The Hunted is one of the many found footage films that we have seen over the years and as is customary with this genre of film making, it has its limitation. The found footage horror genre is beginning to run its course and it is evident. The horror genre has successfully evolved and has reached a point where not seeing the ghost or even a whisker of it may not be acceptable anymore. The Blair Witch Project, which this film actually takes after was released years back and it was the first of its kind spawning multiple sequels and establishing the genre itself. Now many years from that, this genre has run its course with the audiences and it seems that the eager minds of Hollywood may have run out of ideas to show anything new in this regard.
The film follows two hunters chasing their dream of landing their own hunting show, head into the dense, secluded mountains of West Virginia only to realize they are not alone. As the paranormal presence becomes more and more evident through some bizarre happenings, the duo is locked in a battle with each other to either abandon their mission or continue in the same path endangering their lives. By the time, the end credits roll, the duo are cleaned up by the spirit that was lurking in the vicinity but without ever revealing itself for once.
The film has some decent drama which will truly capture your attention. Josh Stewart is a good actor and he is ably supported by Skipp making the screenplay very believable and engrossing to start with. Even when the bizarre happenings start we hold our breathes for some decent scares and edge of the seat moments but that quickly wears off as we realize that the film is not going to show us any ghosts or spirit but plans to scare us by just giving us glimpses of its existence that too not directly. A few years before now and that might have worked but this year has been the year of the Insidious and the Conjuring where the fear has a face and is not afraid to reveal itself.
The audience too seem to be enjoying the on your face fare. Coming at such a time, The Hunted suffers from the very basic of deficiency of the horror genre and that is lack of fear. You sit through this film waiting to be scared and that never happens. The performances and the setting are apt but the scares are non-existent. Stewart tries to use interesting camera angles, editing and music to scare us but that doesn’t work out. The music works as a deterrent as we are expected to treat this as a found footage film and yet the background score appears from somewhere which literally made me shout out loud “where is the music coming from???”
This is one film which started off with lots of promise but fizzled out quickly. Watch it only if you have nothing else to do.