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The Hunter

The Hunter (Daniel Nettheim, 2011) wr. Alice Addison, novel Julia Leigh; Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill; Tasmania; thylacine

The casting for this small Tasmanian film is surprising: how was Willem Dafoe persuaded to come down under? Tho it is a very good part, especially for him. Why did Frances O’Connor participate when her character doesn’t enter the story for half an hour, and isn’t there for a long final sequence? (She grew up in Australia, but now often works in LA, where she lives.) And especially when the film was directed by a man doing only his second feature, Daniel Nettheim, whose first was the little-seen Angst (2000) – well, I haven’t seen it, tho I meant to at the time. Robert Humphreys’ cinematography is very good. Julia Leigh’s story is good too. There! I managed to write all that and tell you nothing about the plot. I wouldn’t imagine The Hunter has returned the investment in it. A pity, as it’s worth it.

Haunting and mesmerising, The Hunter is an outstanding film that tackles a hot socio-political issue through a well crafted, character driven story - something Australian filmmakers should attempt more often. Andrew L. Urban, urban cinefile.

Robert Humphreys' cinematography captures the wonder of the harsh landscape and the bleak weather conditions while an eerie soundscape brings a genuinely creepy mood to the mix. This is a tense and unforgettable film that brought me to tears when I least expected it. Louise Keller, urban cinefile.

Garry Gillard | New: 14 October, 2012 | Now: 9 June, 2020