Hunt Club is an action thriller starring Mena Suvari, Casper Van Dien, and Academy Award nominee Mickey Rourke. It is directed by Elizabeth Blake-Thomas (Just Swipe), based on a screenplay by David Lipper (The Unwilling) and John Saunders (Beach Massacre at Kill Devil Hills). I read the title and the synopsis, and it sounded very similar to a film I reviewed on the big screen before the pandemic lockdown, and I have not forgotten it to date. Hunt Club is a good film, but unfortunately, the theme of humans hunting other humans for sport has been written about before. As the film begins and during the first act, the writing takes the viewer on a predictable path. I prefer the unpredictable.
Most individuals know by now about “stranger danger,” and when Cassandra (Mena Suvari, The Accursed, Apparition, American Pie) has a falling out with her friend, Tessa (Maya Stojan, American Sicario, Castle TV series), she agrees to join Jackson (Will Peltz, The Collection, Exploited) and his father, Carter (Casper Van Dien, The Most Dangerous Game) for coffee, then takes them up on an offer for the weekend. This aspect of the story is not believable to me, as Cassandra is not a teenager – she appears smart enough to know better from life experiences – and this is a bit of a turnoff for me to have this woman depicted as so naïve. She does not act desperate when Tessa leaves.
The next female introduced is portrayed as much younger and probably barely legal. Lexi (Jessica Belkin, Reboot Camp, Pretty Little Liars – TV series, 1 episode) is already with two other men she met online, Teddy (Jason London, Blood Harvest, Dazed and Confused), Preston (Jeremy London, Moon Crash, Crypto Heads). Cassandra acts as if she doesn’t seem to think twice about joining this large group of men and one young woman for the weekend on an isolated island.
After a short evening of wining and dining, the two women are led off to their rooms, where different activities occur. Cassandra has a long talk with Jackson, but Lexi doesn’t have the same treatment. Shortly after Cassandra asks Casper about “the offer,” she is reduced to the level of the other women being held by Virgil (Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler, Sin City) in a barn. From there, women are selected to be hunted out in the woods.
Carter leads a bonfire chat with the hunters. I won’t elaborate, but it is cringe-worthy as they describe their justification for the actions. A couple of times in the film, the scenes are hard to watch, and I considered leaving the film. After I heard this banter among the men, I continued to watch to see how the women that survive can get their power back, even after their initial bad first choices.
Hunt Club does have violence and gore, so this film will not be on everyone’s watch list. When there is some action between Cassandra and Carter in the final act, too much dialogue between them gets tiresome. Get to the point. The ending is what I expected, but with an open end for the future. Uncork’d Entertainment released Hunt Club on digital platforms and DVD this month.
Source: Uncork’d Entertainment ###