Have you ever had to get up really early, almost in the middle of the night to go somewhere? There’s a certain feeling that comes over you as you’re making sure you have everything you need. And this movie taps into that feeling during its opening scene. This is how it got me to stick with it and give it a chance. Night of the Hunted is a minimalist single-location thriller about a young woman trapped in a remote gas station by a crazy sniper. The story is unfolding in real-time, hitting all those sweet, sweet tags I like. You can already see that this isn’t an original movie.
So, basically, this is Phone Booth but instead of a phone booth, the sniper is now targeting a gas station. Moreover, this is actually a remake of the Spanish thriller The Night of The Rat. However, if you’re a fan of the things I mentioned above, Night of the Hunted will do just fine. This definitely isn’t a movie for everyone. Its flimsy premise and lack of additional elements make it quite wobbly. And yes, the entire movie is going to be about this woman, a sniper and a gas station. And I didn’t even mention the “worst” part yet. At least the finale is going to be quite good.
While the first thirty minutes were full of mystery, once the identity and the intentions of our crazy shooter were revealed, things took a turn. They took a turn to the right if you know what I mean. This is why some of the people will immediately dismiss it as too political or even offensive. However, I don’t think you can do that. I mean, you can do that but I think that Night of the Hunted deserves better. I instantly thought about how everyone dismissed Cruising, a serial killer movie that seemingly portrayed the gay population in a negative light.
Some of the complaints our masked murderer makes are legitimate. Some are batshit crazy but that’s beside the point. You don’t have to identify as team this or team that. You can actually look at this movie as a test to see how mature you are with your political and other beliefs. If it manages to trigger you, you might consider looking inward and identifying why you reacted so strongly. We need to have these discussions because if we don’t things are going to just get worse and worse. Night of the Hunted also makes some pretty good points, trying to realistically look at the situation we’re in.
It’s looking at it from “an evolutionary perspective”, just one step behind the thing I constantly talk about, the tribal system of values. The movie touches upon a lot of subjects while simultaneously trying to keep the tension stemming from the horrific situation our protagonist Alice finds herself in. The script is solid but quite clumsy and blunt. It fails to develop issues it’s mentioning and they feel like they’re there just as buzzwords at times. And yet it manages to keep your attention mostly on the screen for ninety minutes. And sometimes you want to watch a movie like that. A movie that’s just good enough to warrant a viewing. Plus, that billboard with the GODISNOWHERE sign was brilliant.
Camille Rowe who plays the lead role was excellent and her committed performance saved the movie from turning into another cheesy snoozefest. Does anyone else think she looks like Margot Robbie? If you’re looking for movies like Night of the Hunted, you might want to check out Franck Khalfoun’s P2. It also features a young woman trying to survive the night with a killer on her tail. Burn and Open 24 Hours are also good choices with 2023’s To Catch A Killer focusing more on the killer himself. Finally, when it comes to the political stuff, Standoff at Sparrow Creek and The Hunt are both good movies worth watching.