I pick this DVD up in Poundland over the weekend. Now that is not usually a good indication of quality. I have fallen into the trap of buying movies in Poundland before, and to be honest they usually turn out to be virtually unwatchable. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I sat down to watch Hunter Prey. Clearly the movie was made on a shoestring budget, but the director has done a great job of working within his means and not allowed the low budget to compromise on the quality of photography, script or production design.
The story draws elements from films such as Enemy Mine and Pitch Black, with a spaceship crash landing on a hostile desert planet. The three surviving crew are tasked with recapturing a prisoner of war who escaped during the crash. Eventually the film develops into a battle of wits and individual courage, between the final crewman and the POW. Some quite sensitive subjects, such as war crimes and genocide are handled with finesse (especially for what amounts to being a low budget action movie).
Hunter Prey was filmed on location in Mexico and the desert scenery is perfect for the alien planet, in fact it was good to see that the director didn’t fall into the trap of trying to make the landscape look alien. He simply let the barren hostile environment become a natural part of the film. Even the whale bones that litter the area naturally added to the alien feel.
The photography is beautiful and the quality of the production design, although obviously working within the small budget produced costumes and the occasional interior shot that were effective and realistic.
I would have been happy to buy this DVD full price, if I had heard of the movie before, however, at the bargain price of £1 it is to good to miss.