Title – Hunter Hunter (2020)
Director – Shawn Linden (The Good Lie)
Cast – Camille Sullivan, Summer H. Howell, Devon Sawa, Nick Stahl
Plot – A reclusive family of fur trappers live a quiet life removed from the hustle and bustle of modern society but their peace and tranquility is threatened when a dangerous wolf enters their territory and they begin to realise there’s more than one hunter roaming their idealistic woods.
“Hunt or be hunted”
Review by Eddie on 20/07/2021
On face value what appears to be a fairly unassuming low-budget Canadian backed thriller/horror ends up becoming something else entirely in its latter stages thanks too a sharp pivot as Hunter Hunter escapes the doldrums of a slowly staged start and some el-cheapo production values to become a small-scale genre mash-up that is well worth tracking down.
Directed by Shawn Linden, who brings this film to life based off a script he had in the pipeline since 2007, Hunter Hunter starts out in a so-so fashion as he introduces us to Camille Sullivan and Devon Sawa’s couple Anne and Joseph who alongside their young daughter Renee (played well by Summer H. Howell) live out a secluded life in the wilderness scraping out an existence as fur trappers only to have their simple lifestyle interrupted by a ravenous wolf that poses a significant threat to their lives and livelihoods.
There’s certainly nothing overly new about this particular set-up, there have been numerous small budget and big-scale tales of man vs beast over the history of film and far before moving pictures ever existed but without going directly into heavy spoiler territory, Hunter Hunter doesn’t end up becoming the exact type of film you would initially expect it too be and for a film with miniscule funds and options, it does well to morph into a genuinely unnerving tale that will linger long in the memory thanks to its insane finale.
At the heart of all of these happenings are some memorable little turns also with Sullivan doing good work as the determined yet frightened Hannah and the increasingly rugged looking Nick Stahl as the injured house guest of the couple Lou, a man who offers either a hindrance or a potential help to their survival against a animalistic threat that could strike at any moment.
As is the case with many films of this low-end ilk, Hunter Hunter is rough around the edges in many departments with Linden’s direction mostly by the numbers and delivered without much flair and many production values lack a certain polish that could’ve otherwise elevated this grim and dreary affair but while never reaching grand heights, this is a little film that could and will be sure to please genre fans seeking an unpredictable bout of storytelling from a film many would’ve expected nothing from.
Final Say –
Doing well to overcome a slow start and a middling middle section, Hunter Hunter takes a dark and shocking turn in its latter stages and proves even the most unlikely of films have a chance to become something more even when the odds are stacked well and truly against them.
3 traps out of 5
Devon Sawa?! I didn’t think he’d ever grow up…I mean, grow older. Nick Stahl too. Might as well as Seth Green in there too (since I’m on a 90s teen actors roll it seems).
With attention to lighting, editing, and sound, it doesn’t take much money to make a good-looking film set in the forest.
I watched the trailer for this film and am even more intrigued by your emphasis on the low budget and unexpected ending.
It’s quite the cast ha!
This one did take me by surprise, it’s worth having a look at for sure.
The last 20 or so minutes is something else entirely.
I just watched it…and by “watched,” i mean, I let the film play in real time, put the mouse cursor over the timeline of the Amazon prime player, and kept it hovering there so I could see “thumbnails” as it got closer to the final sequence of the film. *That* I watched and thought of Bone Tomahawk.
I agree with your 3 out of 5 traps rating.
It’s very similar in the way too Bone Tomahawk’s slow build up to an insane conclusion.
Glad we were on the same page with this one!
It does seem like an okay movie, but probably not my cup of tea. Not going to lie, I had to do a double take to make sure this wasn’t anything related to Hunter X Hunter the anime series (the X is silent).