The Head Hunter is what you’d get if you tossed The Witcher and The 13th Warrior into a blender. It’s a dark, gritty, muddy story of a man who hunts monsters, hoping that one day he will again meet the one creature that killed his daughter. That’s your plot in a nutshell and it’s pretty simple, but the execution… oh, the execution is so, so well done.
This is a film that makes superb use of visual storytelling. There’s barely any dialogue, and there doesn’t need to be. In the first nine minutes you know everything you need to know about our main character, the haunted and intimidating “Father”. You know what drives him, you know how he spends his days, you know how he gets his jobs and you know that he could stop any time he wants, but instead he chooses to spend his days in his dark little home filled with decapitated and rotting monster heads that he spikes onto the wall. Dude’s got issues.
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The only criticism is that despite a rather brief runtime of only 72 minutes, this film manages to both be too short and yet somehow too long. There are a few scenes that could arguably have been dropped, but these are minor quibbles.
This is a brilliant little movie with a well told story that’s steeped in real tension and atmosphere. Hats off to director Jordan Downey (ThanksKilling) and lead actor Christopher Rygh (The Last Kingdom). The Head Hunter is a genuine pleasure to watch and anyone in the mood for a slice of medieval monster horror should get this one on their watchlist.
The Head Hunter premieres on horror streaming service Shudder on 5th December.