A recent widower reunites with his old church buddies to film a hunting show in the remote woods, where a supernatural presence forces him to confront his faith.
Here is a movie with a message. It is uniquely filmed by following a group of men on a hunting trip. One hunter, David, is joining the others after the loss of his pregnant wife, Kate, who died from cancer. Although most of the guys are Christians, David is still reeling from the death of his wife and we witness a few awkward moments in the film as he reacts to various comments from his fellow hunters. In one exchange, as the men are eating, David kids one of the guys about being a “Bible thumper.” The guy takes it a bit personal and asks, “Do you ever want to see Kate again?” David, livid with anger, lunges at him. It does grant us an interesting moment in which eternity and the hope we have in Christ is examined.
Duane Chapman, better known as “Dog, the Bounty Hunter,” is featured in a couple of brief scenes that unquestionably are a highlight in the film, touching on the recent loss of his wife, Beth. The charismatic “Dog” adds some weight to the film’s story. He shows up to help the guys with doing a “reality” TV show.
The movie shows real men in their rawest forms, including some off-the-wall antics. They also talk like guys. For instance, in one scene, one of the guys mentions the difficulty of having no toilet paper. They use the word “crap” every so often, and they razz one another while drinking an occasional beer. Russell, Paul, Sean and David are the guys in this reality show and each has a unique personality, but one thing in common for sure: They all love to hunt.
The movie is graphic in showing the stark and harsh reality of hunting. For example, deer carcasses are hung in trees after they are killed. A few scenes show the dead deer on the ground or being dragged. Also, one man is seen washing away the blood from his hands after cutting up one of their kills. Although the movie is not entertaining in the conventional way, it does feature scenes which will prompt the viewer to think, and that is a positive thing.
The film promotes thinking about death, life, and religion. One of the subplots in the film is the mention of a cult in the area, which purportedly has practiced even voodoo. Some of the cult’s paraphernalia is discovered in a small shed in one scene.
In another graphic scene, David shoots at an animal with his bow while in a tree stand, and David promptly falls from the tree. We see him lie on the earth, the wind knocked out of him, and bloodied up, for a few silent moments on the screen.
Also incorporated are scenes of the guys shooting arrows at the deer with some of the animals escaping a near-death moment. The movie does show early scenes of Kate wanting David to pray with her, and a shot of a cross necklace. The idea of faith is undoubtedly a staple in the movie.
The ending is a stunner. It leaves the viewer wondering: Did the guys become victims of a cult? Or is something else happening? To say it is a bit of a surprise ending is an understatement.
The film does carry a message that all creatures, both animal and human beings, will eventually face death. But has one prepared his eternal soul to see loved ones who have gone before?
We are awarding the movie our Dove seal for Ages 12+, noting a few of the graphic hunting moments and cult aspects in the film.
The Dove Take:
This is strongly a unique film which both hunters and those who enjoy watching something a bit different will thoroughly enjoy.