Opening with a shotgun blasting a hole in the face of a grotesque brute—and soon afterward treating us to the sight of a self-disembowelment by chainsaw—Hatchet III announces exactly who it’s aimed at right from the start. (If you don’t like sequels where the title’s Roman numerals are rendered in jagged slashes of blood, this isn’t for you.) Hatchet heroine Marybeth (Danielle Harris) has just killed the deformed bayou hulk Victor Crowley (four-time Jason Voorhees Kane Hodder), and then marches, slathered with blood, into a local police station to turn herself in. But Crowley is a “repeater,” a ghost destined to return to life every night in an endless cycle, so staying dead isn’t an option. Amanda (horror vet Caroline Williams), a journalist disgraced by her obsession with the Crowley legend, has an plan to break that cycle, and she needs Marybeth to, ahem, execute it. Meanwhile, cops and EMTs descend on the crime scene at Honey Island Swamp, where a revived Crowley soon commences tearing them to pieces. There’s no shortage of visceral, gross-out thrills: Aside from the dismemberments, we’re presented with a death by defibrillator, and a loving shot of half a brain falling from half a skull. Disappointingly, Marybeth is largely passive in this installment, the apparent climax of writer-producer Adam Green’s Hatchet trilogy. She gets her Final Girl status merely by being the last one to show up.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 13, 2013