REVIEW: Hunter – (short)

We told you about the horror short film ‘Hunter’ from director Ryan Shovey, who also wrote the script together with Ross Alagna, late last month. ‘Hunter’ will have it’s world premiere this upcoming weekend at Shockfest in Los Angeles, and we had the opportunity to watch it early and bring you our review. Don’t worry, we hate spoilers as much as you do and avoid them best we can. Come on in and read what we think of ‘Hunter’.

The 12 minute short film ‘Hunter’ is only the beginning and part of a concept for a feature film, a slasher horror film made by slasher fans for slasher fans. Like the full feature, ‘Hunter’ incorporates techniques used in some of the most highly acclaimed psychological thrillers. And it does it well, sometimes even too well, because the reference is almost an exact copy of the camera angle and acting used in the original. Iconic scenes from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’, John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ and Wes Craven’s ‘Scream’ are effectively applied in ‘Hunter’, but sometimes distract from experiencing the film itself. If you watch it with friends, there is a certain risk of someone suggesting to play “name the movie” instead of actually concentrating on the short.

Where the plot is going seems pretty obvious right from the start, given the clear and unmistakeable hint right in the opening sequence – yet saving the surprising twist until well into the short. When the twist hits, you somewhat feel relieved while, at the same time, you just know the main character must, or at least should, have another thing coming. To find out how it ends, you will have to watch ‘Hunter’ yourself.

Much of the storyline for the feature naturally remains obscure in the short, which takes away from the experience it could be, and makes ‘Hunter’ feel random. Knowing you are about to watch a slasher film going in raises expectations to a level which is difficult if not impossible for the short to meet.

While the storyline for the feature film certainly brings potential to the table, we feel the makers of the short concentrated too much on replicating their favorite movie scenes  in too many aspects than developing their own vision of a genre film, tying iconic sequences into a plot that needs to be stronger to be compelling. ‘Hunter’ is a valid and in some respect good starting point, but there will be some way to go until it convincingly captivates an audience.

‘Hunter’ will have its world premiere at Shock Film Festival in Los Angeles on November 17, 2012.

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