Released as Hounded in its home country of the UK, the most recent movie version of The Most Dangerous Game is called “Hunted.” Please don’t confuse it with a movie that came out in 2020 with the same name.
It takes parts from movies like “Don’t Breathe,” “Nefarious,” and “Turkey Shoot,” and then adds the very upper-class British tradition of “fox hunting.” The end result is a survival horror story that is a not-so-subtle metaphor for class warfare.
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Leon (Nobuse Jr., The Group, Hello Au Revoir), his brother Chaz (Malachi Pullar-Latchman, Shark Bait, Open All Night), and their partners Vix (Hannah Traylen, Howard’s End, Boiling Point), and Tod (Ross Coles, Guilty as Sin, The Rise, and Fall of Tommy Concord) are running a good scam.
Gregory, a local antique dealer, played by Larry Lamb (Superman, EastEnders), hires them to rob his own customers. It’s good money for a quick grab of the one valuable thing he wants and a quick exit.
Leon is ready to retire now that he has made enough money to send Chaz to college. The others, on the other hand, want to get one more job so they can get ahead.
Leon reluctantly agrees to steal a ceremonial dagger from Katherine Redwick, an aristocrat in the area (Samantha Bond, GoldenEye, The Kindred). This time, though, someone is there waiting for them.
They wake up in a field covered in fox urine and hearing horns and dogs barking in the distance. Tommy Boulding, who is making his first movie, and Ray Bogdanovich and Dean Lines, who wrote The Banishing and The Hatton Garden Job together, do an excellent job of setting up the two sides.
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They can’t get around the fact that the main characters are criminals, but they try to make their crimes as harmless as possible and make them likable. On the other hand, the bad guys in Hunted are a very unpleasant bunch.
Katherine’s family, including her father Remington (James Faulkner, Atomic Blonde, Never Back Down: Revolt), brother Hugo (James Lance, The Bookshop, Ted Lasso), and nephew Miles (Louis Walwyn, The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself), are still upset that the locals aren’t their literal serfs anymore.
They think it’s their right to hunt and kill peasants, and if they’re bad people or the wrong color, that’s even better. At one point, they stop hunting and have servants serve them, which shows again how much they think of themselves as better than other people.
Hunted is a surprisingly good thriller in terms of its story. Before this, Boulding worked as an editor for a long time. He worked on movies like Possum, The Power, and Sword of Vengeance.
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It helps him put together the action and violent scenes in the movie. For example, when the hounds attack someone, the scene has a lot more impact, even though there is surprisingly little blood.
Aside from some burn effects, Hunted doesn’t have much blood and gore. The scary parts of the movie aren’t as crucial to the movie’s effect as the suspense and action scenes.
In fact, it’s a stretch to call it a horror movie. The idea of hunting people for fun might make it scary, but the way it’s done is anything but. In fact, the message that the movie gives at the end may be the scariest thing about it.
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No matter who won this battle, the system is still rigged against us commoners. Even though the script makes its points clear and makes it hard to miss them, it doesn’t go on and on about them.
The main thing that makes Hunted worth seeing is that it is a thriller. Hunted is now available on VOD and digital platforms in the US. It was made by Saban Films. On October 28, Signature Entertainment will put it out in the UK.