Monday, May 25, 2009

Season of the Hunted (2004)

Sue me, I picked this out of the 4 for $20 rack at Blockbuster. Seriously, that's my favorite place to get awesomely bad horror movies. The tagline "Are You Game?" makes this sound like a Saw sequel, but on the contrary, we've got five dude on a man-cation walking into a cannibal trap. Fun!

We open up with some horrible cinematography, lame synthesizer music, and a blurry sex scene. They're really setting the tone for a scare-fest here. So the star of our story, Steve, is planning a post-9/11 (no idea why they specify this) bowhunting trip. His military buddy, Frank, is a little reluctant, but they get all five guys together and peace upstate.

I am psyched to see that the location of the movie is actually realistic. The man-crew cruises up the Northway (in upstate New York) and gets off at Lake George/Diamond Point. (Holla, I used to hang out all summer there) They meet their guide and head over to the so-called lodge. These dudes are unreasonably excited to be shooting innocent animals. Unfortunately, the people in the lodge are a bunch of upstate NY hick stereotypes...we're not like that, I swear!

We've got a bunch of middle aged guys playing poker and drinking PBR and as it turns out, these people do not have a bathroom or a phone. This whole thing just spells disaster. The soundtrack is all early 90s angst rock, and I can't figure out if it is ridiculous or perfectly suited to this movie.

So in the AM, our esteemed crew suits up and heads out for some good ol' hunting. The natives and the tourists split up, and not so surprisingly, the hunters become the hunted! We've got the boys from New Yawk Citay on one side and the corn-fed hicks from upstate on the other. And I haven't seen bows and arrows used as weapons in a horror movie in a LONG time. Well played, sirs, well played.

We've got a twelve-man game of cat and mouse as they run around the woods and split up for the cannibals' benefit. Frank, the military vet is such a badass, except for all of the weird Vietnam flashbacks which are just confusing and have nothing to do with the movie. There's some hacking of bodies for dinner consumption that you haven't seen since the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

However, the transisitions from scene to sense are weird and random. They skip whole parts of the plot --for example, a guy goes from sitting next to a tree to being tied up to it in a mere camera turn. Honestly, the story is really good and the movie could have been decent. But it lacked in production value and acting chops in the worst way, and unfortunately even campiness couldn't have rescued this flick.