Two sisters vie for the affections of a man who may or may not be a vampire.
Starring: Ginger Gilmartin, Mary Buss, and Benn Hall
Directed by: Mickey Reece
Written by: Mickey Reece, and John Selvidge
A Fantasia International Film Festival Review
“Climate of the Hunter” is all about the hunt for the answer to one question: is Wesley (Ben Hall) a vampire or not? The hunt begins with sisters Alma (Ginger Gilmartin) and Elizabeth (Mary Buss), who are in very different places in their lives. Alma is out of work, and living in a vacation cabin seemly to hide from the world. Elizabeth is more of the opposite, as she’s a very successful lawyer living in the city. The only reason they're together is that Elizabeth has come to the cabin to check on Alma. Alma may be going through a rough patch in life, or it might be a little worse and she’s suffering from mental issues.
Enter Wesley, who hasn’t seen the ladies in about 20 years. Before he even gets there, the audience can see there is going to be a battle for him. The sisters bicker about him before his arrival, and even in front of him at dinner. Alma trying more to prove she’s alright, and Elizabeth showing her accomplishments. To add a little complication to things, Wesley is married, and he had to commit his wife to a mental hospital. This doesn’t sit well with his son, who comes to visit and clearly is on his mother’s side.
The film is set in the 1970’s, and they do a great job of capturing the vibe of that decade. Actually with some of the interesting dialogue it might even seem older at times. The film is light on action, and definitely more focused on setting scenes and letting the dialogue carry it. The audience is treated to scenes at the dinning table on many occasions taking in a narrator describing the meal, and then hearing whomever is at the table have a discussion. This puts a lot more on the shoulders of the actors, who in turn do a wonderful job pulling it off.
As Alma begins to believe more and more that Wesley is a vampire, the scenes get a little more bizarre. Funny that some of those scenes don’t even include Alma, which just adds to the curiosity the film creates. There’s a funny scene when Wesley’s son visits his mom in the mental hospital, and tells her how to call him. Then there’s a strange scene where Elizabeth goes to dinner at Wesley’s cabin, and he has a surprise guest for her. Scenes like these might make the audience wonder if Alma is the only one with issues.
However, everything is again about whether or not he’s a vampire. The clues build throughout, but there’s never anything that says with 100% certainty that he’s one. Alma is convinced, and it eventually seals her fate. The ending scene just feels so right with everything that just happened to her, and with what the audience just witnessed.
“The Climate of the Hunter,” might not end up being a film for everyone because it takes on a style of its own. It’s heavy on dialogue which the cast handles perfectly. The dialogue is rarely straight forward giving the audience a lot to pay attention to, especially in some of the more strange scenes. Like Alma, the audience will also have to determine whether this is all madness, or he’s really a vampire. With that, I certainly admire the way they created this story, and give it 2.5 pools of blood.
“Climate of the Hunter” is playing On Demand as part of the Fantasia 2020 Virtual Festival.
More info about this film at: http://promotehorror.com/2020/08/15/focus-on-fantasia-2020-climate-of-the-hunter/
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