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By Steve Anderson | February 10, 2008

When you first get started watching “Hunting Season,” you can’t help but start thinking about the bad old days of horror flickery. You
know, the one where a party of evenly-gender-matched kids goes off into the woods for a weekend of getting hammered out of their minds, humped into insensate oblivion and then finally chopped to pieces by a random lunatic or three who may or may not torture them first? Oh, and their car gets wrecked too, so they’ve got no real way out of the huge woods. The cell phones, also, do not work.

Yeah, I know, we’ve all seen this one before. If you’ve got any kind of horror experience at all you’re familiar with this one. They did a plot like this every three weeks back in the eighties.

Although, totally new to the genre is referencing “Saw III.” Which they will do at least once in “Hunting Season.” And I don’t remember seeing very many guys in wheelchairs out in the woods on these trips either, so to start with…

…okay, so we’ve got almost nothing new going on here.

Seriously, it’s like they took the old blueprint from any of literally a dozen movies and slapped it up with a modern-era paintjob. The cell phones don’t work, the car gets taken out of commission (this time with the twist that the gas tank gets a hole in it from hitting a rock. Is that even possible?), there are lunatics in the woods. If we were back in the eighties there’d probably be a phone booth somewhere that doesn’t work.

Can we get an original idea anywhere in this? Please? Just one?

Okay, so they may have done it in the sense that the forest they’re camping in is full to the gills with bear traps. That’s a new one, kind of–I don’t remember the last time a killing field / camping forest was packed full of bear traps.

But still, there’s next to nothing going on in “Hunting Season” that hasn’t already been done, been overdone, and been done better elsewhere.

Worse, the Dalton Gang behind “Hunting Season” is going to abandon their tired old plotlines in favor of extended and unnecessary torture sequences. I’m sick to death of horror flicks that think the only way to be scary any more is to be torture porn, and the last half hour of “Hunting Season” definitely qualifies. This is pointless, gruesome brutality at its most unconscionable, and frankly, its most idiotic. Even worse, most of the last twenty minutes will be almost unintelligible. It’s mostly screaming!

It was bad enough when you couldn’t be original, “Hunting Season”–to segue into torture porn to cover up your own incompetence is beneath contempt.

In a different world, I might have recommended “Hunting Season” to eighties horror buffs, but even that recommendation is lost to me now. I can recommend “Hunting Season” only to the most depraved imbeciles who get off on this sort of thing. Any true horror fan out there should shun this reprehensible piece of garbage as the waste of time and plastic it is.

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