‘Two maniac killers. The woods. Eve.’
Hunted is a 2020 Belgian-French-Irish horror thriller about a young woman pursued by a psycho in the woods until she fights back.
Directed by Vincent Paronnaud (Asylum: Twisted Horror and Fantasy Tales; Persepolis) from a screenplay co-written with Léa Pernollet and English dialogue by David H. Pickering, the movie stars Lucie Debay, Arieh Worthalter and Ciaran O’Brien.
Eve meets what she thinks is a charming guy in a bar. Yet things go terribly wrong once she realises she’s come across a psychopath and his puppet accomplice. They engage in a deadly chase until she decides to fight back. The forest will be her ally…
“Full of violent and surprising scenes, Hunted also offers surreal situations, during the forest sections, while offering a brutal climax in a more urban area. Hunted also has a few shocks in store for audiences, while modernizing the Little Red Riding Hood tale.” 28 Days Later Analysis
” ….Hunted offers an exhilarating survival thriller full of gorgeous fairy tale flourishes without adding to the conversation. The ferocity of its messaging doesn’t match that of its heroine. Still, it does elicit some shock and awe nonetheless.” Bloody Disgusting
“Hunted is beautifully shot and not averse to being playful at the right moments. It’s a tightly constructed film in which everything feels chaotic and yet nothing has been left to chance. There are no wolves anymore, not in this forest, but Paronnaud invites us to remember them.” Eye for Film
“It’s a slick horror-thriller with plenty of excitement. Certainly doesn’t hurt that Lucie Debay and Arieh Worthalter, both of whom carry the vast majority of screentime, are fascinating in their respective roles. Debay’s Eve starts off feeling like a timid woman only to reveal herself as a ruthless warrior.” Father Son Holy Gore
“Any attempts at altering or course-correcting are lost to the demands of the narrative (and the allegory) which are themselves wrapped up poorly in a confrontation that winds up back in the complex Eve’s developing for her regular job. Its ending ties things up in a neat little bow and ends the allegory on a frenzied note displaying Eve’s descent into savagery as well.” Irish Film Critic
“There’s plenty about Hunted to love, and plenty to take with a grain of salt. It is, in many ways, an arresting film. Joachim Phillippe’s cinematography lures you into the woods beautifully and Lucie Debay’s performance as Eve is a force. The film’s message is a relatively sound one—we cannot erase or bury trauma with words—but its execution, while effective, is a bit half-baked.” Killer Horror Critic
” …the unnamed predatory male played by Arieh Worthalter is one of the most despicable antagonists I have seen in a film […] Praise really has to be given to the star Lucie Debay, whose performance of Eve evolves from scared victim to vicious warrior, complete with warpaint, over the course of the film.” Sean Kelly on Movies
“When it’s not trying to be profound, Hunted is an above average, if familiar, thriller with two solid performances from its leads. Worthalter in particular makes a chilling villain. Once he lets his mask slip it’s obvious that he’s psychotic and dangerous even before we see him get violent. After that, he becomes an unhinged and unstoppable menace, the big bad wolf in human form. That is what the film should have focused on, Eve’s rising to face and defeat this unstoppable beast. Instead, it brings in to many other details and ultimately delivers a message that isn’t very empowering.” Voices from the Balcony
Hunted premiered at the virtual Fantasia festival in August 2020; it will stream on Shudder on January 14, 2021.
Cast and characters (alphabetical):
Christian Bronchart … The Foreman
Lucie Debay … Eve
Ciaran O’Brien … The Accomplice
Jean-Mathias Pondant … The Barman
Kevin Van Doorslaer … Eve’s Boss
Gilles Vandeweerd … Husband
Dianne Weller … Real Estate Agent
Arieh Worthalter … The Handsome Guy
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