It’s time for a very old thriller title that’s also super short. It could have stood to be a little longer because I enjoyed the concept and there’s more you could do with it. Still, you should have a good time either way and it serves as a reminder to always be on your guard. If you let your guard down for an instant then things can get very tricky.
The movie starts with there being a big boat crash and Bob finds himself washed ashore a mysterious island. Everyone else died due to powerful sharks roaming the area. Bob is a pretty big animal hunter himself and on the boat they had been asking him what it would feel like to be hunted. He had figured that could never happen but now what can he do? Well at least the owner of the house, Zaroff appears to be a nice guy even if he’s a little eccentric. There are two other survivors here in Eve and Martin. Eve seems quite afraid of Zaroff for some reason while Martin is super drunk but pretty happy about everything going on. Martin explains that Zaroff is a great guy and has good food. Is there more to this place than meets the eye?
Of course you can probably piece some things together based on the title and the poster. This is going to be a hunt like no other. I will say right off the bar that Martin is the most entertaining character in the movie. He’s just so drunk that it’s really quite impressive. You would think that he would sober up at some point but he doesn’t. He just keeps on going and has one of the most shrill voices that I’ve head in quite a while. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be forgetting him afterwards. Once he’s gone the film gets 100% serious since this guy was the only one brightening things up.
He wasn’t particularly smart or quick on the uptake so it makes sense he would go fast. As soon as people vanished and never returned you’d figure something was up ordinarily but the beers really threw his mind for a loop. Eve suspects that something is wrong but she isn’t really able to do a whole lot about it on her own. Her own physical power isn’t super high after all and running off by herself into the island wouldn’t end up doing a whole lot. She is by herself on the island so where would she even go? Bob arriving is really her only hope to get out of here in one piece.
As for Bob, he’s a reasonable main character. Definitely a little slow on the uptake as well but at the same time it’s not like he has any real reason to trust Eve over Zaroff. He just met both of them so they’re each suspicious in their own ways. At least once it’s time for a fight then he can defend himself as well as anyone else. He is used to hunting animals and so trying to take down a human hunter isn’t as big a deal as it would be for many fighters. Of course Zaroff set things up so he has the advantage with his hunting dogs and minion all around.
This guy has been doing this for a long time after all so he has a plan for everything. Ultimately Bob was fun and for the most part Zaroff was a decent villain. At least his hunting philosophy is interesting but once he started viewing Eve as a trophy then he felt more like a generic bad guy without a whole lot of honor codes and rules to keep himself grounded. That’s my main issue with the guy. It doesn’t line up with his overall character of being so sophisticated and wanting a higher challenge for himself in going after people. By wanting to get the girl then suddenly he was just another guy and it hurt his character quite a lot. It was definitely disappointing to see that’s for sure.
The main climax of the film is Zaroff and Bob going at it as they try to hunt each other in the forest. It really lends itself well to being a fun sequence although the heroine does hold Bob back a lot. I would have preferred this to have been a true 1 vs 1 so we can see how they do. The film presents Bob as being far superior both in planning and experience but maybe if this was a straight forward fight we could have made things be a bit more balanced. It would be a lot of fun to see them laying down traps and all as the entire film.
Again this is where a longer length could have helped the movie. This one’s only about an hour so by the time the characters go outside a large portion of the film is already done. At the same time you couldn’t really cut out much of the intro because that was all needed for the characterization and setting up the plot that was to come. So the only solution is making it longer but I would still recommend checking the movie out. The script is good and you get a lot of good banter the whole time.
The only real issue here is as you can guess with this being a hunting film there can be some collateral. The rest of the hunts are never on screen so you don’t see animals going down for the most part but one does go down near the end. It’s totally off screen or pretty much all off screen but you still know what happened. It’s handled more tactfully than most so I wouldn’t lower this to a negative score but it’s still not quite as high as it could have been.
Overall, The Most Dangerous Game is fairly suspenseful. It takes a fairly simple plot and makes it engaging all the way through. Make a 2 hour movie on this and invite just a few more guests. Then the setup would be absolutely perfect for a true thriller with a lot of chases going on. Yes that would definitely be right up my alley and I would have a lot of fun with that. Of course a remake would have to be careful and not add a bunch of animals in there to fill up the time. That’s exactly what you don’t want to do and I admit that I would be a little nervous about that angle the whole time. Nothing ventured and nothing gained though so I’d check it out and hope for the best. In the meantime treat this film like a proof of concept. Put yourself in Bob’s place and imagine being hunted. It’s definitely a scary situation to be in and the shark infested waters also mean that there is no easy way out of the island. One way or another you need to take down the ruler.