A minimalistic, low-key forest thriller with an existential edge, The Hunter is more interested in quietly observing Willem Dafoe set traps than it is with generic action. Adapted from Julia Leigh’s novel by TV man Daniel Nettheim, Dafoe plays a hunter (obviously) who’s been tasked by a shady biotech company with tracking down the last Tasmanian tiger. Part character piece, part family drama and part survivalist thriller, it’s most successful when Dafoe is patiently stalking through the woodland, as his craggy presence and the moody cinematography are enough to hold our interest. True, you do spend time waiting for a branch to snap and initiate the hunter becoming the hunted, particularly early doors, but this is a slow-burner with a few mesmerising sequences. Not least whenever the screen affords us a shot of Willem’s face-fuzz in all its glory.
A documentary about the infamous miners' strike