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Film / Hatchet


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Hatchet is a troperiffic 2006 slasher movie written and directed by Adam Green, who also directed Frozen (not THAT Frozen).

A long time ago, Victor Crowley was born in the Louisiana bayou horribly disfigured, becoming the butt of jokes among the other kids. One day, he is accidentally killed during a prank gone wrong, and his ghost continues to haunt the bayou. Years later, a haunted river cruise run by an inept boat pilot heads into a closed-off section of the river and runs aground, forcing the nine people on board to get off and hike back to New Orleans. Problem is, Victor's ghost still haunts these woods...

Hatchet was created as a throwback to the golden age of slasher movies in The '80s, and it shows. It gleefully employs all of the tropes used by said movies, all while cranking the gore to almost-unthinkable levels (it had to go through two months of recuts to get an R rating). The film quickly gained a massive following among horror fans for its reconstruction of the slasher genre, and two sequels were released in 2010 and 2013.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Accidental Murder: Victor Crowley's father accidentally killed Victor with the eponymous hatchet while trying to chop the door down on the burning shack.
  • Agony of the Feet: Crowley takes out Shawn's leg with a single swipe of the shovel.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The reason why Ben's ex left him.
  • Alpha Bitch: Both Misty and Jenna.
  • American Accents: Marybeth has a Dixie accent, while Jim and Shannon have Upper Midwest-sounding accents (even though Jim is wearing a Panthers shirt).
  • An Axe to Grind: Naturally.
  • Backup Twin: Justin to Shawn in Hatchet II. Invoked in Hatchet III as the actor who played the two, Parry Shen, came back to play Andrew, a paramedic who's not related to the two. There's even a You Look Familiar moment as one of the medics tells him that they found Shawn's corpse and that he looks like Andrew, resulting in a All Asians Look Alike moment.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with Jenna, who gets the skin on her lower lip and chin ripped off with a sand belt.
  • The Big Easy
  • Black Best Friend: Marcus.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Subverted. The Asian boat driver Shawn is the fourth one to bite it, while the black guy Marcus makes it to the final three. Also subverted in Hatchet II as Rev. Zombie is the last one to die and in Hatchet III where Deputy Winslow is third to last to die.
  • Blatant Lies: "We're not sinking!"
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Victor's last act is coughing blood into Ben's face... or is it?
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Victor climbs into the boat, kills Ben, rips his arm off, then pulls Marybeth out of the water screaming. Cut to black, roll credits.
    • The sequel reveals that Marybeth escapes Victor. Hatchet 3 reveals that Ben actually survived. Then Victor shows off his throwing skills....
    • Subverted at the end of Hatchet III with Andrew being the only non-wounded survivor while Marybeth... It's hard to tell if she'll live or not.
  • The Cameo: Tony Todd, at least for the first film. He has a much bigger part in II. Then there's also Sid Haig in III as the last known living relative to Victor Crowley, who also has the ashes of Thomas Crowley.
    • Creator Cameo: Film's director Adam Green appears briefly in the Mardi Gras montage in the first film, and appears yet again, suffering from a hangover in II, then appears one last time in III getting brought into jail.
    • Death by Cameo: Englund's character in the first film along with Shawn Ashmore in the second film and Ben in the third film.
  • Chainsaw Good: Victor commits a horrible double Groin Attack with a gigantic redwood chainsaw in the sequel, combined with Half the Man He Used to Be. OUCH.
    • Comes back to bit Victor in the ass in the beginning of Hatchet III after he's pushed onto the running chainsaw by Marybeth, slicing him in two vertical slices... Though, we know he gets better.
  • Classically Trained Extra: Jenna is an NYU graduate who is clearly upset that she's had to stoop to doing softcore porn. Only she was lying about being an NYU grad; she actually went to Hofstra University.
    • This joke becomes a lot funnier if you grew up in Long Island and know about the reputation that Hofstra has as a party school.
  • Clean Cut: Somehow performed with Victor's hatchet in the sequel.
  • Continuity Nod: The sequel has a lot of them, even just during the opening credits.
  • Cover Drop
  • Crosscast Role: Young Victor in the flashbacks is actually played by a woman.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Just about every single death in the series. When you can say the guys who get their heads split in half or are decapitated are getting off easy....
  • Cue Card: Shawn relies on these during the boat trip.
  • Deadly Prank: Victor is killed as a result of other kids throwing fireworks at his house, setting it on fire. His father tried to go in to rescue him, but accidentally split his skull with a hatchet.
  • Death by Sex: Layton and Avery in Hatchet II. He is decapitated while taking her from behind (which she fails to realize for a moment) and she gets an hatchet in an... uncomfortable place.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Marybeth spends most of III in the jail and then in a parallel storyline tracking Victor Crowley's origin. Sheriff Fowler is the protagonist for the majority of the story before getting killed off only for Marybeth to take back her Protagonist status.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The first half of the movie.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: It's Victor Crowley's swamp.
  • Dope Slap: Used by Marcus in an attempt to get Ben to be less awkward when talking up Marybeth. A montage of them features in the gag reel.
  • Dumb Blonde: Misty.
  • Dwindling Party: The group gets steadily whittled down over the course of the movie.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Victor Crowley. Albeit with a touch of Unreliable Narrator, and Alternate Character Interpretation for both Victor and his Father. Was Victor an Anti-Villain, or a villain? Was Thomas Crowley protecting his son, or hiding his sins? Between the two movies there's plenty of evidence for all of the above, or a mixture of all of them.
  • Expy: Victor Crowley, to Jason Voorhees. They have extremely similar backstories, both are deformed children, that returned back to life to murder people, and both were even played by the same actor (Kane Hodder). This is actualy lampshaded in the second movie:
    Chad: Hey, man. Who's Victor Crowley?
    Layton: Well, he's nothing. A local bogeyman story about a retarded maniac who haunts Honey Island. People just use it to keep kids away from the swamp.
    Chad: You mean like a Jason Voorhees or something?
    Layton: Something like that.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: Marybeth obliterating Victor's head with his own hatchet in Hatchet II.
  • Eye Scream: In the opening to Hatchet II, Marybeth escapes Victor by shoving her finger into his eye.
  • Facial Horror: Multiple deaths throughout the films have this.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Uncle Bob in Hatchet II
    ''"Come on, you hatchet-faced fuck!"
    • Played Straight and Averted at the same time in Hatchet III when Hawes tries to do the same and get in a fight with Victor, even having the spine to call him a Bitch... Only to get said spine, along with his skull, ripped out through his stomach.
  • Fanservice: The first appearance of Misty and Jenna has them topless and making out. We get a few more shots of their bare breasts before the end of the movie. And then there's the Mardi Gras montage at the beginning...
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: How Andrew survived throughout Hatchet III.
  • Final Girl: Marybeth, along with a Final Guy in Ben. Subverted when they go for a Kill 'em All ending, and double subverted by the sequel's revelation that Marybeth survived the Bolivian Army Ending.
    • Turns into a Final Guy trope at the end of Hatchet III with Andrew being the only survivor while Marybeth is impaled on a tree branch, though she might live.
  • Flipping the Bird: Done by Marcus when asked to come down from the tree he just climbed up in terror.
  • Freudian Slip: When Shannon asks what kind of movie Doug is directing, Doug asks her and her husband Jim if they've ever heard of Bayou Beavers. Jim replies yes, then suddenly switches his answer to no.
  • Genre Throwback: To '80s slasher flicks.
  • Gorn: Let's put it this way. A large percentage of the tropes on this page involve ways in which characters die, get injured, or spill blood.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera cuts to black and goes to the credits just before Marybeth's implied death. Subverted in that the sequel reveals that she survived.
    • Uncle Bob's death in the second film.
    • Played Straight, then Averted in Hatchet III with Hamilton's death.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The first death in Hatchet II is Victor ripping out Jack Cracker's intestines and choking him with them so hard that his head explodes.
  • The Grotesque: Victor Crowley.
  • Guttural Growler: Part of the Reverend Zombie's act. He is played by Tony "Candyman" Todd after all.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Jim gets chopped in half with a hatchet through his shoulder.
    • Ainsley gets ripped in two in the opening.
    • John and Vernon in Hatchet II. Also, Reverend Zombie, though this isn't what kills him.
    • Along with a Red Shirt Cop in Hatchet III
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Shannon tilts her head and lets her mouth hang open once she sees Doug filming Misty and Jenna (off-camera) and realizes that he's a porn director.
  • High-Pressure Blood: By the gallon.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the original, Victor is (temporarily) killed when he runs into a pole he threw into Ben's foot, impaling himself through the neck. In the sequel, he discards his own hatchet and Marybeth uses it to demolish his face.
    • Also from Hatchet II Reverend Zombie believed that the death of Marybeth's Uncle Bob would end things so he looks him in the shack with Victor. Unfortunately Marybeth's real uncle died from cancer years ago.
    • In "Hatchet II" Victor used a huge ass chainsaw to slice Vernon and John vertically in two. In the intro of Hatchet III, he ends up falling onto the chainsaw and is split in two himself... Though, it doesn't kill him.
  • Hope Spot: Marybeth, Ben and Marcus set Victor on fire and think they've won... and then it starts raining.
    • Happens AGAIN in Hatchet III when Marybeth and Amanda try giving him the ashes of his dad, hopefully to end him for good... Then Deputy Windslow shoots him... Not a smart move.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday
  • I'm Melting: Victor Crowley in Hatchet III.
  • Immune to Bullets
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Jenna gets killed this way.
    • Marybeth is given the same treatment in Hatchet III... Though she might not be dead.
  • Implacable Man: Victor gets shot, stabbed with a pitchfork, set on fire and impaled through the neck, and he still doesn't die. Justified in that he's a ghost... thing. While these acts were enough to slow down/incapacitate him in the first movie, by the time Hatchet III occurred he was walking through multiple rounds from a small police force. Perhaps he was stronger due to anger from the events of the previous 2 nights.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: In Hatchet II, Victor kills Chad by bashing his face in with the top of his hatchet (the dull part) while he's on the ground. 30 times!
  • Inertial Impalement: Victor accidentally skewers himself on a metal pole during the climax of the first film.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: With Hack/Slash, and with Adam Green's other film Frozen (2010) and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Invoked by Marybeth shortly before Misty is realized to be dead.
  • Jaw Breaker: Multiple times throughout both films.
  • Jerkass: Doug Shapiro, the sleazy porn director, who turns out to be a marketing manager named Samuel Barrett who posed as a porn director only to build his own porn collection. And he's from New Jersey.
  • Kill 'em All: In the first two films, everyone but Marybeth perishes.
  • Kill It with Fire: Marybeth, Ben and Marcus try this in the first film. It doesn't work.
  • Lame Comeback: Misty, repeatedly.
  • Lampshade Hanging: This is compounded with Rage Against the Author, Self-Deprecating Humor, and a Take That early in Hatchet III, when the local sheriff hangs a gigantic lampshade on the Idiot Plot decisions that made the first two films possible:
    "That has to be the stupidest story and some of the most idiotic and contrived decision making I've ever heard."
    • The punchline is that the drunk in the next cell gives him a shocked look because he's played by the writer of the series.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Lampshaded in 2, where the hunters decide to split up and Uncle Bob, the resident Only Sane Man, points out that even without an axe wielding ghost on the loose, a bunch of trigger happy guys with guns wandering around in a dark swamp is probably a bad idea. Naturally, he is ignored.
  • Made of Plasticine: Most of Victor's victims have a number of limbs removed with ease.
    • Even Victor Crowley himself isn't immune to this, as running into a pole is sufficient enough to cause his impalement, and tiny little Marybeth is able to turn his face into pudding with multiple hatchet strikes.
  • Man on Fire: Victor, after Kill It with Fire occurs.
  • Mr. Exposition: Marybeth.
  • Neck Snap
  • Not Quite Dead: Played for Laughs, more than once.
  • Numbered Sequels
  • Off with His Head!: The fate of Shawn, Doug, Misty and Shannon. The latter gets her head torn in half. Damn, Victor sure does like his decapitations, does he?
    • Then he does the same in the sequel to Layton and Jack Cracker. The former while having sex with his ex and the latter by getting choked hard enough with his own entrails to pop it off.
    • Happens YET AGAIN in Hatchet III where ALOT of the deaths involve heads being removed. One poor bastard gets his head Belt Sanded off.
  • Offscreen Teleportation
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Both actresses who play Marybeth have their Dixie accent slip a few times. It's also done in-character by Parry Shen in both films.
  • The Other Darrin: Danielle Harris playing Marybeth in the sequels after Tamara Feldman in the original film.
  • Peek-A-Boo Corpse
  • Phlegmings
  • Pig Man: One of the kids in the flashback depicting Victor's death is dressed as one.
    • That comes back in a big way as the kid with the pig mask was Samson, Marybeth's dad.
  • Police Are Useless
  • Reconstruction: Of the slasher genre, after Scream's Deconstructive Parody of it followed by over a decade of Post Modernism.
  • Send in the Search Team: The plot of Hatchet III.
  • Sequel Escalation: The sequel's reel at ComicCon showed eight deaths, almost as many as there were in the original movie. The director promptly revealed that they hadn't even seen half of all the deaths that they had planned. Hatchet III's body count almost doubles the first 2 films combined 'though a few occur off-screen.
    • Kane Hodder has gone as far as saying Hatchet 2 is the best horror film he's ever worked on.
  • Shovel Strike: Marybeth acquires one for a weapon from the shack and it's used several times before Crowley uses it to kill Shawn and Jenna.
  • Shout-Out: "Does anyone wanna explain why Jamie's got a gun?"
    • There's also lots of references to the Friday the 13th films.
    • One guys says that where he comes from the local boogeyman is named Leslie Vernon.
  • Slasher Movie
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: While the film is essentially a straight slasher flick, it has more comic relief than most, and its killings are so absurdly over-the-top it seems clear that the creators are being at least a bit tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye
  • Stock Scream: In the sequel, Cletus lets out a Wilhelm Scream when Victor Crowley yanks him out of a boat and into the water.
  • Take That: The tagline boasts that the movie is "old school American horror" and that it isn't a remake, a sequel, or based on a Japanese horror movie.
    • Done in universe when Sheriff Fowler dismisses Marybeth's claims of Victor Crowley, telling her that it all sounds like something from a stupid horror movie series. What really sells it is the reaction of The Drunken Guy, played always by Hatchet creator Adam Green, to hearing that.
  • Talk to the Fist
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A lot of the deaths involve this trope, but a notable example is at the very end of Hatchet II, Marybeth makes sure Victor is good and dead by hacking his face into pulp with his own hatchet and then shooting what's left of his head with a shotgun. Do you blame her, though?
  • Token Minority: Two of them — the Black Best Friend Marcus and the Asian boat driver Shawn.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Trailers make the film seem more serious than it is.
  • Troperiffic
  • Trophy Room: Victor's house.
  • Useless Protagonist: Andrew in Hatchet III does nothing except freak out/run away/hide when he sees Crowley. Justified as... Well, wouldn't you be doing the same? He ends up surviving the movie.
  • Valley Girl: Misty.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Shown twice. And again in the sequel.
  • You Look Familiar: A running gag, as Parry Shen plays a different character in all three movies.
  • You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me: Said by Ben right after the Hope Spot.
    • Also said by Reverend Zombie in Hatchet II, when he sees his plot to get rid of Victor was a failure.
    • Then it's said again in Hatchet III, making this a case of Arc Words, by a one armed Ben, who after surviving two whole days and nights after losing his limb, gets a hatchet to the face by Victor.
  • You Killed My Father: Marybeth's motivation to find a way to vanquish Victor. Well that and losing her brother to him too.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Layton has sex with Avery despite having a fiance

Alternative Title(s): Hatchet II, Hatchet III