Happy Hunting

Warren is an alcoholic loser on the run from meth dealers.  As he tries to make it to the U.S.-Mexico border, he holds up in Bedford Flats, a small town preparing for the annual “hunting festival.”  The people of Bedford Flats are reasonably friendly and welcoming. Children decorate mannequins to celebrate the event but why does one of them look a lot like Warren and what exactly are they hunting?

Take Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game and put them together. You will get something like ‘Happy Hunting.’  The film borrows from the classics in several ways but still manages to tell an original, entertaining story.

Joe Dietsch and Louie Gibson  present a well-written narrative that gives even the most stereotypical characters a hint of personality and a sense of mystery. The plot is laid out quickly. While it does start to sag in the middle, the story holds interest with a few twists here and there.

The visual and make-up effects are impressive, especially for an independent film. The cinematography is another highlight; with the expansive dessert surroundings adding to the lonely atmosphere.

‘Happy Hunting’ is not a thrill ride but it certainly is not boring.  It is an honorable new twist on some classic tales.

As of this writing, ‘Happy Hunting’ is available on Netflix.

USA  2017
Originality 8
Acting/Script 9
Plot 9
Appropriate gore/visual effects 8
Production Value 8
Final Cut Score: = 84 %

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