Hunter’s Moon is a film that is clearly meant to be about werewolves, yet werewolves barely feature in this film. It would be easy to forget this is meant to be about a supernatural creature during the first half of the film as it seems more like a home invasion scenario. The increasingly confusing story does little to negate the lack of horror that this film features sadly.
Hunter’s Moon follows three sisters who are left alone in their new orchard farmhouse, and decide to throw a party. However, three young delinquents are casing their house for a burglary, when much to their surprise, the older sister invites them inside.
Considering the snail’s pace of this film, in which any meaningful action is wanting, the former name of The Orchard would have seemed a more appropriate title than Hunter’s Moon. On one hand, it seems like they are being as subtle as a brick in their little hints about the inevitable twist, but at other times you just feel perplexed for the reasoning behind all the sisters’ actions. Which, while an impressive feat to accomplish, does not make for a good film.
This is clearly shown in the lead up to the “home invasion”, during which there are several references to the serial killer’s house and very weighted lines about how everyone is not how they seem. But then we have the inconceivable behaviour of the older sister, Juliet, who invites the surprisingly truthful burglars into her house and makes out with one of them. Meanwhile, her sisters look very uncomfortable, as well as myself, by this creepy behaviour from both sides. I just remember thinking “what is the point of this behaviour?”. For this typical teenage behaviour of throwing a party when the parents are away, this is perhaps the most pathetic attempt I’ve seen onscreen. Nevertheless, it eventually moves on, and we move more towards the pitiful werewolf action we were all promised. As one sister escapes, this is where the horror is supposed to start. But we only see the aftermath of a werewolf attack for most of the film, with minimal gore or effects to show the gruesomeness of this feared beast.
When we do see the werewolf in its very brief shot in Hunter’s Moon, the effects are expectedly disappointing. Looking little better than a poor Halloween costume, the werewolf is decidedly not scary in the least. They did not use CGI, but practical effects – which I am a fan of – but in this case I think I would have preferred CGI as it barely looked like a creature of the night. It could have been a plastic model for all the effect of realism it projected. The rest of the effects were very basic, in that there were barely any. Unless of course you count the insane amount of fog that is present whenever they are outside.
The other twist involving the most famous star of this film, Thomas Jane, just seems redundant in the story and frankly pretty ridiculous. In fact, if this twist had not been in the film, I could have seen it having at least a bit more drama to Hunter’s Moon. The shock reveal around the sheriff, is just a lame duck that ends up killing any momentum they might have gained.
But the worst twist is saved for the ending, which as I said had been foreshadowed very hard by the earlier portion of the film, which definitely did not help its case. I am not sure if it is a poor ending in itself or whether the build-up to the finale was so disappointing, that this further disappointment ended up being a double gut punch. I mean it was clear that they were hoping for a sequel of sorts, as most films these days do. But they really needed to work on the rest of the film, before even considering that idea. The ending of Hunter’s Moon came across as desperate rather than exciting people for further films.
Hunter’s Moon had the potential to be a good werewolf movie, but it fails its audience and itself, with a poorly thought out story that barely features any werewolves. Older movies, lacking in special effects and budget, are more worthy of this potentially great supernatural movie creature, but sadly, Hunter’s Moon is another in a long line of disappointing werewolf movies.