Filmmaker Adam Green braved the haunted waters of the Honey Island Swamp for the fourth film in his Hatchet franchise, and in addition to resurrecting the iconic Kane Hodder character known as Victor Crowley, Green channeled emotions from real-life experiences to make his most personal movie to date. With Victor Crowley coming to Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD platforms beginning February 6th from Dark Sky Films, Daily Dead recently had the pleasure of speaking with Green about getting back behind the camera in the Hatchet franchise, and he also talked about writing the Tommy Jarvis tapes for Friday the 13th: The Game.

This franchise came about from a conversation you had with George Romero about making something for the fans. Before that conversation, did you already know where you wanted to go with the fourth film or was it a surprise to you, too?

Adam Green: It was a surprise to me as well. It was always just supposed to be these first three films, which were supposed to cut together as one movie, which is why they end and begin so abruptly on the same frame that the last one left off on. When you watch 1–3 together, it's got a first act, a second act, and then the explosive—quite literally—finale, and that was gonna be it. I did not see this coming. If you asked me three years ago if this is what I would be doing today, I would have laughed. I was so done with it, but I think one of the biggest lessons I've learned is just to let go a little bit and not try to plan out what you're gonna do.

Instead, live a little bit more reactionary to what is actually happening to you and around you. I think that in a lot of ways this movie saved me. It's what I needed to do right now, whether I realized it at the time or not. Especially as far as past films go, it's definitely the most personal, and I worked out a lot of pain and anger in this one, but in a very healthy way. If you're one of the types of people who's able to deal with that stuff through laughter, there's no better way to get that stuff out.

But I didn't even realize, when I wrote it, how personal it was. As always, Joe Lynch was the first person to read it and he was just like, "Holy shit, are you working out some stuff here?" And I was like, "What are you talking about?" And he's like, "Dude, it opens with a couple getting engaged and you cut off her finger with the ring on it." He's like, "You don't see this as your divorce movie?" I'm like, "Oh, oh yeah, I guess." Then, in editing, Matt Latham, my editor, one of the things he really loved about the movie was that it's all about couples coming apart, or trying to get together and something getting in the way. There's the divorced couple, there's the couple that is trying to hide their relationship and just finds out that they're expecting, there are people meeting and getting together romantically. It's just all deeper-level stuff that you're normally not expecting when you watch a Hatchet movie.

The comedy is more on point than it's ever been in one of these films. Part of that is because now Hatchet can be Hatchet. With the first one, even the trailer for the first one, there isn't a hint at any type of comedy and so there were people that were really thrown off guard when they saw it and realized it was as funny as it was. I got to hit the reset button. People know that it's gonna be comedic at times, but this one is really funny. It also has suspense and dread for the first time in a Hatchet movie, which is something that I purposely didn't have in the other three. They were more about just being entertaining and then really gory. This one's got some really scary moments and a very sad moment, which is unexpected. But that made it worth doing. If I was gonna come back to this, and bring him [Victor Crowley] back and make another one, I had to have something to say, and I had to have a different movie to make that was still a Hatchet movie. I feel like we did that.

The events in the first Hatchet happened about 10 years ago and that's also a personal connection to you because it's been a little over 10 years since the first movie came out. It mirrors your personal experience making these movies, so it's almost like you're there with the characters in a way, looking 10 years down the road.

Something else that was really fun with that is, when we unveiled this, the night that we surprised everybody and just suddenly showed it, it was something like 17 days shy of the actual tenth anniversary. The original move opened on September 7th, 2007.

The three characters that are trying to make a mock trailer about the events of 10 years ago, that was exactly what Will and Sarah and I did to get the first one made. We went to New Orleans, we made a mock trailer, we went to the swamp and went on a boat. The whole thing in that mock trailer ended up being the actual theatrical trailer for the first movie, and all we did was just hang off the side of a boat and the camera was skimming along the water and then we had this little girl, Eleanore, who was four years old, just repeat after me and say the story of Victor Crowley and then we added my voice to it, and that was the trailer. In the trailer it's Eleanore's voice and it's all there. But that's where that whole storyline came from, it's exactly how we got the first one made.

In Victor Crowley you get to be meta in some ways now that some time has passed in between the first three movies and the fourth one. People are making fake trailers based on the events of Hatchet movies. Chase Williamson's character is dressing as Ben did in the first movie and it almost has that Scream 3 vibe where you have people that are trying to profit off of actual events in the fictional world.

Adam Green: Yeah, they're not acknowledging the movie of the first one, they're just acknowledging the events, which is how things would go in real life if there was a massacre and 48 or 49 people were torn to shreds, and the only survivor happened to be the paramedic, and he's trying to say a ghost did this. Nobody would believe him and then the fact that they had no evidence to prosecute him on, and he walked, he would be like an OJ Simpson, because people would be like, "I can't believe this guy got away with it."

People would be captivated with that story, and they would want to go and see the spot. It's sick, but that is human nature and that is what we do. If Hatchet were a documentary instead of a fictitious movie, there probably would be tour boats taking people there and there would be a museum set up. It's gross, but that's how we operate. It's meta, but it's meta within its own world, if that makes sense. It's not acknowledging the movie of the first one, but it is acknowledging the events within that universe.

It's meta within the world that you've created, and it is a lot like something we would see pop up in a place like Camp Crystal Lake. We'd see little Jason dolls and things like that and be able to tour the cabins.

Adam Green: With the Friday the 13th video game, I wrote the Jarvis part of the game that they released in October, and it was one of the most fun projects I've ever been part of because the Tommy Jarvis character, there are so many holes in his lifetime. Aside from the fact that he miraculously ages 12 years in one year, if we can look past that in between parts four and five. The fact that every time this shit happened at Camp Crystal Lake, somehow the whole world didn't break by learning about this.

This was a chance for me to explain how the world didn't break, and it's because the authorities are convinced that because of the lore of Jason Voorhees and people like Tommy Jarvis who are keeping it alive, it's attracting psychopaths to come there and act out this fantasy of this Jason Voorhees character that could not possibly have happened or lived. That's one thing missing from most slasher movies, that even once people realize, "Oh my God, the boogeyman is real, and this is true." What happens after that? What's the next day like on CNN? How does life go on?

The guys who made Friday the 13th: The Game did not know that I had made Victor Crowley at the time. So when they called they had no idea, because it was completely secret. The fact that I got to address that within the Hatchet universe, but then also get to go play in the Friday the 13th sandbox and address that, and that I was able to work Tommy Jarvis into Behind the Mask, Shocker, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Hatchet, and tie it all together into those tapes, was super fun. I know they're very hard to find within the game itself, but if you go on YouTube, there are people that have found all 13 of them and stitched them together so people can sit and listen to the whole story. It was such a cool thing to get to be a part of.

Before I let you go, are there any projects on deck that you can talk about? On a reddit AMA session recently, you said you'd like to make a Victor Crowley movie every few years. Do you have a grand plan for the franchise?

Adam Green: Well, just like with the first Hatchet movie, I have a plan for the other ones that's already in motion in this one. I think it's important if you're gonna have some franchise-type thing with sequels, and I think it's one of the things that made the first three movies work was that we knew where we were going from the get-go. With the '80s slasher franchises, the sequels were born out of commerce. It was like, "Oh, shit, this made money, so let's make another one." Completely new people would step in and they would have to make it up as they went and that's why we have these disjointed worlds that we have in all of them, where things, after a while, do not add up, and with this one I have a plan in place for where it's going to go, but ultimately, it depends on how this one does and unfortunately, we now live in a time where piracy and streaming and all these other things are making it very, very hard for a movie like this to get to keep going.

So far it's on track to be a big success, so hopefully that happens, but in the meantime, as always, I'm gonna go do other things for a while now and I have two different TV projects, both of which I hope get announced very, very soon.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.