Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Hunt (2006)

Fear 0/5
Gore 0/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 0/5
Nightmares 0/5

You want to be kind to independent filmmakers because you understand the limitations they have to work with. It's like a classic hardcore record - it sounds like shit because you know they only had $300 to spend on recording it. But the songs themselves are good, the performance good, just not the production.

That's almost the case here. The Hunt has a neat premise behind it, if slightly unoriginal. A couple of guys decide they are going to make a hunting DVD to market, so they head out to the woods with a kid in tow to film themselves stalking and hunting a deer with just a bow and arrow - old school style. This, we soon learn, took place about 7 or 8 days ago as present day footage is mixed in of a search and rescue team attempting to find the two guys and the kid. The film is a mixture of standard film work mixed in with first person "footage" of the actual hunt and the actual rescue mission.

So, to cut to the chase, the hunters wind up wounding a deer and as the track it they cross under a fence with signs reading "do not trespass". But they miss something that the rescue team later picks up on: there is razor wire inside the fence they went under, indicating that whoever doesn't want people trespassing is also keeping something inside. The hunters start hearing some weird noises and seeing things out of the corners of their eyes and it becomes somewhat similar to The Blair Witch Project but not nearly as clever. So far, so good, if not a little on the boring side.

Oh but then, and you knew this was coming, the horribly rendered CGI aliens arrive and we are led to understand that the area they wound up in is a hunting ground for aliens being run by the government. Huh? Yeah, and there are prisoners who find the people for the aliens to hunt. They "have no choice". At this point I rolled my eyes, vomited, and gave up my love for the whole "indie rock" thing. Interesting concept meet dumbfuckery 101.

This could have been a nice little indie film that understood it's limitations and strove to work effectively within them. It seemed, for a moment, that it understood how well made and well done horror films worked. But that moment was brief. The impression I am left with is that of some producers seeing an opportunity to make a quick buck since horror films nearly always earn their money back. No artistic intent, no creative energy. Doo Doo Deluxe.

It looks as if it were shot straight to digital video and, if the accompanying documentary is to be believed, it was shot for less than $100K. That's not much which makes it all the more sad that it was directed by Fritz Kiersch who directed 1984's Children of the Corn. Not that it was a good movie or anything. Just that in 20 + years he's actually gone backwards in terms of artistry.

- Complaint Department

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