Hunter review

By David Dent

What do you do when you want to make a superhero flick about a vampire hunter – because maybe you’ve been impressed by the Blade movies – but you don’t really have any money? The answer, for first time feature director David Tarleton, would be roughly something like Hunter.

In snowy, wintry Chicago, Hunter (Jason Kellerman, who also wrote the thing) is a former bare-knuckle fighter with a past; now homeless, he’s running from memories about a home attack some years previously that wasn’t his finest hour in terms of family saving, and which may have been perpetrated by something…supernatural.

Seeking shelter in a homeless centre, he’s helped by Danni (Rachel Cerda), and against all ethical principles the pair eventually become romantically involved.

But Hunter gradually becomes aware that the beings who killed his mother and sister all those years ago may be alive and well in Chicago, and he makes it his job to track them down and eliminate them.

Hunter scores points for being very atmospheric – it’s mainly shot at night and the cinematography, with our tortured hero trudging through the snow bound streets illuminated by sodium lamps, looks great. What is doesn’t need is Morgan Elland’s overbearing score which smothers everything in a morass of cheap sounding string synthesisers and tries to signpost to the viewer that important and dramatic things are taking place.

Actually very little takes place in this movie. There’s a lot of angst, and meaningful stares, but if you’re looking for a Blade style wall to wall action flick you’ll need to go elsewhere. Admittedly the last section of the film, where Hunter finally squares up to the city dwelling vampires, is well handled, but it’s been quite a slog to get that far.

And in fairness Hunter has clearly been designed as an origin story, so the next time we see him all the dramatic stuff will be out of the way. But sadly Hunter, good looking as he is, just isn’t that interesting; and on the basis of this one I’ll not be in a particular rush to see Hunter II.

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