Wednesday, 20 July 2011



Yet another low-budget horror movie in which a disparate bunch of people are abducted and trapped in an enclosed space and blah blah blah been there, done that, got the scabs to prove it. Is anyone making any horror movies these days apart from ones in which a disparate bunch of people are trapped in an enclosed space? The frankly slight differences this time out are that the identity of the maniac responsible is no mystery, the reasons for the victims' selection are unimportant, and that there's a couple of massive cavernous holes in the narrative.

In Hunger, five people wake up in pitch darkness in a cave somewhere - again, they have no idea how they got there and there's lots of character-outlining waffle before they realise the awful truth: they've been given water and a basic latrine but, crucially, no food. How long can they survive without anything to eat other than the moss on the walls and the occasional cockroach? More specifically, how long before they start looking at the meat on each others' bones? And it's at that point that the film goes into the psychological power games of deciding who gets munched first.

Do none of the five ever think that they might be under surveillance? It's a logical assumption, not just within the torture porn films but within reality: if they're NOT being watched there's no reason for any of them to be there. One of the group even claims he's searched every inch of the cave for a way out and yet he hasn't found a single one of the numerous remote-controlled cameras than the unnamed maniac has installed. In addition, this quintet of character types are down in that cave for more than a month (there's an onscreen Day 2... Day 24... Day 37 series of captions) yet not one of the three men grows a single millimetre of beard or moustache that they didn't have going in.

It can't have cost very much - one principal location, a principal cast of six, some dimly lit gore effects (and no CGI); it's just about efficiently enough done and nasty enough with its blood splatter. But that isn't enough: it isn't good enough and it isn't interesting enough. Crucially, you don't really care who lives or dies (it's a pretty obvious bet who's going to be the last one standing anyway) and much of the first half of the movie is just marking time until someone gives in to their primal survival instincts. And the maniac's rationale (unspoken but shown in flashback) is pretty twisted but frankly a touch unlikely. Overall it's a thoroughly unremarkable film: if you do want some torture porn (and who doesn't?) there's a lot better on offer, starting with even the least of the Saws....



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