silly slapstick courtesy actor-for-hire Dillon McMasters (comedy veteran Dave Sheridan), BUT it actually works here and Sheridan is just one member of a very well rounded cast in VC. Cast and tone are key to the success of Victor Crowley and if Green can keep this momentum up I’ d be excited to see another installment.