Review: The Wild Hunt

When a Live Action Role Playing game (LARP) starts to be taken too seriously, a sceptic has to learn how to play to win in order to save his girlfriend’s life.

When people talk about films made on a shoestring budget, there’s often still a six-zero sum involved (i.e. more than a million pounds or dollars). The Wild Hunt didn’t even have that much to play with – but you’d be hard pressed to realise that based on the final version. Canadian film makers Alexandre Franchi and Mark A. Krupa put every cent of their budget on screen, and make a virtue of the almost cinema verite approach for the “real world” scenes.

The movie does a bit of time to get going, as the characters are moved into position for the Wild Hunt itself. The insistence by the players on “decorum” – i.e. remaining within character while the game is playing – means that they themselves are blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, and establishing that perhaps is given slightly more time than necessary. But then you hit a situation where the knives look real – but will the blades still retract into the hilt?

It’s not an easy film to watch: none of the characters is particularly likeable, and there’s a tendency to use profanity instead of dialogue that sometimes has the opposite of the desired effect. But it’s certainly very different, and contains some genuinely shocking moments.

Verdict: If you’ve been to a sci-fi convention where those in costume seem to be taking it too seriously, you’ll understand exactly where this is coming from.  6/10

Paul Simpson

Network Releasing, out now

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