Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Climate of the Hunter Review: An Homage To Classic Horror Films

Ginger Gilmartin	Ginger Gilmartin	...	Alma Mary Buss	Mary Buss	...	Elizabeth Ben Hall	Ben Hall	...	Wesley Jacob Ryan Snovel	Jacob Ryan Snovel	...	BJ Beavers (as Jacob Snovel) Laurie Cummings	Laurie Cummings	...	Genevieve Sheridan McMichael	Sheridan McMichael	...	Percy Danielle Evon Ploeger	Danielle Evon Ploeger	...	Rose

Release date: December 18, 2020
Running time: 81 minutes
Starring: Ginger Gilmartin, Mary Buss, Ben Hall, Danielle Evon Ploeger, and Jacob Ryan Snovel
Directed By: Mickey Reece
 Mickey Reece, John Selvidge

Two sisters, Alma and Elizabeth, along with a dog who’s described as a “philosopher,” have come to Alma’s remote house to reconnect with Wesley after twenty years. Alma is recently divorced, Elizabeth is a workaholic in Washington, D.C., while Wesley lives in Paris dealing with a wife recently struck with a fatal disease. When the three come together for dinner it has all the makings of a lovely adult melodrama about loneliness, and the desire to connect and share our lives with someone… but we must add to the mix one otherworldly piece of information: Wesley could be a vampire.

Produced by  George Adams	...	executive producer Beth M. Alonso	...	executive producer Laurie Cummings	...	executive producer Sascha Drews	...	executive producer Uwe Feuersenger	...	executive producer Greg Gilreath	...	executive producer Brooks Hall	...	executive producer Adam Hendricks	...	executive producer Peter Kuplowsky	...	associate producer Zac Locke	...	executive producer James Paulsgrove	...	associate producer Jacob Ryan Snovel	...	producer (as Jacob Snovel) Ron Sutor	...	executive producer Mikey Bill Taylor	...	executive producer
Climate of the Hunter has a definite old style that is fun to see.  From the 4:3 aspect ratio, film grain, classic style dramatic effects, and zooming camera work, the film feels like it is from a different time.  I really enjoyed this take as the film felt like a throwback to classic horror films.  Shots and acting were more dramatic, the setting was about 30 years in the past, and a classic car has a prominent appearance.  And the setting is perfectly tuned to make this feel like it is from a different time.  The movie is set in a few cabins in the woods, where technology is already not a focus, and the characters do not indulge in modern technology.  I don't think a cell phone makes an appearance in this film, and the participants spend most of their free time talking or telling stories.  

The movie also has a few characters, and they are definitely characters.  The main protagonists are the sisters Alma and Elizabeth, and the mysterious family friend Wesley.  They all are unique and have a deliberate delivery and style that evokes some aspects of Wes Anderson.  It was fun to see and contributed to the older feel, but I could also see someone growing tired of this after a little bit.  And the film introduces a few additional participants here and there, but the core of the movies stays with the same small group.  And throughout the film, the core group evolves and you learn more about them as the movie progresses.  And the writing is deliberate and smart.  I really liked the various hints that were dropped that evoked a vampire feel.  The whole film has you wondering whether or not Wesley is a vampire, and the little tidbits here and there are wonderfully ambiguous in this regard.  And the film does have a very smart use of CG; it is there but it is not distracting and is only used in limited parts.  

However, the story of this film and the overall style might not appeal to everyone.  Climate of the Hunter's older feel and exaggerated style could be off putting.  And although the film does keep the story moving, it sometimes moves slower than normal.  And although I generally liked the characters, some of them were less enjoyable.  Some of them had a strange fake-feeling tan that I wasn't sure if it was by design or just odd make up choices, which made it distracting when seeing them on screen.

Climate of the Hunter has a 70s horror style and feel, exaggerated characters, and deliberate dialogue, to construct a mystery that is an homage to old school horror.

Rent it.

vampire old school conversation old drama comedy wes anderson
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Climate of the Hunter is available in select theaters on December 18, 2020 and digitally on January 12, 2021.

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