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Monday, March 21, 2016

REVIEW: "Hunting Season"

A decades old mystery may hold the clues to woman's past. It's the stuff movies on Lifetime are made of, and last night's premiere of "Hunting Season" on LMN exemplified the genre.

The movie follows Samantha (Lauren Lee Smith), a woman under immense pressure to have a baby with husband Mike (Lifetime movie staple and Gilmore Guy David Sutcliffe). When she inherits a remote cabin property, Samantha sees an opportunity to possibly unwind in the woods. She doesn't realize that this old house was the site of a family murder. She also is unaware of a possible spirit that resides in the house. In spite of this, Samantha goes about renovating the old house -- which is waaay out in the snowy woods deep in hunting territory -- with her dog buddy. Slowly but surely, she begins to uncover details on her parents, who were victims of an alleged murder suicide. All the while, weird things start happening in this creepy cabin. A phonograph keeps turning on ... playing a chill-inducing version of "Itsy Bitsy Spider ... and a film projector with old home movies mysteriously activates showing Sam some movies of her parents. Also...a hunter neighbor may or may not be trying to kill her. After meeting the local sheriff and asking some questions, her curiosities are intensified. Hubby Mike eventually turns up at the cabin with friends Katie (Sarah Manninen) and NRA poster boy Jason (Kris Holden-Reid), and more weirdness ensues.

This is a darker than usual Lifetime feature, but it rolls along nicely. Good work from all of the actors ... even Buddy the dog, who pops up at all the right moments to scare the heck out of Smith's character. The conclusion is satisfying if not predictable, and there's enough action to keep supernatural skeptics interested. The Lifetime site isn't showing any airings in the near future, but you can guess that it will make its way back on Lifetime of LMN soon.

"Hunting Season": Directed by Keith Samples: Starring Lauren Lee Smith as Samantha; David Sutcliffe as Mike; Kris Holden-Reid as Jason, Sarah Manninen as Katie; Brian Markinson as Sheriff Emmit; Chela Horsdal as Nancy

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