For a brief moment this past weekend, the impossible happened – the unrated Hatchet 2 opened in over 60 theaters and became a cause for celebration among horror film fans, who viewed the release as a possible way to break the seemingly arbitrary MPAA chokehold that they see as part of the decline of the horror genre.
Hatchet 2 is one of the few times in the last twenty-five years that an unrated film has gotten any sort of theatrical release and the horror launched a Twitter and Facebook campaign to support it.
Leading horror website DreadCentral.com had even asked fans to buy tickets for Hatchet 2 online even if they aren’t near a theater showing it as a way to send a message to Hollywood that there’s a market for unrated horror.
That dream barely made it through the weekend; the theater chains that were carrying Hatchet 2 pulled it without explanation by Monday morning. It’s tough to really know the specific box office numbers since several theaters – in Canada, specifically — wound up pulling the film right away due to fear of being fined for showing an unrated film, says Green. We’re hearing that others decided to only show Hatchet 2 at specific times due to the hassle of having to have someone guard the cinema door to check IDs. When I saw the film in Los Angeles there was a guard at the door for the entire movie checking ticket stubs and IDs where necessary. It was kind of crazy.