If you love horror movies, then you can appreciate Adam Green‘s desire to always save the big surprises for when you least expect them. For fans of the Hatchet films, Green may have topped himself in a way he may never be able to repeat. Victor Crowley is the fourth installment in the horror franchise, a sequel/reboot that brings Crowley (Kane Hodder) back to the swamps to up his body count scorecard with those who should’ve used some basic common sense and never went into the swamps in the first place.
Notice I used “is the fourth installment” and not “will be the fourth installment”?
In one of the biggest examples of “stealth filmmaking” in recent memory, Victor Crowley is actually a finished film that Green screened to a wildly surprised audience on Tuesday at Hollywood’s ArcLight Cinema as part of a event screening of Hatchet in honor of the film’s tenth anniversary.
Yup…that’s right: it’s done. Complete. Finished. The images you see here are from the film. We even have the first teaser trailer and synopsis below:
“Set a decade after the events of the series’ first three films, Victor Crowley reunites Hatchet mainstays Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th 7 – X’s Jason Voorhees) and Parry Shen (Better Luck Tomorrow) for an all-new, horrifying journey into the haunted, blood-drenched bayou.
In 2007, forty-nine people were brutally torn to pieces in Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Over the past decade, lone survivor Andrew Yong’s claims that local legend Victor Crowley was responsible for the horrific massacre have been met with great controversy, but when a twist of fate puts him back at the scene of the tragedy, Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Yong must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past.”
Filming under the title Arwen’s Revenge (named after his Yorkshire terrier and Movie Crypt podcast mascot), Green understands that he wouldn’t have been able to pull off a surprise this big without the cooperation of the cast and crew:
“The script was called Arwen’s Fancy Dinner and then, when we were shooting, it was called Arwen’s Revenge, just because that was easier to fit on a camera slate. Nobody ever spoke the words Hatchet or Victory Crowley. Everyone has always referred to this as Arwen’s Revenge. You know, you can hit people with all the NDAs in the world, it’s not really going to do much when you have a crew that big, because good luck proving who spilled the beans. So, really it came down to me sort of sitting down with each and every crew member for a while, and explaining why I was doing this, and who we were doing it for. Maybe not everyone in the world is going to have their life changed when they hear, ‘There’s a new Hatchet movie.’ But for the fans that do love this so passionately, it is going to be a surprise, and I’m just so happy that it stayed that way.”
Serving as the fourth film in the film series (following 2006’s Hatchet, 2010’s Hatchet II, and 2013’s Hatchet III), Victor Crowley brings back horror icon Hodder as Crowley as well as franchise veteran Parry Shen (Better Luck Tomorrow). Joining them for this round of ultra-bloodletting are Laura Ortiz (The Hills Have Eyes), Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie), and Brian Quinn (truTV’s Impractical Jokers). Victor Crowley is written and directed by Green, who wrote the three previous Hatchet films and directed the first two films.
Victor Crowley is next scheduled to screen at London’s FrightFest festival in London. In October, the film moves stateside again as part of the “Victor Crowley Road Show,” a series of special one-night screening events across the country where audiences will get a chance to see the film and discuss it with Green and cast/creative from the film. A full schedule of screenings and additional release information will follow.