Climate of the Hunter is a 2019 American indie horror-drama in which two middle-aged sisters vie for the affection of a man from their past who may or may not be a vampire.
Directed by Mickey Reece (Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart; Arrows of Outrageous Fortune) from a screenplay co-written with John Selvidge, the movie stars Ginger Gilmartin, Mary Buss, Ben Hall, Jacob Snovel, Laurie Cummings, Sheridan McMichael, and Danielle Evon Ploeger.
Climate of the Hunter is, according to Reece’s local online newspaper The Oklahoman, “a visual interpretation of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s 1985 debut album, Psychocandy.” Go figure.
In the 1970s, two sisters, Alma and Elizabeth, along with a dog who’s described as a “philosopher,” have come to Alma’s remote house to reconnect with Wesley after twenty years.
Alma is recently divorced, Elizabeth is a workaholic in Washington, D.C., while Wesley lives in Paris dealing with a wife recently struck with a fatal disease. When the three come together for dinner it has all the makings of a lovely adult melodrama about loneliness, and the desire to connect and share our lives with someone… but we must add to the mix one otherworldly piece of information: Wesley could be a vampire.
“The cast is great, the cinematography is gorgeous, and there’s no denying Climate of the Hunter is a distinct step up technically for Reece. This is a unique take on the type of 1970s “psychotic women” cinema that has seen a resurgence as of late, with striking imagery and plenty of curious surprises.” Daily Grindhouse
“If you can get your head around the utter madness of it all there’s a gem here. Certain scenes in this drift so far into the deep end you’re unsure of where you are. This keeps you involved and manic throughout. I highly recommend this unique and strange cup of tea to everybody.” Film Snob Reviews
“There is an underlying current of outdated sexual politics trying to speak on modern-day issues and it doesn’t always work, but it’s appreciated. The dark humor doesn’t necessarily land on all points either, but nit-picking doesn’t serve anyone. Overall, Climate of the Hunter hits all of it’s intended marks. It’s a strange comedy disguised as a horror throwback with some melodrama and a lot of talking.” Haddonfield Horror
“This movie plays out more like a ‘women of a certain age’ melodrama than a vampire movie, concluding with no character development — each character is the same as they began, if not worse — and a sardonic and inconclusive ending.” Horror Buzz
“Despite its intriguing atmosphere and relatively confident direction, Climate of the Hunter is an aimless film that spends most of its runtime crafting a suspenseful atmosphere that never fully comes to fruition.” Keith Loves Movies
“Climate of the Hunter is a film that refuses to be labeled or pinned down. If you took a deeply depressed Wes Anderson, fed him shrooms, showed him Harry Kümel’s Daughters of Darkness, then told him to make a movie, this would be the end result. And even that doesn’t adequately describe what we see over the course of its 90 minute runtime.” Killer Horror Critic
“Reece has been amazingly prolific – more than thirty films in around a decade – but this is the first of his films I’ve come across. It’s rough-hewn and cheap, but has quality performances – everyone here is at once alive, annoying and yet affecting – and an interesting, academy frame backwoods claustrophobic look.” The Kim Newman Web Site
” …the film resurrects a by-gone (yet evidently undead) era with dazzling production and costume design, beautiful soft lensing and the odd crash zoom. Presented in rich Sirkian colours, and in Academy ratio as though made for TV, Climate of the Hunter exists in the dark shadows between soap opera and Euro-horror.” Projected Figures
“Climate of the Hunter sets up a bizarre yet not completely unbelievable scenario, and drops in characters that have one foot each in reality and fiction, that proves compelling even as we (like them) question what and who can be believed.” Screen Anarchy
“Overall, Reece’s latest effort proves to be nothing short of hypnotic and hallucinatory. It does a very effective job of tipping everything on its axis. You’re never quite sure where it’s all headed or what to expect, but its strange mixture of elements never cease to amaze.” Viddy Well
“In the hands of a less talented director, this would have me turning it off by the halfway mark. But Reece and co-writer John Selvidge keep the story interesting and the dialogue sounding compelling if not at times downright hypnotic […] If you can deal with the film’s languid pacing and lack of action, Climate of the Hunter is a rewarding film.” Voices from the Balcony
“Climate of the Hunter may not seem like a complete horror film, but that’s the intention. It’s more of a soap opera-toned film with a horror tinge to it with some pretty good performances by the cast. The final 20 minutes may or may not be a shock, depending on how much you read into the first hour.” World Film Geek
In the USA, Climate of the Hunter will play theatrically in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, Winchester and Columbus – within pandemic restrictions – with more locations to be announced by Dark Star Pictures. The theatrical rollout begins on December 18th, 2020. On January 12, 2021, it will be On-Demand and digital platforms.
Cast and characters:
Ginger Gilmartin … Alma
Mary Buss … Elizabeth
Ben Hall … Wesley
Jacob Snovel … BJ Beavers
Laurie Cummings … Genevieve
Sheridan McMichael … Percy
Danielle Evon Ploeger … Rose