Fantasia Review: ‘Climate of the Hunter’ is dark, weird, stylistic throwback

There’s no denying that Climate of the Hunter is a weird movie that won’t be for everyone. Set in a group of remote cabins, it concerns two sisters, Alma and Elizabeth, who are there to reconnect with their old friend Wesley.

Wesley has been travelling the world, is an author and a storyteller. He has fantastic hair, a deep, gravelly voice, and a distinct sense of style. The women are, in a word, obsessed.

As the story goes on things, get weirder and weirder, though. First, the sisters are competing for Wesley, who seems to want them both. Also, Wesley sleeps all day and has a severe allergy to garlic.

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The whole thing is set against the aesthetics of the 1970s, right down to the jello salad and the raccoon-shaped sunglasses sun-tans. To reiterate, this movie is deeply weird. It’s also shallow.

Climate of the Hunter features several monologues from Wesley, stories of his travel, and his devotion to his wife, but nothing of any real substance is discussed in all his talk. Oh, sure, it sounds like there is, but it only sounds like it.

The one interesting hook, whether Wesley is a vampire or just an ageing lothario with a weird sleep schedule and a particularly severe allergy, takes most of the film to resolve, but once it did, I had a hard time caring. For me, it could have gone either way, and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

What I am taking a long time to say here is that this movie is not for me. I can see, one hundred per cent, that is very much going to be for a lot of people. I think many people will probably love this thing between the art-house vibe, the culinary narration, and the occasional dash of visual effects. Hell, given all that, it’s kind of strange that I don’t love it. I guess you will have to see it for yourself and decide.


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