06th Oct2020

‘Hunter’s Moon’ DVD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Katrina Bowden, Jay Mohr, Will Carlson, Spencer Daniels, India Ennenga, Amanda Wyss, Daniel R. Hill, David Labrava, Emmalee Parker, Lexi Atkins, Sean Patrick Flanery, Thomas Jane | Written and Directed by Michael Caissie

Originality is something I always scream out for, especially when it comes to horror movies. I’m not someone that constantly complains about remakes (The Thing, The Fly, Let Me In) or sequels (REC 2, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Evil Dead 2) but I love to see things I have never seen before, twists on ideas that are well known and Hunter’s Moon at least aims to do this.

It all seems very clichéd at first but I’m sure that’s the idea. We see a family – Mother, father, three daughters – moving from the city into a new house in a small town. Once settled the parents go out for the night, leaving their teenage daughter’s home alone, only for three locals to have invited themselves into the property. From there though, things do start getting a little strange.

Hunter’s Moon does a good job of keeping the audience guessing, because there’s part of the story which you’re almost always sure is happening, right up until it’s big reveal. But it turns out that that’s not the only reveal, there’s a few more surprises after it.

Performances aren’t anything to write home about but the experience of Jay Mohr (Go, Jerry Maguire) is there to see and Katrina Bowden (Tuck and Dale vs Evil) makes you wonder why she hasn’t starred in more high profile movies recently. This is not to say the rest of the cast are bad but no-one does much to stand out.

There’s a handful of practical effects that range from gore to all out ‘costumes’ and they all look impressive. I would much rather have things look slightly amateurish than chucking money at average CGI and I think most horror fans would be the same.

There is one scene in the film that seemed a little unnecessary in its uncomfortable-ness. There are plenty of ways to make your ‘villains’ seem bad without what is used here. It just seemed really out of place with the rest of the movie even if the eventual twists changes it somewhat.

This is director and writer Michael Caissie’s first feature film and it’s a strong debut. Far from perfect but there’s plenty of positives here. The story in particular is a really interesting one that surprises you and turns the viewers expectations on their head. Proving that you can still do new things with sub genres that might seem a little tired at the moment. With the final moments provided opportunities for a sequel here even if it seems a little unlikely too happen. In fact, it almost feels like a long pilot for a show, which would work even better and has me thinking up lots of cool ideas with the characters used here.

Hunter’s Moon may not have the style or stand out performances to make it a cult classic but it’s an entertaining eighty minutes or so and something I’d recommend horror fans to check out.

*** 3/5

Hunter’s Moon is out now on DVD from Dazzler Media.


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