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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Mickey Reece

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

Vampires have been the tentpole for horror ever since Bram Stoker's book was first released to the night. The moment Bela Lugosi draped Dracula's cape for the first time, a real screen icon was born and we've had a growing contagion of films ever since.

CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER sees two sisters, Alma (Ginger Gilmartin) and Elizabeth (Mary Buss) strive for the attention of a mysterious man who has moved next door (Ben Hall). The cabin houses plentiful confrontations with the three with envy and callous confrontations made to find a suitor for the stranger.

Everything about CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER is done with thought behind the camera. This is a no budget film yet cleverly interweaves a 70's setting with a well written script that feels more like a stage production than a feature. The cinematography is a mess but that is meant in the most descriptive way possible as the film blends black and white with hallucinogenics to bring a sense of otherworldness amongst the cabin in the woods.

The authentication of the 70s is genuinely a slice of brilliance. Each scene feels like it's come straight from a rusty tin at the back of an old cinema. Everything from costumes, the framing, the palette going to the limited score are all attributes to someone who not only has made a great horror film, but somebody who loves them. There's no sign of the history of Bram Stoker adaptations of zombie like hordes that have taken over the vampire genre of late, instead i a very subtle character piece that dares to sink it's teeth a little deeper into the madness and paranoia of the world.

Mickey Reece has become infamous for his films of "people talking in rooms" and CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER is no different. Yet by embracing it's limitations and engagement of the is-he-isn't-he motions at the centre of this vampiric nightmare, the spiral of chaos the sisters go down is always engrossing and never dull. This is a fantastic piece that proves budget isn't an obstacle when there are always great stories to tell.

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