We’re in for some real world horror now. This film is told with an edge and is full of some deep symbology spin. I can appreciate as how as we move along, the movie plays with the tropes of the predator and the prey, with the hunt feeling almost endless. For women specially, this is a real scary scenario and way too close to what can happen in real life – and men are not really safe either. So, collect your thoughts, gather yourself and prepare to run.

Hunted was directed by Vincent Paronnaud who wrote it with Léa Pernollet. It’s the alarming story of how Eve (Lucie Debay) meets a stranger in a bar (Arieh Worthalter) and finds herself abducted and then running for her life in the middle of nowhere. This one could have been taken right from the headlines. Eve is also wearing a bright red coat. The analogies to Red Riding Hood do not end there, except Eve is determined to not go down easy.

The predator here, the “wolf” so to speak, is a hostile, toxic and chauvinistic asshole in every sense of the word. Lucie Debay’s portrayal as a resilient and eventually avenging Eve is to be commended. So is Arieh Worthalter in his portrayal of the most despicable human being with little regard for anybody but himself. Even his closest friends are just fodder to him. It’s an excellent performance of a horrible character. You might find him close to caricature, but this is scarily accurate of a predator.

It’s a rather savage, tense and engaging film. It’s one of those edge-of-your-seat movies that once it sinks its teeth it doesn’t let go. Eve is not a trusting fool or a vulnerable damsel, but I appreciate that she’s not an ex-marine either. She’s just a regular person with a regular job but she will find the courage against her antagonist. The movie also adds some small moments in which the iconography of twisted fairy tales is remarked upon.

Strongly recommended with no reservations. As the societal barriers drop down, it would seem the pursuer has got all the advantages, but you’ll also see Eve is not giving up her life without a fight. Engaging and thrilling, with additional scenes mixed in full of symbology, this is a film that I might even want to revisit now to see what I missed. Definitely a favorite for this year.

That will do for now.