The trailer for Hunter’s Moon looked really promising. A big house in the middle of nowhere, a home invasion, werewolves. It looked like it might have been a lot of fun. Sadly, the end product was dull throughout and had a ‘twist’ ending that was obvious a mile away and not nearly as clever as the film thinks.
The film begins with Martin Ellsbury (Sean Patrick Flanery), a charming serial killer, who’s lured a young woman to his remote home in order to drug her and murder her, before burying her in his orchard. The intro ends with something coming out of the orchard killing him. Skipping to some time later we’re introduced to the Delaney family, who are moving into the home.
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On their way to the new house Bernice (Amanda Wyss) and her daughters Juliet (Katrina Bowden), Lisa (India Ennenga), and Wendy (Emmalee Parker) hear from one of the locals that their new home belonged to a serial killer, which seems to cause some friction with father of the family Thomas (Jay Mohr). Despite this, the family settle into their new home and Thomas and Bernice set out on some business, leaving the girls home alone. Unfortunately for them, a trio of local criminals have decided to target them for home invasion.
One of the biggest issues that the film has is that there’s no real sense of tension, despite it trying to force some into the narrative. There’s a moment towards the start where it seems to be hinting that Thomas might be an abusive husband/father, but this never comes up again, and he’s generally a nice guy. And when the criminals enter the home you never really feel like the girls are in any real danger.
It also very quickly becomes obvious what’s really going on, which I can’t really talk about without spoiling the movie. But if you’re paying attention to the narrative I’m sure that you’ll pick up on it before it’s made expressly obvious. There’s also something with Thomas Jane’s cop character that is supposed to throw you, but is also quite obvious. That’s my biggest issue with the film really, that the plot is obvious, nothing happens that I wasn’t expecting, and the characters don’t feel developed much in any way.
The werewolves aren’t hugely impressive either, and when you actually get to see one properly it feels faintly ridiculous. The suits look like old gorilla costumes with big rubber wolf faces stuck on them. The face is static and looks ridiculously goofy to the point that it isn’t threatening at all.
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I wish I could find something good to say about the film, but I’m really struggling. The acting feels dull, as if the actors didn’t didn’t really want to be there. The plot, as I’ve already said, is predictable. The monsters look goofy. I was waiting for the story to get good, and it just didn’t. The trailer made it look like this was going to be a group of people holed up in a house under siege by werewolves, but it really wasn’t. If that’s what you want then Dog Soldiers is what you should be watching instead. It’s amazing that a film that’s nearly 20 years old and had a lower budget made werewolves that looked a million times better than those in this film. It’s hard to see where the $2.5 million budget went on Hunter’s Moon.
Hunter’s Moon is out on DVD and Digital on 24th August from Dazzler Media.