I've Been A Film Enthusiast as Long as I can remember. I Suffer from the Same Disease Leonard did in Memento.
Just to be clear, this Hunted review is not a review of last March’s mediocre horror/thriller The Hunt. This is a completely different mediocre horror/thriller. Instead of starring Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank, this movie stars European actors I’ve never heard of until I run into them in a skeezy European hostel when quarantine is over.
I’ll look at them like I kind of recognize them. They’ll walk over to me and ask if I want an autograph or a selfie. I’ll say no because Hunted really isn’t that good.
Then I’ll feel bad and fake like I want a selfie then “accidentally” delete the picture from my phone.
Yes, but some people are easily confused.
Not you (your name here), of course. You’re a totally smart human being and thank you for wearing a mask while reading this review, unlike Karen.
Anyway, the synopsis to this review can be done in one sentence, so here goes.
A young woman runs for her life through a forest as she’s hunted by two killers.
Yes, that’s really it.
Longer Synopsis to Pad the Word Count
Hunted opens with a woman (Simone Milsdochter) and her young son (Ryan Brodie) around a campfire. She’s going to recount a prologue that’s somehow relevant to the movie we’re about to watch.
I guess. But rest assured this prologue isn’t as long as the one in Wonder Woman 1984.
Though it does feel like it. I’ll shorten it way down…
A woman named Wolf Girl prays for help as she’s about to get killed by a bunch of men. Wolves save her. Hence the name (“The company of wolves is better than the company of men”).
Hunted really opens as we meet our soon to be hunted heroine Eve (Lucie DeBay, looking like Jessica Chastain’s blonder sister with a European accent). She’s overseeing a construction site and it doesn’t look like things are going well. Her D-bag of a boss is threatening to replace her if she doesn’t get it together. Eve’s got a deadline and the odds are stacked against her.
I know. No one leaves their phone anywhere unless it’s a really bad and obvious plot point. But we’ll buy it because…
No, we don’t buy it because no one f*cking leaves their phone in a hotel.
This should be your first clue this movie will not meet your expectations.
Anyway, phoneless Eve is at the bar and is getting hit on by a douchey European guy. I think we’re in Europe somewhere so they’re all just European guys. Eve’s good at resisting guys’ advances. She’s just wants to be left alone without her phone .
Hope nothing happens.
A helpful guy (Arieh Worthalter- his character is literally named The Guy) helps Eve fend off douchey guy (see the difference?). Eve and The Guy hit it off. Eve noticed The Guy earlier on the dance floor and thought he had some pretty sweet moves.
Spoiler- The Guy is an awful dancer with some of the whitest f*cking “moves” I have ever seen. But since we’re asked to believe a person would forget/leave her phone, let’s suspend our disbelief again and just say these are super keen dance moves.
Eve and Guy tear up the dance floor like it’s 1987.
Guy and Eve go to the backseat of Guy’s car. They’re making out. Then another man (Ciaran O’Brien- his character is literally named The Accomplice) gets in the front seat, starts this car, and begins driving off.
The Guy recognizes The Accomplice.
Eve is completely taken aback. Guy says they’ll just go to his house and have a drink and he’ll drop her off. Sure. Only an idiot without a phone would believe that.
Eve demands to be let out. Accomplice stops the car and Eve leaves.
Eve is walking around with no idea where she is. She decides to call---
Good thing Accomplice and Guy were there to knock her out and throw her into the trunk.
Eve wakes up with tape around her mouth. She realizes she’s in the trunk. Maybe next time she won’t go off with a guy with terrible dance moves. How is she going to get out of this?
It turns out that Guy wants Accomplice to kiss him. Accomplice thinks Guy is kidding. He’s not. Accomplice starts to kiss Guy so Guy’s not paying attention to the boar in the middle of the road and they crash.
I’m afraid so.
It’s the old “Get your homophobic accomplice to try to kiss you so you miss the boar in the middle of the road and crash” cliché.
Eve is out of the car with a way to the forest. Thanks random boar!
Eve better get her bearings and find her way to safety. Because it won’t be long before They Guy and his Accomplice get out of the car in one piece.
It won’t be long before Eve is…hunted.
Yes. Everyone thinks so.
What Works With Hunted
- A scene by a campfire caught me off guard and is the only time during the movie when you’re genuinely shocked. You’ve not really bored with Hunted when you come to this point, but you’re never really scared either. This is the best part of the movie. Too bad you have 20-25 minutes left. Sorry.
What Doesn’t Work With Hunted
- Eve barely registers as a character because writer/director Vincent Paronnaud (along with three other credited writers) spend so much time with The Guy that Eve feels like an afterthought. When Eve does move into the forefront of the story it’s much too little, way too late. It took three writers to do…this?
- Hunted is advertised as a take off of Little Red Riding Hood and the allusions are nicely hammered over your head. What’s also hammered over your head is how unoriginal everything is. Hunted is rarely a boring movie, but it’s very rarely a surprising one. You’re two steps ahead of all the characters all the time.
- It bears repeating. No one in a movie that takes place in this century decides not to bring their phone unless it’s a really giant plot hole that you hope the movie will be diverting enough to forgive. It’s not. Which one of the four writers thought this was a good idea?
Hunted will not make you completely regret the 87-minute runtime, but you’ll be hunting for a better movie next time. Maybe look one up one your phone which you will have because you’re not a stupid character in a mediocre horror movie.