Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: Joseph and his family live in the remote wilderness as fur trappers, but their tranquility is threatened when they think they are being hunted by the return of a rogue wolf, and Joseph leaves them behind to track it.
Well that got dark!
Review: It’s hard to call Hunter Hunter a horror movie because most of this film plays out like a drama with some thriller elements. It follows a family living off the land, selling furs and such to get by. They have a loving and close dynamic, but wife Anne would like her husband Joe to consider buying an actual house (as opposed to living in a cabin) where their daughter Renee could go to school and make friends. This is the only real issue the family has. Well this and the fact that there might be a rogue wolf hunting them.
On the positive side of things, Hunter Hunter is well shot and the director makes great use of the setting. The outdoors here are both beautiful and terrifying, especially when you consider the isolated location of the cabin and the fact they have to hunt for food and water to survive in these conditions. Devon Sawa is an actor I always thought had great potential but who got sidetracked by the dramas of being young and famous. He pops up every now and again in these smaller budget films, and here he’s very believable as a family man and an outdoorsman, and as someone who can take care of himself and his loved ones. The film is most definitely a slow burn, and while the solid performances kept me invested in what was happening, even I will admit I felt the urge to fast forward on a few scenes that felt redundant.
Then there’s the third and final act of this film that takes a hard right into horror territory — with little to no build up — and a finale that left me shocked and wondering if I had somehow started watching a different movie without realising it. It was that jarring folks.
Now overall I did enjoy this movie and I get what the director was going for, as the wolf that’s stalking this family turns out to be the least of their problems. The issue I had here was with the execution of the third act, as well as plot devices that were introduced but then just dropped without any proper conclusion. For example, we know a wolf is stalking this family, we’re told it’s dangerous because it has gone “rogue”. In other words, they think this wolf has a taste for human flesh and they even act like they have history with the animal, but we’re never told what that history is! Did it kill a family member? Did it try to kill the husband but failed? Why were they so afraid of it if the father is established to be a fantastic hunter and outdoorsman? We never get any answers here, and the finale honestly felt like it was written with an entirely different movie in mind. Yes it was shocking, but it came out of nowhere. The violence didn’t feel earned, and in the end the family you just spent the entire runtime following and rooting for are left, well, let’s just say they’re much worse off than when they started out.
Hunter Hunter has good intentions and I think writer/director Shawn Linden has loads of potential when it comes to creating entertaining films for the horror/thriller genre. I just think the script needed beefing up in certain areas so maybe next time, the ending would feel like it deserved to be part of the overall story.
Sommer’s Score: 5.5 out of 10
For Featured Writer Alice’s review of survival thriller Alone you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
Double Tap Baby!