film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Hunted 2020 * * Stars


"I make movies". So says the unknown antagonist with camera in tote via 2020's Hunted. He is referred to as "The Guy" and is played by Frenchman Arieh Worthalter. Worthalter goes all out in Hunted while being believably sick. He's like the Terminator with human insides and he just keeps coming. Yup, this dog will defiantly "hunt".

In Hunted, the "hunted" refers to a woman named Eve (played by scream queen enthusiast Lucie Debay). Eve gets put through the ringer when all the girl wanted to do was get a drink at a bar. Heck, a couple mojitos later and she's the prey of a bearded perv and his sheepish lackey. They lead Eve into their car, she initially escapes, and then is pursued relentlessly in the woods.

So yeah, Hunted is a snuff film within a grindhouse within a snuff film. The actors are obviously committed, director Vincent Paronnaud (nice name) likes to style it up, and the film although tasteless, could never be considered as jejune.

Still, we've seen this setup before (remember last year's Let it Snow or the more accomplished Alone?). And despite the film using wolves and Mother Nature as metaphors, Hunted just grows laborious and strained by the hour mark. I mean who are these people? And why is this alpha dude such a remorseless whack job? And why did the victimized girl's boyfriend stop texting or calling?

Basically Hunted has no real backstory, no character background, and the flick becomes a 90-minute snapshot of wildlife crudity. I kinda liked the synth-y musical score, I like battle royals, and I've always been a sucker for certain types of genre tropes. Hunted however, misses the mark as cinematic browbeat. Just imagine Terrence Malick trying his hand at horror and that's what you'll get with Hunted.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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