The company of wolves is better than that of man." Once upon a frenzied time, Woman meets Man. Woman dances with Man. Man kisses Woman. Man grips Woman. Woman escapes Man. Man chases Woman - Nothing new. Or is there?
Starring: Arieh Worthalter, Lucie Debay, and Ciaran O’Brien
Directed by: Vincent Paronnaud
Written by: Vincent Paronnaud, and Lea Pernollet
A Fantasia International Film Festival Review
We’ll see who is really hunting who by the end of “Hunted.” Eve (Lucie Debay) is stressed out by her job, and heads to a bar for some drinks to relax. It isn’t her intention to meet anyone, but somehow ends up befriending a man (Arieh Worhalter). She makes the mistake of getting in a car with him, and his supposed brother (Ciaran O’Brien). When things get weird, she insists on getting out, so they leave her at a gas station. No harm as it appears she can go on her way.
Not so fast, as the man comes into the gas station fooling the employee into thinking that he’s Eve’s boyfriend. Before they know it, the employee is dead, and Eve has found herself locked in his truck. The man and his accomplice have an extremely strange conversation that distracts them from the road long enough to end up flipping the car. Eve makes it out of the car for the second time, and this time the hunt is on.
Early on Eve is very much the victim, and the man dominates the show. He’s completely unhinged seeming like a nice guy one second, and a mad man the next. He has no boundaries with friends, young men, and especially women. Surprisingly he pulls off a few brutal deaths on this chase through the woods. There's simply nothing about him that will make the audience ever like him!
When Eve has had enough and decides to fight back there’s a noticeable change in her, and the movie. There’s a moment when both of them are screaming in the forest to let our their frustration, and this is when the roles reverse. Eve is no longer the victim and chases him out of the forest, and into a fun unexpected setting for the final scene. She might not be as crazy as him, but she has definitely had enough, and wants to survive. The movie has been very serious, and typical of a survival movie to that breaking point. From here on out there’s a little more flare to it concentrating on capturing some images, and being a little more dramatic by putting some things in slow motion.
A title like “Hunted” screams just another survival horror movie. However, this one has a few things that will make it stand out over some others starting with the performance of Arieh. He’s tasked with playing the bad guy, and does such a good job it’s scary. If there has ever been a character to hate it’s this man. While Lucie does a good job as well her performance just might be overshadowed because of how despicable this man is. They manage to sneak in some small twists and turns along the way, but nothing as big as when Eve takes the fight to him, and into a completely new territory. Movies like this end very dramatically and so does this one, but not before adding an artistic touch to it. The hunt for a rating is over because I give it 3.5 pools of blood!