CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER

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Deep within the woods at their family cabin, two sisters, Alma (Ginger Gilmartin) and Elizabeth (Mary Buss), await the arrival of their old friend, Wesley (Ben Hall) – whom they haven’t seen in 20 years. Turns out Wesley’s wife has been ill for quite some time and currently languishes in a mental institution, which effectively means Wesley is “available.” As soon as he arrives for dinner, he starts flirting with both of the women, but Elizabeth’s interest in him is clearly more voracious than Alma’s.

Dinner party after dinner party ensues and as Elizabeth falls more in love with him, Alma starts to notice that Wesley’s behavior is becoming increasingly strange — sleeping during the day, a weird allergy to garlic, and even referencing the “bad blood” his wife had, which made her sick. While spending time with the local conspiracy theorist, Alma begins to believe that Wesley may be a vampire who is going to seduce Elizabeth and turn her into a vamp as well. But can she trust her already fragile mind?

It’s hard to explain what a fantastical trip of a movie CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER is. Director Mickey Reece has constructed a twisty thriller that legit feels like it was actually filmed in the 70s. The colors, clothes, and furnishings of the decade permeate every scene and give it an otherworldly setting.

And let’s talk about that 70’s-era FOOD! Reece does such a brilliantly bizarre thing before each meeting with Welsey: a cutaway to a close-up of the dishes about to be consumed, with a voiceover describing what’s being served. It’s weird and out of place and I absolutely LOVED IT.

The vintage atmosphere coupled with the fantastic performances of all three leads really pulled me into this story — and it’s honestly really refreshing to see something so different in this genre. If you’re looking for a lot of splatter, this one’s not for you. HUNTER is more arthouse slowburn than in-your-face gore, but I still found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable watch.

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