When I first saw the poster of Hunter Hunter, I thought this would be a man vs beast movie, with the beast (a wolf in this case) happily devouring the man and his family during the climax.
There was nothing like that. The wolf is an important part of the story though.
Hunter Hunter (don’t get confused with Hunter x Hunter the anime) is a story of a family – husband, wife and their daughter – roughing it out in the Manitoba (a province in Canada) wild as fur trappers.
And there is a wolf that occasionally returns to terrify the shit out of them. They talk about it like it’s some intruder who has disturbed their peace, but in fact it’s them who are illegally living in the woods, annoying all the animals with their traps and guns.
You would ask – why not just live in the city and live a normal life like normal people?
Because the husband is a male chauvinist, unwilling to listen to reason from his wife, even if it concerns his daughter’s well-being! More often than not, you know what happens in a horror movie when a person is an irrational jerk. Trouble. Lots of trouble.
The story unfolds as a slow burn, with every scene having an ominous tension about it. The protagonists face different dangerous situations that keep you on the edge of your seat as you fear the worst – there is an amazing scene with a pretty well-done CGI wolf that will make you squirm.
However, there is something far more sinister in the woods than the beastly terrors they face and this narrative is what drives the second half of the movie to an astonishingly brutal conclusion.
Props to all the actors – they did a fantastic job. Any low-budget movie becomes way more worthwhile if the acting is good and the reverse is also true – movies with a fairly decent budget like The Meg seem extraordinarily mediocre because of the yawn-inducing performances (why does Jason Statham keep getting lead roles? He is boring AF).
Hunter Hunter is a smartly done survivalist thriller that stitches together a montage of creepy scenes evoking dread and discomfort. The bonkers ending of the movie means the squeamish should stay away from it, but for the hardcore horror fans, this is worth a dekko.