After Hatchet III it seemed that Victor Crowley had finally been laid to rest for good. But for reasons his creator Adam Green explains in the 25-min ‘Raising the Dead…Again’ interview featurette that accompanies this release, between that 2013 film and this fourth in the series from last year, a lot of things happened in Green’s personal life that eventually led him back to Crowley.
The film begins with Andrew Yong, the survivor of the original massacre, pimping his book about the tragedy some 10 years later. Desperate to finally break free of the events that have followed him through the last decade, and shake off the accusations of a group that consider him the real killer, Yong is convinced to accept a life-changing deal to lead a television crew’s expedition back into the swamp to catalogue the horrors that took place. At the same time, a naive young trio of wannabe filmmakers have also headed into Crowley’s old neighbourhood, and it’s not long until the hack-happy madman is back and literally crushing people.
Green and his cast and crew achieve exactly what they set out to do with this film. There’s zero pretence, just a desire to make a slasher film for the fans with the gore dial turned up to 11. Along the way, there’s plenty of humour and it never takes itself too seriously. Despite this, Green tries and mostly succeeds at pumping a bit of emotion into proceedings when it’s called for. Made for a comparatively small budget, the action is wisely kept to just a handful of locations which allows Green to focus on his preferred off-kilter character beats and - the most important thing here - a series of wildly gloopy and gory kills. This film is not going to change your life, but if you’re a fan of the Hatchet series or slashers in general you’re probably going to have a good time. For a film loaded with blood and smashed up bodies, it’s oddly inoffensive.
As for the disc itself, along with the aforementioned interview, there’s an hour-plus making-of documentary that covers pretty much anything you might want to know about the production. If you do want however, there are also two commentaries - the first with the cast and the second with crew. It’s a comprehensive set of supplements indicative of Green’s desire to please the fans, and none the worse for it. That describes the film too, and if you’re after a good time horror that will make you chuckle, you should check it out.
HATCHET 4: VICTOR CROWLEY / DIRECTOR: ADAM GREEN / SCREENPLAY: ADAM GREEN / STARRING: BRIAN QUINN, KANE HODDER, LAURA ORTIZ, KALI COOK / CERT: 18 / RELEASE DATE: 3RD SEPTEMBER 2018