A lone tracker probes a troubled wilderness in The Hunter
Nothing else about The Hunter is obvious, though. Some may find it too short on back story, mystery resolution, or genre definition. (Like the book, it's almost an action thriller.) But from the story's spare bones Nettheim has built a narrative about overcoming isolation and adversity that is aptly chilly for a while yet finally very moving. The actors, also including Sam Neill as a local of uncertain loyalties, are economically perfect. The diverse Tasmanian scenery is both spectacular and somber in Robert Humphreys' widescreen photography. The only element too conventional at times is the musical scoring, although it suits the final turn in emotional urgency beautifully.
Confusingly, this Hunter arrives not long after an Iranian film with the same title, one also having much to do with alienation and wild landscapes. That film was very good, but this one might be indelible.
THE HUNTER opens Fri/27 in Bay Area theaters.