Hunter Hunter, the latest offering from writer/director Shawn Linden, is a can’t-miss horror thriller that is likely to linger in your mind long after you’ve watched it.
Filmed in the Canadian wilderness, Hunter Hunter tells the story of Anne, Joseph, and their daughter Renee. They are a family of fur-trappers living in a remote location, with a relatively quiet life—until they discover a predator prowling their territory. The family is struggling to make ends meet, as their trapping has not proven fruitful during the recent season. As their food and money dwindle, the tensions rise, and Joe sets out to hunt the wolf that has been stalking their land.
In his absence, Anne and Renee are left to tend to the homestead alone. The longer he is gone, the more they feel that something isn’t quite right. When they take in an injured traveler, the concern for Joe’s whereabouts intensifies and the family soon learns that nature is not the only threat to their survival.
So many aspects of this film contribute to its greatness. First and foremost is the stellar acting from the cast, including Devon Sawa, Camille Sullivan, Nick Stahl, and Summer Howell. Devon Sawa’s performance as Joe is spot on and showcases his acting skills in a more raw and emotional role than he’s played in the past.
The major standouts are Camille Sullivan and Summer Howell. Sullivan does a spectacular job of showcasing the range of emotions that Anne goes through as the story progresses. Howell really shines in her turn as the young Renee. Overall, everyone in the cast gives a notable performance that is likely to inspire empathy from the audience.
The atmosphere of the film is enhanced by the natural setting. What begins as serene takes a turn toward unsettling. The pacing of the story and the tension-building is extremely well done and serves to keep viewers engaged from beginning to the end.
When Wicked Horror spoke with writer/director Shawn Linden regarding the film’s message, he explained that he wanted to portray how the laws of nature ultimately prevail no matter how far the laws of society reach. He told us, “I wanted to give the sense that in the woods, human beings are just another animal”. I am pleased to say that Linden was quite successful at that.
The tension carries throughout the whole film and it is ripe with emotion. One can feel the characters’ concern, fear, guilt, and desperation across every scene. The emotions intensify in the final act and viewers will likely be left stunned as what began as quiet horror film is turned to max volume. This is a film not to be missed, and will likely be on many viewers’ “best of” lists for 2020.
Hunter Hunter is available in select theaters, digital, and On Demand as of December 18.
WICKED RATING: 10/10