From the director of CHILDREN OF THE CORN comes a movie where two and a half men go into the woods for the purpose of filming an instructional hunting video (VHS of course) only to fail at killing any deer and instead discover aliens. Any marginally promising aspects to this storyline are quickly nullified by the first-person camerawork (I use the term “work” generously), horrid acting, and…uh…a complete disregard for the art of filmmaking.
Perhaps in an effort to appear original, THE HUNT takes place in 1999, even though it was made in 2006. It’s as if by claiming it took place the year THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was released these guys are somehow absolved of the crime of being seven years late to the first-person party. Somehow I managed to not be fooled by this tactic.
You could remove all of the vowels from the previous paragraph and it would still be more suspenseful and interesting than THE HUNT. The first seventy minutes consist of the exploration of the family dynamics between a man and his stepson, footage of the two practicing for the video, and the other character talking to the camera in a disturbed manner. Actually, a major point is made of this guy’s mental health issues despite the fact it is of no consequence to the story. To showcase his troubles we are treated to at least two monologues replete with gunplay and crying. He also yells at the kid and makes him cry a couple times, and if you pretend the kid is director Fritz Kiersch this abuse makes for the best part of the movie.
When the kid cries, which he does frequently, it is as if an adult is trying to mimic the sound of a small child weeping. Oddly enough, the adults are obviously completely conscious of every movement they make and every word they speak, and as a result appear infantile. Be warned though, if you are imagining a movie where the adults all intentionally act like babies, the pictures in your head are infinitely more entertaining than THE HUNT.
In addition to casting the finest thespians urine can buy, the filmmaker’s utmost concern for excellence and accuracy is evident in every detail throughout. For example, the date and time stamp (accompanied by typewriter sound effects, of course) utilized at the beginning of every scene frequently contradict the events actually occurring on the screen. At one point the time stamp indicates the time is 7:00 AM two seconds before a character mentions it is 6:30 AM.
The final twenty minutes are almost watchable, but still lack any sort of suspense. Scenes that should be action-packed and tense are derailed by more and more talking. Why so many makers of low budget horror films decide it is best to compose their films primarily of badly written dialog performed by awful actors, I will never understand. But based on the self-serious tone of THE HUNT, I have a suspicion the dialogue is a sad attempt at character development. As a public service I would submit that if, as a director, you are working with a terrible script and laughably bad actors, you should not attempt to develop any of the “characters.” For these are not characters, but liabilities.
To really put an exclamation point on the whole ordeal, the closing credits have the gall to claim THE HUNT is based on a true story, and the first-person footage is a direct recreation of the real video. That may be extraordinarily insulting, but it’s not nearly as offensive as the preceding ninety minutes.
You can come out now.