Hunter – Film Review: An Enjoyable Supernatural Thriller

Hunter 2019 2018 film review

Hunter is a low-budget supernatural horror film which features an interesting narrative I hope to see develop into something bigger. So, yes, if Hunter does end up becoming an indie horror/thriller franchise, I’m here for it.

I was provided a free digital screener of Hunter for review. The opinions are my own.

Minor spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

Hunter is directed by David Tarleton and written by Jason Kellerman. It is a story about Hunter (Jason Kellerman), who finds himself experiencing a life of paranoia and loneliness after a tragic event involving his family.

From the official description:

He takes refuge in a local homeless shelter and is enrolled in a program that rehabilitates the homeless through talk therapy. Running the program, Danielle (Rachel Cerda) attempts to help him grapple with his history and explain the personal demons which continue to terrify him. After another homeless friend of Hunter’s goes missing, seemingly at the hands of those shadowy figures, Hunter’s fears become suddenly much more immediate. As he grows increasingly bold in his search for answers, and his newfound resolve brings him closer and closer to the truth, the deadly figures he’s pursing begin to mount their forces against him. As his personal demons seek to exploit his weaknesses to threaten all he holds dear, with the lives of those he loves once again at stake, he must find the courage to rise above the victim and become the Hunter.

Hunter has won awards for ‘Best Horror Feature’ at the Manhattan Film Fest 2018, ‘Best Feature’ at the Freakshow Horror Film Fest 2018, ‘Best Feature’ at Lift-off Sessions 2018, ‘Nominated – Best Feature’ at the Chicago Horror Film Festival 2018 and the ‘Silver Palm Award’ at the Queen Palm Film Festival 2018.

And you know what? All these accolades are well-deserved.

It was fun watching Hunter, and as I said, I wouldn’t mind if this story continues. Of course, I had some issues with the film, but I will get to them once I cover the good stuff.

First of all, I liked Jason Kellerman as the lead character. He made Hunter come across as likable even during his crazy moments. Kellerman’s acting along with the overall editing work helped show the battle between Hunter’s sane and troubled sides in an enjoyable manner.

The movie’s hero is someone who has been through a lot, and I liked seeing him work through his trauma after meeting Danny.

Hunter even cried!

How many movies out there show heroes crying? Hunter is human and, yes, human beings (even if they are men) feel emotions and should be allowed to cry. Exhibiting vulnerability doesn’t take away from how badass Hunter is as a character. I appreciated seeing such a scene.

Another thing I liked about this indie project is how it isn’t in a hurry to rush through the narrative. The story takes its time without relying on a lot of filler or padding. Kellerman wrote a story which talks about human emotions, psychological well-being, homelessness and more while packaging it as a supernatural thriller. Good work!

The rest of the cast members did justice to their roles. Other than Hunter, Ryan Heindl as Luke is a character we get to spend a lot of time with. We come to understand the conflicts he faces due to being part of the supernatural world.

While I could have done without the romance between Hunter and Danny, I was okay with it because the two took their time to get to know each other. The therapist-patient dynamic was weird, but at least the actors had onscreen chemistry.

Now, it is time to talk about certain issues I think could have been handled better. Perhaps we might see an improvement in a sequel?

While I liked Danny, she was wasted during the finale. Her fate was very cliched. I was not a fan of it.

Also, I would have liked Hunter to spend a bit more time worldbuilding. This does feel like the first chapter in a larger story. So, if this series continues, it will be interesting to see if Kellerman focuses more on how the supernatural operates in the normal world.

How many different types of supernatural beings are out there? How much does the government know? I would appreciate having such questions being answered.

Hunter was released today On-Demand and on all digital platforms.

If you are into indie flicks and want to show support, you should consider checking it out.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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