The Wild Hunt

Directed by Alexandre Franchi (2009)

SUMMARY: A medieval reenactment game turns into a Shakespearean tragedy when a non-player crashes the event to win back his girlfriend. (IMDb)

THOUGHTS: I kept hearing things about the LARPing movie and the first thing that came to mind was, “What the heck is LARPing?” So I looked it up on Wikipedia and found out that LARP stands for Live Action Role-Playing and it started gaining popularity in the 1970’s. Basically it is like any other role-playing game but it is acted out in real life by people playing characters they’ve created. Not my cup of tea, but ok. Now that I knew what LARPing was, I felt confident in checking out The Wild Hunt which came highly recommended by a few trusted sources.

I was surprised by how enraptured I was by this movie. This sort of gaming world is something that is completely foreign to me. And while I didn’t really understand the desire behind doing something like this, I tried not to be a skeptical jerk who is watching to make fun. I suppose this helped with the first half of the movie because it did tend to drag when exploring this role-playing world.

Throughout the whole film I knew something terrible was about to happen. It had a very Lord-of-the-Flies-esque vibe to it. When people feel freed of societal constraints they will drop civility and do whatever they want. Now add that to the fact that some of these people are so caught up in this fantastical world that they are probably having trouble deviating between reality and fantasy anyways. That right there is a recipe for disaster, and that’s exactly what we get in the film’s final act.

While this isn’t a straight up horror film, there are definitely some brutal things that happen towards the end. The body count starts to rise before people even realize what they are doing. It’s interesting to see the change on the characters’ faces when they realize that they’ve smashed through the barrier between what’s fantasy and what’s reality and that their actions have real world consequences.

All in all I thought this was a kick-ass independent film. Sure, it was accompanied by many of the problems that plague any low-budget feature (i.e. poor lighting, questionable script, etc.) but when it comes down to it I was totally into it. It’s an original idea that highlights the disturbing consequences to peoples’ actions in a really cool way.

VERDICT: 8 virginal sacrifices out of 10

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stimulation for the casual or obsessed fan of horror cinema