I’ve been wanting to get back into doing some more reviews recently. For a couple of months now I’ve been bobbing and weaving through a seemingly never-ending pool of movies that looked okay, but just didn’t really do much for me—then, I got an email for a film called Hunt Her, Kill Her, which, let’s be honest, from the title alone, is an attention grabber. So I responded and thought, I’ll just dive in and see what we have. And, while not a complete win, I think Hunt Her, Kill Her was a pretty solid restart button for reviewing.
Now, is it an incredible, must-watch experience? No, I don’t think so. Is it worth watching, though? To that, I actually have to be honest and say yes, I do think that it’s worth watching and I do think you should check it out if you have a spare 90 minutes to dedicate to a film.
The movie is simple: it’s about a newly hired night shift janitor, Karen, on her first night on the job. Seemingly going smoothly at first, things quickly turn into life or death when a group of intruders target her and attempt to hunt her down and kill her. In other words, Hunt Her, Kill Her.
Things get started relatively quickly. And when I say quickly, it’s really quick. It only takes the film around 20 minutes to kick into high gear, and it really doesn’t let up until the ending, which I truly appreciate. If there’s anything to say about Hunt Her, Kill Her, it’s that once it has you, it’s not letting you go until it’s finished.
That being said, it’s not necessarily ground-breaking, but then again, it doesn’t have to be. It just falls into some of the things that I find a lot of slasher/intruder/cat-and-mouse films rely on maybe a little too much. For example, about 40 minutes into the film, I think I counted 5 or 6 different instances of one of the intruders doing that “lingering stare” while Karen was hiding right by them. It almost felt like the film was being a little too over-reliant on that for suspense, and it wore off rather quickly to me.
There are also a few instances of the intruders not being very perceptive as to where Karen is and then all of the sudden being too perceptive of where she’s at. I don’t want to say that the writing was convenient because I know how hard it is to get suspense to work within the confines of a screenplay, but I do feel like more creativity could have saved this from being a thing in the film.
All of that aside, there are a few moments of very clever camerawork and use of the environment that generate some genuinely tense and butt-clenching moments that are surprisingly effective and poignant. Along with some great POV chase sequences, there is a lot of creativity and breath-holding moments that make Hunt Her, Kill Her stand out among most of the cat-and-mouse subgenre.
You also learn a few things about Karen along the way, about her life and such, that increase the stakes of the story, though predictable. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something of note that adds a little more flesh to the overarching story and character of Karen.
There are a few moments of Karen being quite crafty and using some survival instincts to patch herself up or create traps for the intruders to fall for, and I kind of wish there was more of that at play here. It was quite fun to see a few moments of craftiness and creativity when it came to either trying to tend to some wounds or making a trap or distraction for the intruders so she could buy herself some time to think of the next one. There is a lot of potential there that sadly doesn’t get visited as many times as I think it should have.
I think since that was so much fun for me to watch, I sort of wish that Hunt Her, Kill Her was more of a Home Alone-style of film with horror elements because if I’m honest, I think that might’ve worked a little more than what it actually turned out to be. I know that sounds like I didn’t enjoy this film, but I actually did, just wanted to throw a bit of wishful thinking out there and let you all know how I really feel about it.
At the end of the day, Hunt Her, Kill Her is a fast-paced, adrenaline-filled, thrill ride with a bunch of good ideas and some bouts of quite clever use of the camera and environments. It feels like a resourceful film to make and I could tell that it was a blast to create. The kills, while not the most creative, do the job for the situation that Karen is placed in, which fits in quite well.
Are there some moments that don’t work? Of course. Is the acting a little shaky at times and the dialogue somewhat stale-sounding? I’d say so. But some things aren’t the focus here, and I do believe that what is in focus in Hunt Her, Kill Her is done well enough to warrant your 90 minutes. It’s a fun ride, and I want all of you to have some fun with it. Don’t go in expecting the next You’re Next or something, just go in and take it for what it is: a predictable but throat-grabbing 90-minute bout of entertainment that, to me, ultimately does its job.