Hunter Hunter Review: A Nail-Biting Thriller That is Sharp As A Bear Trap
Director Shawn Linden’s modern thriller, Hunter Hunter, springs tight like a bear lure and leaves its viewers breathless by the point the credit roll. Beneath IFC Midnight, Hunter Hunter is an indie enterprise that managed to creep in proper on the tail finish of 2020, and seems like an oddly applicable technique to usher out such a tumultuous year. Horror film veteran Devon Sawa, who’s well-known to audiences for his work in Last Vacation spot and the horror-comedy Idle Palms, takes on a a lot different position here, abandoning stylized teen ’90s horror for a extra mature, seasoned, and even quiet countenance. Hunter Hunter features like a cautionary parable that leans into a number of different horror sub-genres, including layers of thriller till the film’s conclusion sprints to a heart-stopping ultimate sequence. This scene will undoubtedly be its most heralded, because it revels in shock issue and is steeped within the underbelly of a few of horror’s most gory titles. Hunter Hunter’s atmospheric, woodland nightmare barrels via like a boulder down a hillside and depicts a ferocious battle between man and beast.
Sawa is joined by Camille Sullivan (Da Vinci’s Inquest), Nick Stahl (Terminator 3, Sin Metropolis), and Summer H. Howell (Curse of Chucky, Cult of Chucky), who spherical out the small main forged. Gabriel Daniels, Lauren Cochrane, Jade Michael, Erik Athavale, Blake Taylor, and Karl Thordarson have supporting roles. Hunter Hunter tells the story of a household of fur trappers, led by patriarch Joseph (Sawa), who dwell a secluded, distant, and primitive life out within the untamed wilderness. Joseph’s daughter, Renee (Howell), is studying the commerce from her father, and is an solely youngster. She is seemingly content material along with her life within the wilderness, and taken with following in her father’s footsteps. Nonetheless, Joseph’s spouse, Anne (Sullivan), begins to really feel that the life they lead will not be solely unsuitable for a rising younger girl – who is usually mistaken for a younger boy – however probably even harmful. This hazard turns into more and more current when the prospect of a close-by wolf threatens the household.
Maybe the best power of Hunter Hunter is in its intelligent use of sleight of hand. Not solely does this allow the movie, which was each written and directed by Linden, to maintain its viewers in a deep state of suspense, however makes the ending twist all of the extra stunning. Many motion pictures boast spectacular twist endings, tease hush-hush discussions, and beg audiences to not spoil the ending, however Hunter Hunter deserves the appropriate to all of this fanfare. All through the early exposition, which generally drags just a little too lengthy in establishing the intricacies of the household’s dynamic and life-style, there is a second of uncertainty. Hunter Hunter might be an ideal many motion pictures, in spite of everything, and there is a explicit curiosity here, which stems solely from not understanding fairly what to anticipate. For some genre-savvy people, it often seems like a basic werewolf film, albeit the setting primarily takes place throughout the daytime hours. It is solely when the specter of the wolf turns into extra urgent that Joseph decides to begin staying out later, nearer to twilight hours, and even in a single day – he guarantees to maintain involved together with his household by way of walkie talkie.
Nonetheless, even this setup seems like bait. In essence, Linden is the hunter fastidiously setting traps for his viewers, and Sawa’s utilitarian know-how is instantly convincing. The viewers’s belief is positioned in his succesful palms as he goes out to hunt a wolf and save his household, however given the strain together with his spouse, he is probably posing to avoid wasting greater than that. His profession and maybe even his lifestyle are at stake if Anne and Renee resolve that they are not capable of be secluded within the woods, the place hazard lurks at any given second. Hunter Hunter does often drift into unbelievable territory as effectively. The specter of a wolf is arguably substantial, however the preparation for looking it, retaining oneself protected, and making certain all stays effectively on the homestead appears a bit excessive for a household of skilled, closely armed hunters and trappers who know the woods effectively sufficient to outlive on the market for presumably a decade or extra.
Whereas the primary half of Hunter Hunter makes a ok horror film, it is the again half that makes it into one thing really particular. In some unspecified time in the future, which is nearly unimaginable to foretell given the pacing close to the top, Hunter Hunter turns into a very different film. There is a darkish grit and pervasive sense of lingering uncertainty that builds to a climax the place, abruptly, the rug is ripped out from beneath, and all pretense fades away. It is in that second the place Hunter Hunter reveals its true message, which is nothing in need of gorgeous. Whereas some would possibly take into account it to be lazy storytelling when one takes so lengthy constructing to a conclusion solely to summarily unravel it without delay, there’s one thing deliciously satisfying in how Linden executes this transition into full-on nightmare gasoline that pays off.
Hunter Hunter is simply immersive sufficient to get misplaced in, and creeps up slowly – similar to a hidden lure. Riddled with subtlety associated to its general messaging and theme, Linden’s course works in tandem with the screenplay, constructing off the motion in sluggish, tense sequences that really feel nearly too lengthy. Nonetheless, even this builds off the core theme: The film takes the proper time coaxing its prey, establishing its shot, double-checking to make sure it is good, then fires. All the pieces funnels again to the metaphor of hunter and hunted, predator and prey, and that features the film’s viewers.