Night Hunter is one of those movies that, despite featuring an incredible, A-List cast, has somehow ended up not exactly receiving a lot of attention in the build up to its release. While it’s true that it isn’t exactly up there with thrillers like Gone Girl and Se7en, the movie still makes good use of its premise to deliver a tale full of unexpected twists and turns that come thick and fast (sometimes making things a tad muddled in the process but still effective enough to take you by surprise).
Revolving around a serial killer who has been hunting young women, Night Hunter follows the police force tasked with hunting him down as well as a former judge turned vigilante who is attempting to avenge his family’s murder by quite literally castrating men who prey on young women.
It’s a somewhat odd set up that takes a while to find its footing but once the movie gets going, it’s hard not to have fun with it and anyone who appreciates a psychological thriller is bound to find a lot to like. Honestly, it’s reminiscent of a book you pick up in the airport to read on a long flight by an author you’ve never heard of; it’ll keep you hooked for those few hours and probably won’t leave a lasting impact but it’s still an enjoyable experience and one that should leave you with something to think about on that final drive home. Writer and director David Raymond appears to be finding his footing here but there are enough impressive visuals (the use of Night Hunter‘s snowy setting plays into the overall feel of the movie in a great way) and ideas that it’s fair to say he’s a filmmaker worth keeping an eye on.
The cast is led by Henry Cavill and while his no-nonsense Lieutenant is hard to warm to, that’s kind of the point and the actor takes his character on a decent enough arc in what proves to be a very busy ninety minutes. Giving the story another twenty minutes or so to breathe would have been no bad thing. Sir Ben Kingsley and Stanley Tucci are as reliable as ever, while Brendan Fletcher’s performance is definitely noteworthy, often for the right reasons but sometimes for the wrong ones. Alexandra Daddario does a great job with the material she’s given to work with and it’s clear that she’s ready for that big, breakout role in a much bigger film.
It’s hard to escape the feeling that in slightly more confident hands, we would have seen better work from everyone involved but the performances are solid and it’s hard to ignore an ensemble as impressive as this one (Nathan Fillion, however, is definitely phoning it in which isn’t overly surprising given how small his role is).
Night Hunter might not leave a lasting impact but it’s an exciting thriller full of killer twists and turns which will keep you guessing and the amazing cast alone makes it worth checking out.
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