A fellow reviewer recommended this film and instead of researching it, I decided to go for the direct route and just jump into it. I’m glad to report that was a great approach. I could fully appreciate the look and feel of the film but this might not be case for everyone. This movie takes place in the seventies and emulates the style of feature films from the same time period. It has been film in 4:3 ratio which also felt like a made-for-TV movie at the beginning until you grow used to it.
Climate of the Hunter is directed by Mickey Reece. It’s got that grainy 70’s dreamy feel to it, where things look just a bit surreal and the stars are a little too bright. Characters go from the subtle to the extremely campy and back again. Aging sisters Alma (Ginger Gilmartin) and Elizabeth (Mary Buss) are spending time in their vacation cabin when their longtime friend and writer Wesley (Ben Hall) also shows up. What follows are long evenings with extravagant meals where Wesley regards them with tales of adventure told with the flourish of poetry.
I wasn’t expecting to like this movie as much as I did. Alma is one of those people that doesn’t “make a big production” out of emotional sentiments and would rather spend her time in the country walking her dog. Her only confidant besides her sister is local conspiracy theorist B.J. Beavers (Jacob Ryan Snovel) who distrusts Wesley’s nature. Elizabeth on the other hand is worried about Alma but is enchanted by Wesley. Things get complicated as Wesley’s estranged son Percy (Sheridan McMichael) shows up. Even later Alma’s daughter Rose (Danielle Evon Ploeger) crashes on her mother, revealing more about Alma’s situation.
There’s a rather nebulous truth that seems to float above all these characters, a nagging suspicion that Alma and Elizabeth are being preyed upon. But as stars seem too bright and too close for comfort and Wesley’s demeanor is a little too charming to be innocent, you yourself start to wonder what kind of horror film this is going to turn out to be. I was surprised to find it rather enthralling and surprising to the end.
Recommended for fans of 70’s ethereal horror films. Casual filmgoers expecting jumpscares, gore or special effects might not be amused. It’s one of those films that you watch on lazy weekend afternoon without knowing where they’re going. With charismatic performances from the main cast and unexpected developments, it’s more than worth your time specially if you can appreciate the classic 70’s nostalgia.
That will do for now.