The rape-revenge story is a well-worn film story. The bad man seems nice. The bad man gets the woman alone. The bad man reveals himself as bad man. Violence ensues. Hunted attempts to take a supernatural twist on this story, following our victim deep into a forest that will eventually become her ally.
Or so the pitch goes. The problem is that the film doesn’t really follow through on the pitch.
The setup of the story is as standard as I made it out to be. Our heroine is rescued from an asshole at a bar by a nice man who spends the night getting to know her. Then at the prescribed time in the plot, he is revealed to be a psychopath when his coward accomplice shows up and they being driving her towards the woods.
A stupid car accident later, and she is free and on the run with the two men giving chase. It doesn’t take long for one of them to turn on the other (because, of course) or for things to go spectacularly wrong for everyone, including a pair of survivalists that both our heroine and villain stumble across.
As the story goes on and the forest starts to come alive a little bit, Lucie Debay becomes more and more feral, at one point even literally chewing herself free from a rope. She is committed to the bit, though, which is occasionally fun to watch. For most of the film, she wears a red hooded coat, and it’s an interesting take to turn red riding hood into the wolf.
Or it would be if any of this went anywhere.
Debay goes feral and fights back, and there are a few scenes where animals attack the villain, but if you are looking for a supernatural horror film, you have not found it. If you are looking for some commentary on human nature, you have also not found it. If you are looking for a film to follow through on its potential, you have also not found it as the film gives up the forest setting for the climax of the film.
For all these reasons and more, Hunted is a disappointment.
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