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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Hunters

Ever watch a movie that was described as one thing, only to discover that it was actually something else? Well, if it annoys you as much as it does me, then skip watching The Hunters altogether. It's not  the movie described on the envelope, that's for sure. Anyway, enjoy the following SPOILERS...

The opening scene shows some dude sneaking around near a rock wall. He seems pretty afraid of whatever he's avoiding. After a few seconds, we can hear why: He can hear frightened screams coming from all around him. Creepy.

Then we switch over to a father and son out hunting. The title comes up, and another hunter arrives. It turns out that the dad is Oliver, and he's stressed out by both his marriage and work-related stuff. The other guy hears something, and it turns out to be Oliver's son, Ronny, and another man named Bernard.

Then we meet a guy named LeSaint, a French-Canadian cop. He meets his new boss, Bernard, who we just met with his hunting buddies a few days ago. Le Saint would like to pursue a lead he thinks he has on several missing persons cases, but Bernard orders him to meet with a mob informant instead.

That night, LeSaint has a flashback to an incident back when he was a soldier in Iraq, when an explosive nearly killed him. That somehow turns into a sex dream, then into a nightmare where he's limping down a hall, under a red light. I hope that wasn't important because it flew over my head!

We see Oliver again, hard at work installing software for a busy office building. Oh, and then he and his hunting buddies discuss going out again that weekend. This movie makes watching paint dry seem compelling.

LeSaint goes jogging, and chats with Alice, a cute female who goes jogging along the same route. They flirt, then she tells her friends about him at dinner. Oh, and Oliver is at the same restaurant. He and the group with Alice all get "fortune scrolls" from a grinning homeless man, and all are drawings of a skeleton.

LeSaint goes to work, and tells his boss that the mayor has given him permission to investigate the disappearances. Bernard goes nuts and screams at him. LeSaint meets his cute jogging body, and she gives him something that she baked. He eats it, then tells her that it sucked. Oh, and she tells him that her name is Alice. See that? Insult her cooking, and she's putty in your hands.

Everyone in the precinct is hurrying out on a bust when LeSaint returns from his run, and he gets a call from his informant when he's alone. They make plans to meet at an old historical site, Fort Goben.

Lesaint has more nightmares, then heads to his meeting at Fort Goben. He sees one guy lingering, but the stranger keeps moving. Another man speeds by on a dirt bike, and a few stragglers just stare at the cop.

LeSaint hears screams and voices inside, and it turns out to be Ronny and Oliver. Oliver spots LeSaint, and he warns him that the property is private. When the cop mentions the screams he heard, the others get nervous, and warn him away again.

LeSant starts to go, and meets his informant having his lunch on a bench. They decide to leave together, but the exit is chained shut. Behind them, at the entrance to the fort grounds, the hunters are waiting for them. The armed foursome split up, with 2 running to the left of the doorway, and the other 2 heading right.

Francois(the informant) shoots down the chains on the door, but there's a drawbridge still preventing them from escaping. Francois tries to flank some of the hunters, but a single shot literally tears his leg off. Then another weapon sets him on fire.

Alone now with the hunters, LeSaint tries to get away, and is hit in the neck with a tranquilizer dart. He wakes up next to a fire. and sees the hunters doing weird shit, before he passes out again. When he wakes up again, he grabs a torch and decides to explore the nearest tunnel.

He hears somebody screaming, and witnesses a guy getting beaten to a pulp, then beheaded. The killer takes the head to a "trophy room", and adds it to the collection. Then the killer leaves, giggling and ranting.

LeSaint explores the room after he goes, and realizes that he was right about the disappearances. Then he finds himself facing the killer, who is doing a drugged-out sort of dance, before playing with another severed head. The guy laughs and runs around the room, making LeSaint dizzy.

Then the killer vanishes, and reemerges dressed in black and wearing a ski mask. They fight hand-to-hand, and the killer grabs an ax. It gets caught up in a chain, and LeSaint manages to plunge the killer's new weapon into his chest, leaving the deranged lunatic to die a painful death.

LeSaint calls Bernard, unaware that his boss is one of the hunters. He tells his boss everything he knows, and Bernard assures him that help is on the way. Oh, and he tells Bernard(and the other hunters) that he will dress in the clothes of the hunter that he just killed. After the call, the hunters freak out, one of them(Ronny) cries like a baby, and Bernard tries to get them all back on track. To sum it up...they're all bonkers.

LeSaint reverts back to his army training, and uncovers some booby traps. In an ionic twist, Bernard also sees the new traps, and realizes that his team has been spending extra time at the fort without him. Anyway, LeSaint dresses as William, and begins looking for the others. Oliver and Stephen "pretend" to recognize "William", but it's obvious that LeSaint is a dead duck. He takes off, and they chase him.

LeSaint leaps down a small incline, then skids down a steeper one, removing the ski mask along the way. He has a shoot out with Oliver, then hits Stephen with a stray bullet. That pisses off Oliver, who exposes himself to open fire, and gets hit in the shoulder. That causes his next bullet to go astray, killing his son. As he fires wildly at LeSaint out of grief, Oliver is killed by the cop.

Bernard watches Ronny have a nervous breakdown, and just follows and watches. Then we meet a young couple, David and Alice. Whoops, we already met Alice. LeSaint finds them, and freaks out. He urges them to leave, and pulls out his weapon.

As the pair exit the fort, loony Ronny pulls his rifle out, and aims it at several areas of the guy's body. He knocks Alice to the ground, then shoots the boyfriend in the chest. Ronny corners Alice, but LeSaint gets him with about 7 rounds or so at point blank. Then the cop gets Alice to leave, so he can handle the aftermath.

But first, Bernard needs to be finished off. He does it to himself, by stepping on a pressurized landmine. BOOM! Several clips of the hunters are shown, and they seem to be having a grand time in the past. Maybe a magical film strip can bring them back as goofballs.

Months later, LeSaint is sitting in a coffee shop, staring off into space. Then Alice strolls in, and they sit together. She asks him again to reveal his name to her. THE END

This thing was pretty generic, to the point where it almost seemed to be a TV-movie. It probably was, for some Canadian network. Not the worst, but not even close to the best. I'm giving this one 2.5 trees, ya hoser!

And what did I learn from The Hunters?

-Well, apparently 1 movie can have about 6,000 different plot descriptions, and none of them can get it right!

-Everyone needs a trophy room filled with human heads.

-If you need to have a confidential rendezvous, DON'T go to an old fort!

Coming up next is either a very promising-looking movie called Smiley, or an equally creepy-looking one called Tormented. Which will it be?