Hunted [Fantasia Fest]

To say that I loved this feels strange and wrong but the film is absoltutely wild in the best way possible. Which again, revenge films always make it hard for you to admit that you loved it, but this is a genre festival we’re talking about, they know the demographic. I’m also positive I couldn’t be the only one.

Hunted doesn’t take long to get started. It opens with a campfire story, a mother and her son, as she tells him about how one day, a woman was found by a man and his followers. The man decided she would sleep with all of them, but that wasn’t something she wanted to, and so, the animals of the forest came to her rescue and fought back. Her son asks “is there still wild wolves?” and his mother answers “no, but the men still are.” And thus, we see the end of our fairy tale, and find ourselves at the beginning of a revenge story.

After the campfire, we easily see how quickly everything can go from 0-100. Our lead Woman (Lucie Debay) goes to a bar, and an agressive drunk man hits on her, but soon after Man (Arieh Worthalter) comes to her rescue. Unfortunately, Man is a classic “nice guy.” Except, he’s a bit more twisted than just the already awful stereotype of complaining that a woman won’t kiss or sleep with him. The big difference is that Man won’t give up, and he’s interested in more than a one-night-stand.

Thankfully, nothing goes Man’s way. He and his friend Adam tries to take Woman into the woods with a camera, and record as they abuse her, but nature comes to her rescue, more than a few times.

Oddly enough, I laughed too many times at the film, and I believe that director Vincent Paronnaud (who previously co-directed Persepolis) definitely went for the satire route, where he made what was happening to Woman serious enough that we would never laugh at that, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t laugh when Man says to Adam “do you fucking love me?” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Hunted is absolutely wild in the best way possible. The camera work in this film is gorgeous, and it’s beautifully shot in the dark and never grainy or noisey. It’ll make you laugh, but make you sick in the stomach that you’d want to laugh at such a real fear for so many people. Unfortunately, women typically don’t have wild animals that can come to their rescue, as the mother says the beginning, that doesn’t mean the wild and evil men don’t still exist.