Rare are the movies that simply blow me away and Hunter Hunter is one of them. Gripping, dark, and brooding, I would compare to Hereditary or Green Room. Although Australian revenge masterpiece The Nightingale features a very similar visual style and setting. It’s simply a true pleasure to watch something like this. Moreover, it proves that people are still capable of making such well-crafted movies. Here, we run into our first obstacle as I don’t want to give away anything about this survival thriller. However, even by saying that I don’t want to give anything away, I’m actually giving away something. So, I’ll do my best to reveal too much of this masterpiece.
Hunter Hunter follows a family of trappers living in the wilderness and dealing with the harsh realities of such a lifestyle. Like the fact that a huge fucking wolf might eat you alive if you get out of the house! Now, we recently covered The Pack, where a family finds itself in a similar situation. Only with a pack of wolves instead of just one mean-looking motherfucker. However, if I told you that this is a movie just about that, I would be lying. It deals with many subjects from the now increasingly popular life in the wild to the way we interact with nature. And it with us, if I might add.
Shot in Manitoba, Canada, Hunter Hunter features nature so beautiful that you’ll be expecting David Attenborough to pop up in the next scene. When you add to that expert camerawork and great cinematography, you get a movie that’s easy on the eye. What might not be so easy on the eye is all the graphic and brutal violence. So, be prepared for some really fucked up scenes. With most of us living in ever-growing cities, it showcases a different lifestyle and set of values. It feels like it’s telling a story from a hundred years ago and not just thirty. Canadian survival expert, Les Stroud, also known as Survivorman, used to live like this with his family minus the trapping aspect. And until quite recently, if I’m not mistaken.
We find the Mersault family, consisting of husband and wife Joe and Anne and their young daughter Renee, living in the remote Canadian wilderness. They barely make a living as trappers, selling fur to local buyers. Living on the land that belonged to Joe’s family for generations, they are basically cut off from the rest of the world. Anne is wary of all the disadvantages that such a life brings and hopes that she can persuade Joe to move to a small town. Mostly because she wants Renee to get a proper education. However, all that will have to wait when Joe finds tracks of a lone wolf that has been bothering them for a couple of years now. A wolf that’s a force to be reckoned with despite all the weaponry and skill we humans can muster.
The opening thirty minutes of Hunter Hunter are Joe Rogan porn, with him immediately calling Jordan Peterson to tell him all about it. Peterson who’s already convincing his family to move as it would bolster the Judeo-Christian substrate. Not to mention his fragile male ego and role in the tribal system of values. With the head of the house constantly brooding, smoking, and occasionally enjoying whiskey while out in nature doing manly stuff, it’s no wonder that this will strike a chord with so many males. The wonderful thing about it is that I don’t have to have an opinion or an attitude towards this whole thing and a system of values to enjoy it. So, I suggest you do the same and let this movie take you on a journey that you’ll remember for a long time.
Our entire main cast was fucking phenomenal. All six of them, led by confident and commanding Devon Sawa’s performance. Working with natural and very well-written dialogue, I feel like they felt an obligation to do their best. And they did. Can wolves be serial killers? Ancient wolf serial killer theorists say a resounding yes to that question. They also point to the Rabbit Reviews selection of human serial killer movies. Out of which, I might recommend The Frozen Ground based on true events and featuring almost the same setting. Of course, you can always check out our Natural Horror Lists, featuring movies where animals attack humans. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Bone Tomahawk, a similarly gritty and intense slow-burner.
Director: Shawn Linden
Writer: Shawn Linden
Cast: Devon Sawa, Camille Sullivan, Summer H. Howell, Nick Stahl, Gabriel Daniels, Lauren Cochrane, Jade Michael
Fun Facts: Summer H. Howell’s character was a 8-year-old boy in a script. However, the director Shawn Linden swapped the gender and changed the age after Summer got this part.