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The importance of ending strong in movies goes without saying. The best films have satisfying closings that remain with the audience. Hunter Hunter is a horror thriller that not only fully comprehends having a powerful ending but comes dangerously close to relying on it. There is no doubting anyone who sees the movie will remember its ending. The question becomes does it overpower the rest of the film?
Hunter Hunter has the most gut wrenching ending of the year. The movie moves at a methodical pace. This does a good job of building characters and does a nice job of foreshadowing. But it also comes with a big risk. The story may move too slow for some. What is the point of having a great ending of the audience is not willing to stick around for it?
A bigger risk of having such a great ending is the rest of the film is in danger of becoming overshadowed. At its core, Hunter Hunter is a character study. The first scenes are spent exploring the lives of the Mersault family. It quickly becomes clear that the family patriarch Joseph (Devon Sawa) is content to live off the grid. Meanwhile, his wife Anne (Camille Sullivan) has her doubts while daughter Renee (Summer H. Howell) looks up to her father.
The ending of Hunter Hunter will definitely be what audiences talk about most. That is probably what writer-director Shawn Linden intended. A well crafted finale can drive home the story that is being told. The problem becomes when that is all people will talk about. At this point, the movie’s entire identity is wrapped up in its ending.
“I see dead people” became a cultural phenomenon. Even people who have never seen the movie know the twist. But how many can tell you what The Sixth Sense is about or what it’s characters are like? That one line became all anyone needed to know about the film. Contrast this with the memorable ending of Hereditary which is the culmination of a fantastic story.
How well does Hunter Hunter fare? The film is filled with great performances. In particular, Sullivan does a great job and shows off the range of her character. The plot takes surprising turns that keeps viewers invested the entire time. As shocking as the finale is, there is a smart build to it. Whether it goes too far is ultimately up to individual tastes. What actually happens makes complete sense in the context of the movie.
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