It seems, nowadays, that nary a week goes by without horror fans having to sit through yet another Saw rip-off. That’s not a problem when it’s a movie as entertaining as The Collector. It’s not even all that bad when you end up sitting through the likes of Choose. Enduring something as bad as Nine Dead, however, can really make you curse the franchise that seemed to kickstart everything. So where does Hunger sit amongst this lot? Well, it’s nowhere near as bad as Nine Dead (few films are) but it’s also not quite as fleetingly entertaining as the highly flawed Choose. You can watch it as a time-killer but you wouldn’t ever make it your first choice.
The plot sees five strangers waking up in an underground dungeon to find that they’re completely trapped. There is one other room containing enough water to survive for 30 days and also a sharp surgical knife. It soon becomes obvious that whoever has placed them in this position is watching to see just how long it will take them to submit to hunger pangs and think the unthinkable.
Written by L.D. Goffigan and directed by Steven Hentges, the whole thing feels like a debut project despite Hentges having made one previous feature and a couple of shorts. The characters aren’t too badly formed, and the changes they go through feel quite believable, but the movie can never rise above the fact that it spends the majority of the runtime making the viewer sit through exchanges and arguments that are never as engrossing as the filmmakers want them to be. Revelatory details just don’t make a great impression, as well as being quite easy to predict in places, and the conflicts retread the same ground far too often. And the backstory for the lunatic who has set everything up? It’s actually not bad but dripfed throughout the movie in such a way as to remove any impact it may have had.
On the acting front we get a mixed bag. Lori Heuring is okay in the lead role, Joe Egender has a lot of fun and Lea Kohl gets to play the most interesting character of the bunch. Linden Ashby is a bit stiff and Julian Rojas a bit overly twitchy while Bjorn Johnson, as The Scientist, never seems menacing at all, even when actually killing someone.
It’s not a terrible movie but it’s certainly not a very good one and the whole thing just seems so . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . unnecessary (which is always the feeling you get when viewing a film so clearly following in the footsteps of something much better). A disc you don’t need to devour.
Hunger is released on R2 DVD on 27th June if you fancy a snack.
DIRECTOR: STEVEN HENTGES
STARS: LORI HEURING, LINDEN ASHBY, JOE EGENDER, LEA KOHL, JULIAN ROJAS, BJORN JOHNSON
RUNTIME: 97 MINS APPROX