2022 / Elizabeth Blake-Thomas / Amazon Prime / NR
I wish there were more positive things to say about this one... Read on!
Quick Rundown of Hunt Club
This film is the short story The Most Dangerous Game, but what if men hunted women specifically?... And what if all the characters couldn't stop themselves from tripping into long overindulgent monologues?
Cassandra is out on a bender, drinking her sorrows away because her daughter has gone missing. She gets harassed and groped by some men outside of the bar when Tessa, a badass biker/hippy appears and defends her. Shortly after that, we follow them into a diner where they break up, and Cassandra is immediately invited to go hunting with two strange men, and she oddly accepts. The night of the hunt seems to last an oddly long time, and maybe it's two nights, I'm not sure. Either way, Cassandra finds herself having heartfelt conversations, running for her life, murdering men, and being reunited with unexpected characters. Oh, and a few dicks get mutilated on the way.
The Creative Team Behind Hunt Club
Elizabeth Blake-Thomas has been on the scene for quite some time, and from what research I've done it appears that she's usually known more for her wholesome b-movies. I'm not familiar with her other works, but her best-rated film is 2022's Caralique, about a young fashion designer. She's a huge advocate for equality in the workspace, and she strives to bring attention to human trafficking issues. Hunt Club puts both of these concerns of hers front and center. Mena Suvari stars as Cassandra, I recognize her from 1999's American Pie, and she's been working ever since. Her presence spans film, animation, TV, and even video games. Casper Van Dien plays the mastermind of the operation, and you'll know him from his leading role in 1997's Starship Troopers. And then there's Mickey Rourke who is the most notable and famous of the cast. He hams it up, but that's to be expected. Mickey's role is minimal, but oh-so fun.
Jake's Take On Hunt Club
Mickey Rourke's stunt double, which was a puppet of some kind, had me rolling. I actually enjoy these cheap effects. There's a scene where a girl ends up with two men in a room with a bed and a window, and the lighting in that room is awesome. Purple light shines through the window and an orange hue comes from below the bed, which makes the atmosphere as diabolical as the events taking place.
Gosh, this film is grueling. I went into it not knowing anything about it, and I'm glad that was the case because I probably wouldn't have sat through it if I saw a trailer. The dialogue is clunky, characters really do explain their every motive. There's an interesting mythology that the film tries to tap into, but it's all done so half-assed. The purpose of film is to show us, not tell us, and this film struggles with this very much. At first, I thought that this film redeemed itself with aesthetic choices, like lighting and wardrobe choices, but it all ended up falling flat. Anything shot in the forest at night looks terrible which is a decent portion of the film. Cassandra, our protagonist, changes clothes a half dozen times, it was bothersome, and I'm someone who doesn't usually notice these kinds of things. The men in this film have zero depth. Okay, I'm done shitting on this film. I can't recommend this film, but I do believe that the director's heart is in the right place.