The Hunters is an abysmal horror thriller that starts off poorly and continues to climb ever lower down the ladder of quality. The story involves three separate strands that begin to intertwine. One is the story of an ex-army veteran who enters a town’s police force while clearly suffering from PTSD. He is suspicious about the growing amount of missing persons, and clues start to point to a suspicious woodland area. But this is where a group of bored men have their fun. They hunt things (people, it seems), and then do unspeakable things with the bodies. The third story thread concerns a young woman (Dianna Agron from Glee), although her role in the film is rather superfluous.
As the story becomes more and more bizarre, and the acting increasingly atrocious, I began to lose all hope in finding a gripping coherent narrative within it. At one point things start to become inventively nasty, with homoerotic necrophilic undertones, and I wondered whether entertainment levels may rise out of sheer weirdness. But any gory impact of these scenes is squandered by the amateur production values and the shoddy screenplay.
Agron is a good actress and does well with her rather pathetic role. She deserves better material than this. I was hoping she might break out into an Avril Lavigne song during the more bloody moments in order to give the film a sense of deranged irony. No such luck.
The Hunters (2011), directed by Chris Briant, is available on DVD from Lionsgate, certificate 18.