Apparently, the average human body can last up to 30 days without food.
With this nifty fact, director Steven Hentges and writer L.D. Goffigan turn the cameras on to this story about a group of five people who wake up in a room at the bottom of a well.
As the lights flick on, a one-handed clock begins counting down and the group then discovers a room with enough water to keep them alive for 30 days. Oh yeah, they also find a surgical knife. Woooah…
So, the intentions are clear but who are these characters? Why are they now pitted against each other to fight for survival? And who put them there? To be honest I just sat through the entire film and I’m still not really sure…
Bjorn Johnson plays ‘The Scientist’, a deluded misanthrope who has trapped these people down there in order for him to carry out his twisted experiment. His brief back story is later explored but it still doesn’t really deliver a reputable reason as to why he’s doing this – to see if the victims would do what he once had to do in order to survive perhaps?
He watches the group intently on monitors, writing down his observations, referring back to his giant wall of pictures and notes of the victims all whilst listening to classical music.
The five victims are all rather generic in personality. There’s the quiet one who sits in the corner, the loud-mouth-twenty-something, the empowering blonde and the good guy. The ‘who will live and who will die’ becomes a little clearer, but that’s beside the point. Although this film seems like a Saw film with a dash of The Cube and The Hole it does contain a number of exciting thrills and shocking moments. But sadly these short interjections of attention gripping horror are too few and far between to make this Hunger anything more than a basic, poorly constructed attempt at a psychological horror flick.
The attempt of the director (Steven Hentges) and writers to create a film which delves into the animalistic subconsciouses of the films protagonists is admirable, however Hunger fails to evoke any sense of empathy towards these helpless characters and the audience is left feeling a little confused as to how we are supposed to approach them.
To say I felt a little short changed by this film after a possibly interesting premise would probably be the best way to express my feelings towards it.
There are numerous better psychological horror films than Hunger which sadly just didn’t cut it.