REVIEW / FILM OPINION – Produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Scott Cooper, “Hungry” is a horror film that takes up a famous legend. A trip to the heart of a small isolated American town, marked by a terrible family tragedy and the appearance of a terrifying creature …
Hungry : beautiful promises
On paper, the association between director Scott Cooper and producer Guillermo del Toro for Hungry plot. On the one hand, the first signed several particularly touching dramas, borrowed from despair and beauty in the way they dwell on disillusioned characters, with Crazy Heart and especially The Infernos of Wrath.
After Strictly Criminal, anecdotal gangster movie about “Whitey” Bulger, the filmmaker makes his most successful work to date with Hostiles. In this western released in 2018, a captain of the American army must escort an Indian chief on a journey where tensions and violence resurface.
As for Guillermo del Toro, his contributions to the horror genre are no longer to present, whether it is The Devil’s Backbone, Blade II or Crimson peak. And if his plans as a producer have not always been up to par (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark), nice surprises sometimes stood out, such as The orphanage Where Mama. If it does not equal the best respective feature films of the tandem, Hungry falls into this second category.
A family ravaged by evil
The movie takes place in a small town in Oregon. While making “meth” in a laboratory located in an abandoned mine, two men are violently attacked by an invisible creature, which also attacks the son of one of them. Three weeks later, Julia Meadows (Keri Russell) is worried that one of his students, young Lucas (Jeremy T. Thomas), is being abused. She is far from imagining that the boy is secretly caring for his little brother Aiden and his father Frank (Scott Haze), victims of a disturbing transformation since the mine incident. In parallel, the sheriff Paul Meadows (Jesse Plemons), brother of the teacher, finds a shredded body in the forest.
As for The Infernos of Wrath (as well as that of Rosamund Pike in Hostiles), Scott Cooper looks at a destroyed family in Hungry – or even two given that the characters played by Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons also suffer from a heavy past. If he never offers such poignant moments as those of his predecessors, the horror film applies above all to the story of Lucas (based on the new The Quiet Boy by Nick Antosca), who persists in wanting to preserve his family when everything seems immediately lost for them. Their confrontation scenes are both the most chilling and touching, to the point that the Meadows quickly appear as useful accessory characters to advance the story, less to amplify the dramatic springs.
A bruised land
Inspired bya famous Native American legend that it is better not to disclose so as not to spoil the few surprises of the feature film, the curse of the Weaver generates a dark and heavy atmosphere in these large gray spaces, which themselves accentuate the inevitable fatality ofHungry. In his way of investing a soiled and popular rural territory to develop an intrigue around mythical creatures, the film bridges the gap between some of Scott Cooper’s works (The Infernos of Wrath, Hostiles) and Guillermo del Toro (The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth).
Despite the brutal and murky scenes as well as the appearances ofa towering and terrifying creature with a very successful design, Hungry unfortunately hardly surprising. Once the folklore is approached by a character played by Graham Greene, the feature film finds its limits and connects the expected passages. However, he does not renounce his blackness even in his pessimistic end.
If it does not reach the disturbing set-up, this conclusion prevents the second part from remaining compartmentalized in predictable and marked terrain, destroying any hope of reconstruction. If she managed to irrigate Hostiles, there is simply no place for light here, which is also transcribed the gloomy aesthetic ofHungry. This time around for Scott Cooper, the nightmares of the past have engulfed everything.
Hungry by Scott Cooper, released on November 17, 2021. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.