Directed by Vincent Paronnaud | Belgium / France | 2020 | 1 hr 27 mins
Eve (Lucie Debay) finds herself at a loose end during a work trip and decides to visit a local bar. There she meets a charming man (Arieh Worthalter) who soon reveals himself to be less than friendly. Eve manages to escape and flees into the woods, with the man and his puppet-like accomplice in dogged pursuit. The roles of predator and prey begin to switch, however, as Eve begins to draw strength from her surroundings and fight back with fierce intensity. To quote a famous horror movie tagline, “Who will survive and what will be left of them?”
While the trope of a woman being stalked by a psychotic killer in the woods is well worn within the horror genre, HUNTED takes a familiar scenario and imbues it with an originality that is truly refreshing. That the film begins with a cautionary campfire tale of wolves and men is no coincidence, in the same way that Eve’s choice of jacket demonstrates a fairy-tale sensibility that is plain to see. The film consistently manages to subvert the clichés associated with the archetypal revenge thriller, framing them within a context of toxic masculinity, expectations of gender roles and male rage and the film’s third act builds to a crescendo of bloody violence and destruction that is as thought-provoking as it is brutal.
Screening with PEAKING + DIABLA