Australia, with its intimidatingly vast Outback and wide array of man-killing wildlife, has a rugged and fearsome appeal. So what better place to set a story of man's most primal instincts? The producers of the Oscar-winning Aussie drama Animal Kingdom present The Hunter, a pulse-pounding psychological drama sure to rattle audiences worldwide.

Adapted from the heralded novel by controversial filmmaker Julia Leigh (Sleeping Beauty), the film centers on Martin, a mercenary hired to travel into the depths of the Tasmanian wilderness to track the elusive Tasmanian Tiger. This peculiar-looking animal, which resembles a cross between a dingo and a tiger, has long been thought extinct, but tracks spotted on the lush island of Tasmania have attracted the notice of a shady European corporation, which sends Martin to find the Tiger, and secure a DNA sample. However, this goes from a curious expedition to a life-threatening battle when an intense local discovers Martin's intentions.

It's an intriguing premise made even more irresistible by the film's impeccable cast. Willem Dafoe stars as Martin, while Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Tudors) portrays the mysterious Aussie, and Frances O'Connor (A.I. Artificial Intelligence) makes an appearance as a local wife and mother that befriends Martin. O'Connor has been absent from noteworthy cinema for far too long, but movie fans are more likely to cheer the combined glower power of Dafoe and Neill. The former's performance style always has an unhinged element that is sure to prove electric within this dangerous backdrop, while the latter has steadily offered solid performances whether playing a kind-hearted paleontologist or a duplicitous man of power. Together they're sure to ignite some awe-inspiring screen chemistry.

The Hunter, which debuted last Fall at the Toronto International Film Festival, will be available on iTunes March 2nd. The film's U.S. theatrical release will follow on April 6th, but you can get a look at this haunting tale of man versus wild below with its chilling trailer:

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