Movie Review: ‘Hunting Grounds’

Review by Monique Thompson

A father, his son and two old friends arrive at an isolated family cabin for a weekend of hunting. A trip deep into the forest looking for wild game uncovers a tribe of Sasquatch that are determined to protect their land.

Not to be confused with the rape documentary with the vastly similar title, Hunting Grounds is an award-winning Sci-Fi Horror Film that premiered at the Toronto Independent Film Festival back in 2015 under the name Valley of the Sasquatch. Since rebranding the name, this film by Uncork’d Entertainment has a little bit more substance than just your typical “big foot” horror movie.

Widower Roger is trying to repair the shaky relationship with his son Michael. Roger forces his son to go with him on a hunting trip to a cabin in the woods with a couple other buddies. Upon arrival, they immediately can tell the cabin has been ransacked by who they assume to have been the previous tenants. Unbothered, the group proceeds to enter the nearby woods to begin their game hunting. Upon nightfall, one of the men get a glimpse of what he is initially able to describe as nothing more than something ‘very big’. It doesn’t take much longer before the ‘big foot’ creatures make their presence and begin to prey on the group.

Things start off a bit slow in the beginning, focusing more on the father-son relationship. It’s quite evident the pair are really struggling since the passing of the mother. While the plot doesn’t go into much detail as to what happened, the beginning of the film pretty much sets the basis on how much needed this trip is, to try and help with their healing. Once the big foot is revealed, providing confirmation to the many myths, things go straight horror- flick-ish, leaving the emotional drift between the father and son as a later battle.

Once things pick up, the horror takes over. The big foot creatures in the film are exactly that: huge and hairy and extremely vicious, dismembering their prey in such a ruthless matter. There’s no shortage of blood and guts during any of the kills, making this a treat for those that aren’t faint at the stomach. Then men will stop at nothing as they are destined to leave the woods victorious during this man vs. big foot battle. Towards the end, the father and son eventually realize their differences aren’t what’s important if they want to survive. All in all, Hunting Grounds turn out to be worth the view.

HUNTING GROUNDS available On Demand now.

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