EIFF 10: The Hunter Review
The story of a man who snaps after the death of his family and goes out for some kind of justice/revenge is nothing new but offers plenty of room for originality and creativity within the concept. Many directors have used this structure to create simple but taut thrillers. But writer/director/star Rafi Pitts has trimmed his story so bare that large parts of The Hunter are simply dull filler shots. Endless scenes aimlessly following the lead's car or watching the protagonists traipsing through dense woodland do little to increase the tension and do a lot to bore the audience.
To its credit scenes where action does take place are fairly engaging and well done. A car chase through dense fog is presented refreshingly realistically rather than have you believe every character is an expert stunt driver as and when required and the outbursts of violence when they do occur are fairly shocking. But it's not enough to sustain over the running time and by the final minutes you you'll wish the story to get to the point and be over with. The few interesting scenes which may lend weight to the eventual outcome are few and far between and are never touched on in enough depth to be satisfactory.
The Hunter could probably have been a powerful short film. Unfortunately it is not a short film, it is 92 minutes long and that is a good 60 minutes too much for its concept. As a result, The Hunter is as draining and tedious for the viewer as the endless trailing through rain-drenched woods is for the film's main characters.
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