Review: Victor Crowley

Ten years after the massacre in Honey Island swamp, a group of prospective filmmakers unwittingly bring the legendary Victor Crowley back from the dead and unleash his wrath once again.
Written by James Orrell
Back in 2007, pretty much all the horror we were getting was remakes and very little in the way of original material. Writer/director Adam Green changed all of that with the release of Hatchet, a filmed that went on to spawn an incredible slasher trilogy that was a throwback in the best possible way. Ten years later he finally returned to Honey Island Swamp with Victor Crowley. Was it going to be a true return to form? Was it going to give us more of the innovative kills and incredible humor the series is known for?
Fuck yes it did!
Victor Crowley is easily the funniest horror film I have seen in years. I know there are plenty of people out there that don't want comedy anywhere near their horror films but I certainly am not one of them. There's really not much of a difference between a comedic gag and horror gag. Both require a set up and then the eventual payoff. Adam Green has mastered the balance between the two and Victor Crowley is the ultimate representation of that art form.
To say that the script is incredible would be an understatement. The jokes and the frights come at you in a perfectly paced manner. I laughed so hard during a lot of this film. When he goes for the laughs, I can confidently say that he goes balls out.
That's all well and good, but it wouldn't be a Hatchet film without some hard hitting scares. The Hatchet films are known for some of the nastiest, most creative and over the top kills in the horror genre and Victor Crowley certainly lives up to that reputation. Over the course of these films Robert Pendergraft has developed into one of my favorite FX artists in the industry. The blood flows freely in this film. Oddly enough, the most horrific kill of the film, perhaps the entire series, has no gore in it. It instead relies on tension over splatter and it hit me right in the gut.
I can't say enough good things about the cast. It's obvious that they were having the time of their lives filming this movie just from the incredible chemistry everyone has together. Parry Shen is the heart of the series across all of the films but in this he easily gives us his best performance to date. His character Andrew is clearly haunted by the events of the previous film and even in the more light hearted moments it still resonates from the man.
Laura Ortiz steals the show. Period. Without a doubt she is playing against type and she shines throughout the entire film. Her speech to several of the survivors was incredibly powerful. Dave Sheridan is fantastic. While not the brightest character, he has such heart and is simply the most genuine character in the film. Tiffany Shepis always brings her A-game and this film is no different. Felissa Rose was hilarious as the agent for Shen's Andrew. She has a scene in the movie that I never in my life expected to see and it's definitely one of the biggest highlights of the film series.
Kane Hodder is Kane fucking Hodder. He IS Crowley. Not only is he incredibly savage, but he shows a level of intelligence in this film he hasn't previously shown before. It's subtle, but damn does it add a dimension to the character.
The score from Bear McCreary is aces. it hits all the right notes at the right times. The moment I heard the notes of the Hatchet theme sent a chill down my spine! On a side note, the song that plays over the end credits just made me smile. "Hatchet(The Ballad of Victor Crowley)" by Ignitor is fantastic. If you dig the movie Shocker or the band Dangerous Toys, you are in for a treat.
Overall, Victor Crowley is the movie I really needed at the right time. It's just pure fun from start to finish. Grab a beer and your popcorn and pop Victor Crowley into you blu-ray/dvd player and have yourself a gory good time with this one!
You bet your ass I'll be first in line for the next sequel!