Film Review: Hunger (2009)

SYNOPSIS:

Hunger is a dark exploration into the breakdown of humanity. How far would you go to survive in the most extreme of circumstances? Five strangers awaken to find themselves trapped in an underground dungeon. They soon realize they are the subjects of one man’s sadistic experiment to test the depths of a human being’s will to survive. As the days go by with no means of escape, their hunger increases as their humanity fades away.

REVIEW:

One for the Fangoria Frightfest film selections, “Hunger” is a bold an provocative film created by Steven Hentges and written by L.D. Goffigan.

In fact, it clearly falls into the breakfast club category of horror scenarios. Put a handful of people in a hopeless situation and keep them from food and rescue. Watch how they interact, break down, lose control and turn to ways of thinking that models after survival more than anything.

The players in this arena are: Maggie (Laura Albyn),Grant (Linden Ashby), Luke (Joe Egender), Jordan (Lori Heuring) and Anna. 5 individuals awaken in a well with no explanation, no food and no light. As they feel around for getting acquainted in their environment, they discover that they have all been placed here without reason. Though the days reveal that the connection they have was various situations that each of them were involved in murder of some aspect. A scientist who sits SAW- like in his viewing chamber observes the whole thing as some sick type of experience. He watches per video camera, records the details in his journal and just observes as the events play out.

A clock sits in the room that counts backward with an assumed purpose of seeing if they make the numbered amount of days without food. After a day of searching within, a light turns on and reveals a separate chamber that hosts 4 barrels of water, a surgical knife and a light that also hangs above. It’s clear that they are in a well that has no escape without assistance.

Their intended purpose though is to play out as subjects of his twisted game. We also find that the scientist flashbacks to his days as a boy when him and his mother were stranded in an auto accident. His mother didn’t make it but the boy did only by surviving on his mothers flesh for food. In films of this nature, we as an audience are faced with the same concerns as the players……will they get out and what’s his aim? In fact like in SAW films, the horror is actually carried out by the victims in this case rather than the captor. It’s clear early on that this is his intention, but since the whole deal is being documented…its also like watching a sick reality show play out to its own demise. The occupants form alliances much like we are used to seeing in the reality shows. The d*ck of the group is clear from the start and the lead practical one finds that not everything is as easily solved as one thinks. In the course of hope, the days bring on more despair, more hunger and loss of sanity.

At current, this story plays out as expected with the humanity slowly breaking away and revealing he savage side that craves sustenance. It a slow but powerful film that embrace the terror or isolation, cannibalism and a situation without hope. I suppose these 5 in room films will never tire as long as the actors have plenty of dynamics to play out. I’m gonna have to say though for the record ……I think we’ve exhausted the title “Hunger” for a film name. How about maybe “Starved” or “Urge” or maybe even “Soylent Green is people!”. When trying to locate this film, you come across about 20 others under that title.

Director Steven Hentges proves he has what it takes to film and direct a close quarters group and still keep the action pretty solid. His motive in this film I would say matches the character role of the scientist himself …..breakdown humanity to the point of hunger.

Lori Heuring, the clear lead of the film attacks her role with stellar performance and emotional passion.

A few things will still surprise you which makes for the fun of observing the observers. Tense, brutal and powerful, “Hunger” is a title that says it all.

Hunger (2009)

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