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Cast: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Jason Vail, David Saucedo, D'Angelo Midili, and Bill Oberst Jr.
After losing their home following a devastating tragedy, a father and son are forced to move to an old family cabin. Neither reacts well to being thrown into this new world. The son's attempts to relate to his father are complicated when two old friends arrive for a weekend of hunting. This trip into the forest will unearth not only buried feelings of guilt and betrayal, but also a tribe of Sasquatch that are determined to protect their land.
"Hunting Grounds" is the directorial debut of John Portanova, he also wrote the film as well. Fan's of Independent cinema will know John as the writer of "The Device" and "The Invoking," two big Independent films that put him on the map.
As we all know already there has been a ton of Bigfoot movies made, some good and some not so good but this is one is very different for several reasons. But let me say that the first thing that struck me about the film was its amazing cinematography, every shot was so beautiful it looked like I could just step right into the movie. Now on to the film, the main reason why this was so different from the others was the story. While most Bigfoot movies do not have much going for them story wise this one indeed does.
"Hunting Grounds" first and foremost tells the story of Roger and Michael Crew, a father and son who are struggling after a devastating tragedy in their lives. Forced to move in the middle of the woods to an old, run down cabin neither one of them are ready for such a change so soon and the tragedy has also taken a toll on their relationship as well. To make matters worse Roger has invited two friends, one of whom Michael does not like up for a weekend of drinking and hunting but what none of them know is that they are about to be hunted.
So, the second thing I noticed about the film was the incredible cast Writer/Director, John Portanova was able to get together. Jason Vail and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte are both amazing as father and son and it never hurts when you bring a legend like Bill Oberst Jr. on board as well. The rest of the supporting cast were all terrific as well.
The film starts off a bit slow while it sets up the story, the back stories and introduces us to all the characters but that in itself is a very good thing. We get a quick glimpse of Bigfoot in the film's opening scene but not again till around a half hour in but once we do the action never stops until the film's nail-biting climax. In between the film does a great job at slowly building on the tension and suspense.
"Hunting Grounds" is an unique and different kind of Bigfoot movie, it is the type that sucks you in right from the start, not because of the carnage but because of the interesting story line and characters that you immediately feel for in one way or another. And the carnage, yes there is a good bit of action and gore and the Bigfoot creatures are scary as hell and awesome looking.
I was really entertained by this film, it kicked ass and left me wanting a lot more. I really liked that Director, Portanova went that extra mile to create not only a kick ass Bigfoot movie but also an excellent family drama as well.
"Hunting Grounds" is On Demand now. The film hits DVD and Blu-ray May 2. DVD and Blu-ray features include making-of and Audio commentary with Writer/Director John Portanova, Producer Matt Medisch, and Director of Photography Jeremy Berg. Do yourself a favor and check this cool film out.
Released by Uncork’d Entertainment
***** Out Of *****