May 25, 2017

AMC slashes unrated “Hatchet II” from its theater screens


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Did you manage to see “Hatchet II” in theaters? Because you probably missed your opportunity.

“We woke up this morning and the movie was gone,” director Adam Green told EW.com, explaining that AMC Theaters yanked the unrated horror sequel days after it was released to a fair amount of fanfare.

“I’m bewildered and confused,” Green said.

It was a decent story, and a victory for independent horror filmmakers (and fans). AMC agreed to screen an unrated cut of “Hatchet II,” even after the MPAA refused to give the film an R rating. But somewhere along the way, the people at AMC who supported Green’s film were outvoted, and the film was pulled.

Green likely didn’t help his own cause, railing against the MPAA in interviews leading up to the film’s release. “I assume it probably had something to do with the controversy online about an unrated movie playing in theaters,” Green told EW. “To me, the whole thing is unfortunate because this is not a movie that deserves to be unrated. It’s a very funny, silly slasher movie about a swamp ghost that’s killing people in ridiculous ways. And now it’s become, you know, ‘Banned from cinemas.’ I’ve lost 11 pounds in the last week from stress.”

In a statement, the theater chain said, “At AMC theaters, we review all films in all of our theatres every week and then make our business decisions based on their performance.”

But to make that decision AFTER you’ve already screened the film is hypocritical.

At the very least, this added publicity will only help “Hatchet II” when it finally arrives on DVD … probably next week sometime.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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