Movie Review: The Head Hunter (2018)

March 30, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

In a cold, medieval forest, a warrior (Christopher Rygh) stalks the land eternally hunting for one more monster head to add to his collection…but this one will come from not just any random beastie, but rather from the abomination (played by  that killed his young daughter (Cora Kaufman). As he battles creature after creature he moves closer to his goal…but will this final stop on revenge road be too much for even our grim hero to overcome?

The Head Hunter is everything I crave from genre cinema; unique, inventive, and packed with sweet, sweet creatures! While at it’s heart an absolute exercise in minimalism…to wit; the cast is comprised of two actors (with Rygh being in the entire picture…and boy does he ever deliver a ton of emotion and gravitas with barely any dialog at his disposal), a horse, and a monster performer, and the brunt of the locations are wooded exteriors, but the entire affair seems unbelievably epic due to the attention to the details that are present. We get glimpses of a bestiary, hints that someone/somewhere is putting bounties on monster’s heads (arrows deliver messages at the sound of a distant horn), the rustic, yet fully realized home of our hero and it’s contents…hell even the wide expanses of the bleak landscape sitting stoic under slate grey skies presents the world and tone of the film perfectly.

If there is a negative it’s that this is a small burn, low budget affair…so if you are looking for non-stop battles and gallons of bloodshed, then avert thine eerie eyeballs…but fret not, notice I said “non-stop”, not “non-existent”; Director/Co-Writer (along with Kevin Stewart) Jordan Downey leaves the best for last as the third act delivers the goods!

Grim, grizzly, nihilistic, and often breathtaking; The Head Hunter is easily one of the best horror pics that has come down the putrid pike in a damn sight…the fact that it’s also a pitch black fantasy picture (the likes of which would give any lover of the works of Robert E. Howard an orgasm…there’s your pull quote folks) is just a rich ghoulish gravy on top. I can’t recommend The Head Hunter enough boils n’ ghouls!



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