With MGM's Red Dawn remake coming this year, genre-hopper Jeffrey Dean Morgan will now reteam with his Texas Killing Fields co-star Chloe Moretz for Karyn Kusama's edgy indie The Rut. The drama, which Variety describes as Winter's Bone meets Into the Wild, focuses on a young girl (Moretz) who seeks to earn the approval of her father (Morgan) by traveling deep into the dangerous wilderness to test out the hunting and survival skills that he has passed down to her. Centering on a teen girl with the skills to kill, The Rut also seems to share character traits with Hanna and The Hunger Games, though there's no indication that Kusama's feature will veer into the realm of action-adventure as those two do.

Still, as Kusama's follow-up to the dismally dull horror flick Jennifer's Body, The Rut seems like a calculated return to form. Her first feature, the critically heralded Girlfight, also followed a fearsome young woman's quest to conquer a male-dominated world—in that case boxing. It also launched the career of then unknown actress Michelle Rodriguez. Similarly, The Rut seems intended to take Moretz to the next level as the drama was developed specifically for her, and has both her mother and brother, Teri and Trevor Moretz, on board as executive producers for Treetop Productions. Of course this It Girl ingénue has drawn massive critical praise for her ability tackle any genre thrown before her, from quirky rom-com ((500) Days of Summer) to mature superhero action (Kick-Ass), to vampire horror (Let Me In) and family-friendly adventure (Hugo). Still, this gritty, character-driven drama would be more likely to attract the attention of major awards who tend to skew away from genre work. Essentially, despite it's truly horrendous title (Seriously, can you think of a less evocative name?) it seems The Rut may well be intended to score Moretz the Oscar glory she's not yet garnered.

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