Its been awhile since I did one of these, we have been going through a lot of changes here at Horror, Sci-fi and More! and that has caused us to let a few things slip past by us. Like reviews. Trust me we are BEHIND but we promise to try and at least catch up on our stuff so you guys have something to check out. Especially if your looking for a review on a film your having a tough time deciding on whether or not to see. Now this movie I didn't know was made til I saw it the poster for it hanging over actor Josh Stewart's table at Monster Mania in Cherry Hill, NJ. Now I will admit I didn't ask him about this film cause my fangirling caused me to just talk to him about Dark Knight Rises and then a second go around I asked him about The Collector 3.
Now I had to wait for a month to find this film somewhere and I said what the hell lets give it a spin. Now with the name of the movie "The Hunted" I figured it was going to be an action/thriller of sorts. Like a Wrong Turn meets another movie named the Hunted which starred Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro, a cat and mouse game of hunting down a killer in the woods. But boy was I wrong right off the bat, I wasn't expecting it to be a found footage film. Yes for Josh Stewart's directorial debut he did a found footage genre film. Now I know a lot of people will go another found footage film? Yes, its a found footage film and I will say right off the bat he did this film right. I felt he did justice to a subgenre that's been getting flack thanks to the Paranormal Activity franchise and the countless wave of horror films that followed behind it that used the found footage idea.
Josh Stewart directed and starred in his own film not uncommon but a good move I would say cause the man is a good actor. He comes off quiet but has that look like he can be a future Christopher Walken or Gary Oldman. He's stars as Jake a guy whose hoping to make it big by making a hunting webs show as he brings his friend Stevie (Ronnie Gene Blevins) along to be his cameraman. Jake sets his sights on a deer that's been named "Movie Star" by the locals cause the only way you ever saw this deer was in pictures and Jake feels ensured that if they pick this deer off for their pilot episode that they would become big stars. Jake refuses to accept any kind of failure on this trek and refuses to allow anything to cause him not to bag the deer that he hopes would bring his fame and fortune. But its after a few things going wrong that causes Stevie to believe that they are dealing with something more than just wild animals.
The film has very few flaws but somethings do pop up that can have you scratching your head. One instance the two friends are talking in the woods than it jumps like a snap of your fingers to Jake laying on the ground in a different area. For a found footage film the fact that the camera was supposedly off during that moment kind of hurt that scene for me cause I felt the fact that Jake fell from the ladder for the tree poach would have made for a gasp of what the hell just happened rather than me going wtf why did it jump and make me try to rewind the movie to make sure the movie didn't jump itself. But that flaw doesn't really hurt the film cause it is a found footage film and it happens. But as Stevie starts to talk to the locals and a female worker at the cabin they are staying at he learns of a story about a woman who died in the woods as her house burnt to the ground and its rumored her tortured soul still roams the woods where her house once stood. As paranoia begins to lead Stevie to believe more and more that what's in the woods is not bobcats that Jake keeps trying to convince him the screaming in the woods are. Stevie even goes as far as to show Jake that on the motion cameras that they have tied to trees has caught what appears to be an invisible object grabbing one of the cameras off the trees. After awhile Jake fails to catch Movie Star and becomes pissed at himself and this causes a little tension between Jake and Stevie cause Stevie wants to get the hell out of dodge before something happens to them. After their near end of the three day trek the two are done with what's going on in the woods and figure to leave but upon arriving back to their jeep they notice their equipment, clothes and other objects is strewn around the jeep. Stevie checks the camera on the jeep to see that something that's unseen to them was throwing and tossing everything from the jeep. Jake now believing everything that Stevie was trying to tell him wants to head down the path they came on foot but Stevie is scared because its nearly nightfall.
As nightfalls the two are now in for a fight for their lives as what has been stalking the in the woods over the three days they were in them is now after them. The entity eventually causes them to split up and the eventual doom of the characters are met. The film itself to me felt like a nice throwback to the Blair Witch Project having me sit nearly on the edge of my chair well not really cause I like to be comfortable now a days but still the fact that its a race to save your life against an unseen entity your left there hoping that the guy at least survives but then you have to think about how did he if the supposed film was found by someone else? Well that's me forgetting for the moment that I was watching a found footage film I was grabbed and dragged into that much that I was really into this film.
So if your a fan of found footage films then this is one you have to see. But if your one of the few who shrug this kind of film off cause its a found footage film then my friend your missing out on a good movie. I talked to someone about this yesterday and it came up is this movie a good popcorn film? Yes. You'll be wearing that popcorn if your watching it yourself or you allow your girlfriend/boyfriend to hold the popcorn for you and they are scared of stuff like this. If your a fan of Josh Stewart's then here you go, the man has stated that he came up with this idea for this movie because he had an unnerving incident happen to him when he was on a hunting trip in West Virginia. I have a lot of movies to watch and trust me some of the titles to me are a little okay I know that this is going to be bad and that this one is....nevermind. But this one I was glad I got my hands on it and watched it first instead of the other movies I have lined up. So if you can find it watch it and remember that found footage may be a beaten horse now but there are still some really decent found footage flicks out there worth your time and this is one of them.
reviewed by Bucky