Last updated: July 02. 2014 8:50PM - 305 Views
Tom Doty Times Columnist

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An inquiring mind for a tabloid newspaper finds out much more than he wants to know, when he inadvertently joins a group that hunts humans in this farout French fright flick.

Despite the lurid subject matter, this gets off to a banal start with a young man spotting a homeless dog on his block and taking it home for some food. The animal enjoys the treat but is shocked to see two men in plastic masks enter the apartment and kidnap his new friend. They toss the poor sap in a van (which appears to house a collection of gagged young men) and take him to a remote barn.

The film gets really twisted now. The men are tied to chairs and gagged. The gags are removed (what a relief) so that their captors can have easier access to their tongues — which they cut out. The victims are then released and must make a run for it while their kidnappers begin shooting at them with guns and arrows. Now that’s what I call an opening scene.

We cut away now and meet Alex. He writes for a suspect publication called, “News of the Weird.” His latest gig concerns the adult entertainment industry and he appears to be fabricating a story for publication until his editor summons him for a meeting. She wants something juicer than what he has been delivering. Alex decides to go to his girlfriend, Sarah, who earns a steady wage as a prostitute, for a lead.

She is happy to point him towards a local businessman who has unsavory tastes and likes to film himself engaging in them. Alex goes to the guy’s house and breaks in, but finds nothing salacious. He eventually stumbles across a travel bag that contains a cell phone, which is ringing. He answers and intercepts a cryptic message. He is to report to a remote location for an illicit activity.

Luckily, the bag contains everything he needs for the meeting, but you would think that trysts which require a ski mask would be questionable. Alex plunges on and soon finds himself in a similar scenario to the one that opened the film. Only Alex is one of the hunters. He learns that his job is to kill the prey so he can get a treasure box attached to their wrists via handcuffs. Unfortunately, the other hunters want those boxes, too, and they are not above killing a successful hunter to get their treasure.

This is rough stuff and it doesn’t end well for anybody, especially Alex. When Sarah shows up to meet him, she finds herself in an even more dangerous situation, but she turns out to be much better suited for this kind of thing.

This is yet another variation on “The Most Dangerous Game.” Luckily, they have updated the story so that Richard Connell’s oft filmed plot mixes with the style of Eli Roth’s “Hostel.” The result is more gory than any other version of this famous tale. I highly recommend it.

Don’t let the subtitles bother you, either. Almost nobody talks in this one for a good reason — they don’t want to give away their position or they no longer possess a tongue. Worth a look, but be careful, because several flicks rock this title, but the one to watch was made in 2010 and directed by Thomas Szczepanski. Bon appetit!

2010, unrated.

Best Lines

“Let me remind you of the rules. There are no rules.”

“We need more violence. That’s what sells hard!”

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