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Manhunt (Rovdyr - 2008)

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Posted 16th September 2009 at 10:48 AM by Philleh

Manhunt (Rovdyr - 2008)

Norway, 1974. Four youngsters are on the road, prepping for a camping trip deep in a beautiful, vast Norwegian forest. They stop off in Hicksville for some gas and a quick meal, while there they pick up a frightened hitchhiker while drawing attention from the rather aggressive locals. A small altercation later and the group are stranded in the middle of nowhere, the locals show up but are less than helpful; the group now have to fight for survival in a land unknown to them; as the locals continue to hunt them down.

Manhunt may lack in originality, but it more than makes up for it in nastiness. This is homage at its finest, opening with David Hess’ ‘The Road Leads to Nowhere’ from Wes Craven’s infamous 70’s exploiter, Last House on the Left, it’s clear where director Patrik Syversen wants to take his audience. It isn’t a happy place to say the least. He has captured the air of 70’s confrontation cinema that causes blurry eyed nostalgia for the cinema of yesteryear; only here we have the blessing of modern day effects for that extra visceral stomach punch, or in this case shotgun blast to the chest.

Manhunt isn’t going to be compared to other current Euro-horror onslaughts, like Switchblade Romance or Inside, but for those who enjoy their oldschool hillbilly horror, this film will be one of the hidden gems of 2009. The luscious, shadow-ridden HD photography lends the film a great sense of menace and amplifies the tension; the way the hillbillies’ facial features are kept in shadow is also a wonderful touch. Running just under 80 minutes, Manhunt never outstays its welcome and delivers the goods repeatedly, some may find the opening half a little slow, but the pay-off is worth it. Keep your eye out for Patrik Syversen, he’s a very talented director who could bring some much welcomed energy to genre filmmaking with future projects.

It's not goint to win any awards for the best horror film of 2009, but it will certainly be classed as one of its pleasant surprises. Anyone with a love of 70’s exploitation fare will want to stop and check this out, it replicates the time, feel and energy of the decade beautifully; even the cast look like they’ve stepped out of a ’74 Levi’s advert. Norway may not be able to compete with France with its onscreen brutality, but Manhunt still has a few startlingly brutal moments on offer. Judging from this and fellow Norwegian horror flick, Cold Prey, Norway looks set to provide genre fans with some great horror in the years to come.

Directed by: Patrik Syversen

Written by: Nini Bull Robsahm & Patrik Syversen

Nini Bull Robsahm - Mia
Jorn-Bjorn Fuller-Gee - Jorgen
Henriette Bruusgaard - Camilla
Janne Beate Bones - Renate
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  1. Old Comment
    Kyle's Avatar
    great review for it was a great film
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 20th September 2009 at 09:47 AM by Kyle Kyle is offline
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