Sunday, October 6, 2013

Halloween Horror, Day 5: Hunger

I'm always curious about horror movies that don't have good reviews on Netflix. I've often found myself watching 4 or 5 starred movies and thinking, "What is this garbage? Do people really enjoy this?!" Naturally, I had to pick a 3 star movie to satisfy my curiosity. I randomly selected Hunger (2009 -- no, not the Steve McQueen movie) and grabbed a giant bowl of pasta to keep myself from starving to death.


If you've ever wondered What would happen if I throw 5 seemingly healthy adults into a hole with a little water and no food?, then Hunger's got you covered. Obviously, they're going to eat each other -- it's just a matter of when. As a vegetarian, I find the proposition pretty terrifying, and I'm glad that I had my pasta to keep me company while viewing.

In all seriousness, I was surprised that Hunger was a slightly-above-average horror movie. The pacing really helps build the creeping sense of both hunger and panic, especially as the character Jordan notes that most humans can only survive for 30 days without food. This is also a delicious achievement for a film that mostly takes place within two small rooms.

The psychological aspects of the film are also scrumptious. Each person has a different reaction to captivity: manipulation, assertiveness, shyness, madness, and calm. The range of emotion makes the movie much more filling than if everyone were freaking out and hysterical for 100 minutes.

Of course, the film has its share of flaws. I was constantly distracted by how clean and shiny Jordan and Anna's hair stayed. Their trapped-in-a-hole hair looked more stylish than my pretending-to-be-an-adult hair. The men, too, never grow more than a spattering of facial hair. And then there's the hunger aspect. For being starved for 30 days, no character looks particularly gaunt -- sick, yes, but not dying of malnutrition. Since the movie's low-budget, I'm willing to forgive this in favor of the actors' health.

Overall, Hunger was much tastier than I imagined, so I'm glad that I ventured into 3 star territory. While it's not the most original or fantastic of movies, it's a toothsome morsel that whets the palate for more horror. If you like the classic Twilight Zone episode "Five Characters in Search of an Exit", stream Hunger immediately.

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