Rating 2½

Written and Directed by Adam Green

Starring Joel David Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Mercedes McNab, Joleigh Fioreavanti, Parry Shen, Richard Riehle, Patrika Darbo and Kane Hodder

Cameo appearances by Robert Englund and Todd Terry

A group of tourists in New Orleans for Mardi Gras take a night time “horror” excursion into the bayou, only to discover that the horror is not make believe.

‘Hatchet’ was promoted as “Old School American Horror”. One promotional poster told us, “It’s not a remake. It’s not a sequel. And it’s not based on a Japanese one.” It’s a deliberately gory spoof – a comedy/horror made specifically for fans of the gore-fest end of the horror genre.

It isn’t as clever as ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ and it isn’t as likeable as ‘Slither’, but equally it is certainly not as repellent as Eli Roth’s well-received ‘Cabin Fever’. It is, however, very silly and quite successful in achieving its aim.

The gore is ridiculously over the top, deliberately so. It is not in any authentic way scary, but it does ultimately become both boring and desensitising, which is probably not a good thing. Equally, there is a limit to the number of bare breasts we need to have flashed at the camera by young women before we get the point and can move on – and here we are over-saturated with them within the first five minutes or so. Having said that, the film does have some funny moments and the cast is genuinely likeable, including cameo appearances by a couple of horror genre stalwarts.

This is not a film to watch unless you can stomach buckets of offal and fake blood being literally splashed everywhere. Also, a certain tolerance for puerile teenage-boy humour is needed. Taken on those terms, it is very effective and really rather good.

Adam Green and Joel David Moore went on to make the altogether more serious ‘Spiral’, a very interesting and worthwhile film, although Moore has subsequently found himself in the universally loathed and decidedly offensive-sounding Paris Hilton vehicle ‘The Hottie and the Nottie’.

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