Movie Review: ‘Hunter’

Review by James Lindorf

Hunter (Jason Kellerman), a former cage fighting champion, is haunted by the murder of his mother and younger sister. It has been a year since the tragic event. Hunter is now homeless and battling demons, both real and imagined. Helping Hunter get a handle on his roiling emotions is Danni, a psychology student working on her graduate thesis at the halfway house Hunter frequents. When local women start disappearing from the streets of Chicago, Hunter will get his chance to come face to face with the monsters that changed his life forever. Hunter co-stars The Shape of Water’s Nick Searcy, and Chicago Fire’s Rachel Cerda and will be available February 12th, 2019.

A cage fighter is a perfect opponent for a group of vampires. He is vicious, strong, and used to being around blood. The film starts off showing Hunter in fight after fight to prove how formidable he is. Unfortunately, it is also the last significant bit of action until the climax. We never get to see the same thing from the vampires, which leaves you wondering about their capabilities until the climax.

The cinematographer, Scotty Summers, did a lot for this film. There was a bit too much shaky cam, but the contrasting blue and sepia tones really add to the look of the film. A freeze frame of the film will make it look like there was a lot more money here than actually was spent. The constraints of the budget can really be felt with Hunter’s interactions with the cops and the vampires. The police never fire a single shot and only have vehicles for one scene. The vampires are lacking all of the typical powers associated with the creature of the night. The only thing they possess is a thirst for blood and the fangs required to get it.

Rachel Cerda is the on-camera star of the film, easily outpacing Kellerman. Kellerman probably has a brighter future as a writer than he does as an actor. He performs well enough at times, that with practice, he may become a highly competent actor. This was the first feature film for Director David Tarleton, and there were a few mistakes that hurt the pacing of the film, but nothing that should prevent him from helming another project. Hunter is an above average independent film that will give you no reason to rush to turn it off. Regrettably, there is also not enough here to make it worthy of multiple viewings. Maybe with more funds on their next project, the creative team will be able to produce something that will really resonate with people.

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