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VODetails: "The Hunter"

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by Matt Singer
March 5, 2012 11:58 AM
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"The Hunter."

More and more films premiere on Video on Demand -- if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar.  First up, "The Hunter," an eco-themed thriller starring Willem Dafoe.

Director: Daniel Nettheim

Writer: Alice Addison, Wain Fimeri; based on a novel by Julia Leigh.

Cast: Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Frances O'Connor

Official Synopsis: "'The Hunter' is the story of Martin, a skilled and ruthless mercenary sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct. Hired by an anonymous company that wants the tiger’s genetic material, Martin arrives in Tasmania posing as a scientist. He proceeds to set up base camp at a broken-down farmhouse, where he stays with a family whose father has gone missing. Usually a loner, Martin becomes increasingly close to the family; however, as his attachment to the family grows, Martin is led down a path of unforeseen dangers, complicating his deadly mission."

Festival Pedigree: Toronto Film Festival 2011, Pusan Film Festival 2011, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival 2011, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012, Luxembourg City Film Festival 2012, South by Southwest 2012

Trailer:

Reviews:

Megan Lehmann, The Hollywood Reporter:

"More than a showcase for Dafoe’s singular mug."

Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy:

"A couple of jarring shifts in tone distract from what is otherwise a slow-burning film about a man at war with himself and his prey."

Steven S., Filmscope:

"Dafoe's frequent trips back into the wilderness show off some nice cinematography that creates contrasting moods of serenity and menace."

Ard VijnTwitch:

"Some films are good, some films are bad, and some are terribly frustrating to write about. Daniel Nettheim's 'The Hunter' fits strongly into that last category."

Matt GoldbergCollider:

"It would be far more interesting to see how a man confronts his loneliness and identity in the wilderness as both the hunter and the hunted than to see how no man is truly an island if he has a warm bath and the love of someone else’s wife and kids."

"The Hunter" is now available on VOD and iTunes.

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