Review: Climate of the Hunter (2019 Fantastic Fest)

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Title: Climate of the Hunter
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Mickey Reece
Starring: Ginger Gilmartin, Mary Buss, Ben Hall
Runtime: 1 hr 30 mins

What It Is: Two sisters Alma (Gilmartin) and Elizabeth (Buss) are vying for the affections of the handsome, but older man Wesley (Hall). But the mystery man may or may not be a creature of the night. The sibling rivalry combined with Wesley…strange behavior all has Alma concerned. But is Wesley REALLY a vampire or has Alma’s mental health deteriorated so much and so fast that she can’t pick up the social cues both positive and negative?

What We Think: This is a weird movie…but dammit it’s a fun one! Throughout the 90 mins of this, you start to see that director Mickey Reece, who I’d never witnessed before this, is a strange amalgam of both the best and worst of the modern director. His vision is unique and unflinching. This lack of flinch leaves you in a straight-up blitzkrieg by the strangeness of it all. This is a little like Greener Grass except for the fact that this kitsch totally works. Whereas the aforementioned film just never made a lick of sense because it delves TOO far into the deep end. Reece seems like a mad scientist here. Content to throw in the sugar (horror) spice (a love story) and everything nice (that ’70s aesthetic) and throw in that chemical X (weirdness) throughout it he’s solely aware he’s making a B-movie.

Our Grade: B-, I didn’t know this was the film I needed to end my Fantastic Fest with…it totally was. If you can get your head around the utter madness of it all there’s a gem here. Certain scenes in this drift so far into the deep end you’re unsure of where you are. This keeps you involved and manic throughout. I highly recommend this unique and strange cup of tea to everybody. It won’t even care if you hate it. I don’t think Mickey Reece does either.

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